By JUDITH NAMUTOWE –
THERE is need for Zambia to move away from being a raw material producing country to a knowledge-based and innovation economy to foster sustainable economic development, intellectual property consultant George Kanja has said.
Mr Kanja said this when he made a presentation on the role of intellectual property in fostering sustainable economic development in Zambia at a discussion forum organised by the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) in Lusaka.
He said Zambia could no longer continue to depend on its raw materials as a determinant for sustainable economic development but should urgently use intellect to transform itself into a “knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy”.
He said intellectual property was an important tool for economic growth and social economic development as well as competitiveness in the global economy and as such could no longer be ignored by Zambia.
Mr Kanja said countries posting huge economic growth and development were those which took steps to invest in intellectual property as well as in the necessary infrastructure and human capital required to create Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
He said in a knowledge based economy, IP has become the major determinant between those countries that are industrialised, rich and culturally-advanced, on one hand, and those which are least developed, poor and culturally backward.
He said Zambia needed to adopt effective policy and legal frameworks to promote and protect cultural and creative industries, and derive the maximum benefits from these industries.
He said this was one way in which Zambia could foster sustainable economic development in cultural industries.