Last week I attended the launch of the Microsoft 4Afrika Intellectual Property Hub launch event on a cool Nairobi evening.
The event pooled in software developers and IP enthusiasts like this quail who were keen to see what this new kid on the block had to offer.
Indeed most creatives are not fully aware of how to protect their creations and we have certainly heard of big corporations exploiting these unprotected creations commercially.
The Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub promised to be a place of refuge for all things intellectual property and is further strengthened by working in conjunction with a law firm to advice and protect developers IP rights.
This is promising. It for one may motivate more innovators due to the reduction in exploitation of their creations.
Innovation is still very low but with organisations like these investing in intellectual property, more knowledge on the issues and protection will mean increased enthusiasm for creatives.
It is even more exciting because the intellectual property space is slowly expanding as is evident from the faith of this IT giant investing in the country.
There streets in most developing countries are flooded with second hand cars. They come in all makes and sizes at a price more expensive than the last owner would care to pay for. They have contributed to the already certified traffic menace on the road and increase by the day.
Why is there very little innovation in Kenya and probably East Africa with regards to the motor manufacturing and assembly industry? For Intellectual Property to flourish, there needs to be a motivation for innovation.
There is a car bazaar on any vacant space along a key road and many more second hand imports available online. It is no wonder that the seeds of innovators withered a long time ago with the Nyayo Pioneer car. The Nyayo Pioneer were the first ever Kenyan made cars in 1986 by University of Nairobi students at the behest of the then president. They were sourced from local raw materials and were pretty okay by the then standards. It failed for lack of funds.
A society that depends too heavily on imports hinders innovation. Will there ever be another opportunity to nourish our fledged car industry? By the look of the imported steel outside my window, the answer: a blatant nay!