Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati has urged Zambians to take advantage of the 22 million kwacha budgetary allocation meant for innovators and inventors.
Mr Mutati says the funds are meant to advance innovations in the country.
He said Zambia stands a chance to become an innovation hub for the entire Southern African region.
The minister was speaking at the commemoration of World Intellectual Property Day in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Mutati stated that innovations can provide job creation and increase revenue for the country.
And the Minister said there is need to create supportive infrastructure to ensure that intellectual property is protected.
Mr Mutati added that local innovators have the capacity to compete at the global stage.
“Last year, we sent five people through National Technology Business Centre (NTBC) to go and participate at a global forum in Finland and I think those kind of things give the right exposure to the innovators that they are global and not local. You will be surprised with the capacity that our innovators have got. They are creating amazing innovations,” he said
Speaking at the same event, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Chipoka Mulenga said government has created an enabling environment for innovators to thrive.
Mr Mulenga said it is important that the innovations are registered under the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) in order to legitimately own their creations.
He also called on innovators to make the most of the unprecedented levels of funding that government has allocated to inventors.
Mr Mulenga urged the private sector to take the lead in coming up with innovations.
“You are the private sector. You are the people who best know how we can improve our economy from one level onto the next. As the Government through the Ministry of Technology and Science, and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, we are open to listen to you. Bring your ideas, bring your innovations, let us see how we can support them because legislation sits with us, innovation sits with you,” he said.
And PACRA Acting Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Wilson Banda said the Agency will continue to work aggressively towards protecting intellectual property rights to encourage innovation and creativity.
Zambia yesterday joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Intellectual Property day under the theme: IP and Youth innovating for a better future.