Sunday, 11 March 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.39: Rwanda

Kingsley Egbuonu's alphabetical trek around Africa's official intellectual property office websites is now beginning to accelerate. Skipping over all those African states that begin with the letters O, P and Q, Kingsley reaches the fascinating little state of Rwanda -- a country with a tragic recent history but, almost miraculously, an increasingly bright future. This is what he reports:
Overview

Rwanda is a Contracting Party to several intellectual property treaties including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It is also a member of ARIPO.

Copyright Office

• The Office of the Registrar General, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Rwanda.

• The website for this office is www.rdb.rw

Industrial Property Office

• The Office of the Registrar General, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in Rwanda.

• The website for this office is www.rdb.rw

Social Media Presence

• The Rwanda Development Board is on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/RDBrwanda and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RDBrwanda

Intellectual Property update in Rwanda

None found.

Prospects

The copyright and IP office share an impressive and functional website but, on the downside, this website holds little or no useful information on IP. However, readers looking for resources (including IP laws) should visit the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MTI) website here. The MTI is responsible for promoting IP in Rwanda and its IP policy (November 2009) can be found here.

As suggested on our visit to Nigeria, it may well be worthwhile for Rwanda to consider having two separate offices, each with its own website. One of the advantages of this is that users would then find it easier to locate the information they want, where they expect to see it.

Notwithstanding the above, it is remarkable to see that the RDB is utilising ICT in carrying out its duties; in particular, Afro-IP is impressed with its use of social media. Therefore, it is our view that with further support and effort, Rwanda should be in the position to do better in promoting IP when one considers the RDB’s desire and ability to harness the internet.
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

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