Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said there is a strong need to start implementing the policies and laws that have been put in place to protect and facilitate the country’s innovators if the country is going to benefit from them.
Kadaga noted that she was getting complaints from innovators that their products and knowledge were being used by outsiders and some Ugandans without their consent and that government was not doing anything to protect them.
“We have been encouraging Ugandans to buy and support Ugandans products however we have not been able to protect their patent rights. Their knowledge and ideas are being stolen and we are not giving them any protection,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker noted that Parliament had already put in place policies and laws to patent rights but those policies were not being implemented hence the gap.
She asked policy implementers to be strict and protect Ugandans who are trying to put the economy in balance.
The speaker was speaking at the ministry of science, technology and innovation retreat that took place at the Uganda industrial research institute in Nakawa, Kampala.
Kadaga also pledged increased funding for the ministry from government but asked private sector to also use some of their interests to help in building the innovation sector.
Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister for Science, Technology and Innovation asked government to establish the presidential forum on science, technology and innovation chaired by the President and coordinated by the ministry to help the country identify, synthesise and articulate policy to support coherent decision making by various arms of government on STI sector.
“M. Prime Minister, we are very confident that creating the PEST will put the issues of STI sector into light for better handling and management,’’ said Dr. Tumwesigye.
The Prime minister who officiated the function said they were ready to look into the PEST issue and even other issues that will help better the country.