News and Updates

On Wednesday 8th May 2013, Honourable Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai will officiated the National Stakeholders' Validation Seminar on the proposed legal framework on Protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Culture Expressions (TCEs) - at The Red Court Hotel, South C, Nairobi from 9:00am - 12:00noon. The legal framework aims to protect holders of TK and TCEs against misappropriation, misuse and unlawful exploitation by third parties for use in pharmaceutical products, therapy, arts and craft, music, design and even works of architecture.

This was a historic achievement for Kenya because it is the first country in the region and Africa, to develop a draft legal framework to validate legislation to protect TK and TCEs. It is also pursuant to Section 11, 40(5) and 69 of the Constitution of Kenya, which requires the State to protect the intellectual property rights of Kenya which includes TK and TCEs. The Kenya Copyright Board recognises that the protection of TK and TCEs is in tandem with Kenya Vision 2030 - blue print that aims to move our country to a middle income economy by the year 2030 through wealth creation, increased trade and national development.

Kenya like many other African countries is rich in TK and TCEs. For instance, the use of the Masaai Shuka in the international fashion industry goes to show that there is an economic value for Kenya's traditional cultural expressions especially works of art, paintings, sculptures, jewellery, fabric and designs.

The use of TK and TCEs as a source of contemporary creativity can contribute towards the economic development of traditional communities through the establishment of community enterprises, local jobs creation, skills development, appropriate tourism and foreign earnings from community products. By providing legal protection for TK and TCEs African communities can commercialise their TK and TCEs using the intellectual property system.