NFTRC`s 4th And Youngest IP Expert Revered
On behalf of National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) board, management and staff, the Acting Managing Director Dr Martin Kebakile has congratulated Food Chemistry Department Laboratory Technician Ms Odireleng Keipopele for completing her Masters in Intellectual Property with Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe in collaboration with Africa Regional Intellectual Property (ARIPO) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Ms Odireleng received a scholarship from WIPO as an initiative for capacity building for Intellectual Property in Africa.
As the fourth and youngest person in NFTRC to qualify in the area of Intellectual Property, Ms Keipopele needs to be acknowledged for all the hard work and endurance said Dr Kebakile.
He said t in this era where Southern African Development Committee (SADC) speaks of Industrialisation Strategy and the government of Botswana is faced with a responsibility to transform from a resource based economy to “a knowledge led economy”, NFTRC needs people who understand Intellectual Property to help in issues of optimally harnessing and safeguarding indigenous products knowledge.
He encouraged Ms Odireleng to feel free to pick up Intellectual Property related issues within NFTRC and engage other staff members on them, adding that she should look forward to being involved in national assignments.
When receiving her acknowledgment letter Ms Odireleng thanked NFTRC saying she was able to secure a scholarship through NFTRC platforms.
She said that her research was on looking at the legal protection of indigenous medicinal plants with the use of Intellectual Property regimes as well as looking at the possibility of commercialisation and value addition of such plants, which is more relevant to NFTRC’s indigenous food products.
Ms Odireleng said countries like South Africa are more advanced in value addition of indigenous food products such as mowana which has been commercialised and sold in Health Alternative Shops in Botswana because of its high antioxidants quality.
She promised to play her role in identifying indigenous foods that can be protected and their market potential improved through a collective mark or trade mark to explore the possibilities of generating income for NFTRC and the nation as a whole.
She further expressed her keen interest on patents because they are more relevant as a form of revenue generation in research institutions and proper technology transfer.
The acknowledgement was done in the presence of Food Chemistry Head of Department Dr Boitshepo Keikotlhaile who is also Ms Odireleng` s supervisor.
Dr Keikotlhaile summed up by cheering Ms Odireleng and advising her to move forward in advancing the Intellectual Property agenda of NFTRC and Botswana as a whole.