Geneva, 26 April 2022 – On World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) co-organized an event on ‘Innovating for Better Health: Supporting Young Innovators Through IP’, celebrating the young people who are innovating to shape health progress across the world, and particularly in Africa. The event was supported by Speak Up Africa and Geneva Health Forum.
The event aimed to spotlight the need for an enabling environment that protects, stewards, and rewards the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of young health innovators. More so than ever, the foundations of IP need to be strengthened around the world, tapping into all these innovative energies. For instance, Africa, which bears one-quarter of the global disease burden, is equally the youngest population in the world, with more than one-fifth of its working age population starting businesses. Young African entrepreneurs play a unique role in finding local solutions to the continent’s greatest health challenges, especially if they are supported by a strong, sustainable innovation ecosystem and an IP framework that support their innovations.
Through the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award and Women Innovators Incubator, IFPMA and Speak Up Africa have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to young innovators for health, uplifting pioneering young health entrepreneurs across Africa with financial and in-kind opportunities to develop their business ideas.
“This World IP Day represented a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, which was on display at this event. Young people are – without a doubt – innovating to improve health outcomes and are doing so in a manner that helps meet local needs and bolster local health systems. There is so much we are learning from them that we can apply for the future. We must encourage these young professionals and provide them with the tools, visibility, and platforms that allow their innovations to thrive,” said Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA.