KAMPALA – The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assembly, at its Sixty-Fourth Series of Meetings of the 193 Member States elected Ms. Mercy K. Kainobwisho, Registrar General Uganda Registration Services Bureau, as Vice-Chair of the General Assembly. Panama’s Alfredo Suescum was elected as Chair.
Mercy K. Kainobwisho’s election was overwhelmingly approved by hundreds of delegates, including government ministers, heads of intellectual property offices, and observers attending the July 04th -14th WIPO General Assemblies in Geneva, Switzerland. The Assembly converged to negotiate the future of the intellectual property (IP) ecosystem and WIPO’s activities in promoting innovation and development. The Assembly also works towards finding practical ways of increasing human innovation and creativity as principal drivers of economic growth.
Kainobwisho’s election is a major milestone for Uganda because it comes at such time when the Cabinet in 2019 passed the National Intellectual Property Policy, and the signing of the Kampala Protocol in 2021 that supports voluntary registration of copyright and related rights, all of which form the agenda for promotion and commercialization of intellectual property assets. The National Intellectual Property Policy is implemented by multi-sectoral stakeholders involved in the Intellectual property value chain of creation, protection, commercialization, and enforcement.
The Registrar General in her acceptance speech thanked delegates for their “confidence and trust” in her to serve as Vice-Chair of the WIPO General Assembly. She called upon the member states to maintain cooperation and support in the common quest to ensure the progress of WIPO in intellectual property promotion and development.
“I thank you all for the confidence in my abilities. It is incumbent upon us to sustain, expand and deepen the role of WIPO to improve the lives of all people, through the creation of solutions that ameliorate the impact visited by COVID-19 on our communities and lives. I am confident that human ingenuity will make our world better through innovations and creativity. I am proud to be part of the team of leaders to see this happen” Kainobwisho said. She further noted that the WIPO General Assembly has traditionally provided the opportunity to assess challenges encountered and progress made in achieving stated goals and objectives.
Delegates at the WIPO Assembly considered a wide range of items during the week-long meeting. They include the 2024-25 Program of Work, based on a five-year strategic plan established by the current Director General, Darren Tang’s administration. Mr. Tang said that the priority for his administration is reaching groups traditionally under-represented in the use of IP, such as youths, women and SMEs.
The election as Vice Chair of the WIPO General Assembly becomes Mercy K. Kainobwisho’s second role at WIPO. Previously, she diligently served as Vice Chair of the WIPO Coordination Committee since 2020.