Every April 26th, the world celebrates World Intellectual Property Day (WIPO) to learn about the role that intellectual property rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected by law, for example; patents, copyright, trademarks, geographical indications, and industrial designs, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they have invented or created. Hence, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity (the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality), and innovation (adding value to a particular environment through altering or changing of existing patterns), can flourish by neutralizing the interests of innovators and the wider public interest.
WIPO 2018 is themed to celebrate the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in the world, and shaping our common future. Working to encourage creativity and innovation through its various capacity building projects, which aim to promote entrepreneurship and economical independence to reduce the burden of unemployment; Khalifa Dankade & Co (KDC) commemorates WIPO 2018 by recognizing and appreciating four significant young women from Northern Nigeria who are currently driving positive changes in the environment through their creative and innovative entrepreneurial skills. Brought forward through ‘The Almajira Aspire Initiative’ (an initiative aiming to enlighten and encourage hard work in Northern Nigerian women by showcasing outstanding Arewa women), KDC in this piece will honour the concerted efforts of Fatima Abubakar, Samira Haruna Sanusi, Grace Yakubu Ekpiken, and Aisha Tofa for their various community development projects.
Fatima Abubakar is a documentary photographer, photojournalist, and public health humanitarian worker from Borno State. Fatima specializes in documenting cities and towns, cultures, conflict, urban poverty, rural development, and other humanitarian issues to attract specialist interventions at national and international levels. Fatima’s projects include the Bits of Borno, which she embarked on to showcase the problems faced by her hometown (Borno) in the time of the Boko Haram crises. For her creative and innovative ideas, Fatima has been commisioned to work for high profile organisations including the United Nations International Children’s Fund-UNICEF, and International Alert among others. Numerous of her works have gained critical acclaim, and have been published in international media publications such as the New York Times, BBC, Reuters, CNN, Voice of America, Newsweek Europe, and Nigerian newspapers like the ‘This Day’ and ‘The Blueprint’. Fatima feels the continous need to tell a story from a unique angle that is not visible to the world. Fatima points out; “We have to recognize the societal value of arts and culture”.
On this day, KDC will also recognize and applause the concerted effort of Samira Haruna Sanusi, a 29 years old Katsina State citizen who is at the forefront of fighting Sickle Cell disease by awareness, campaigns, and committed treatment and care for sickle cell patients through her founded organization Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell Foundation (SSSCF). Samira is also the author of the book ‘S is for Survivor’. Living through her struggles to keep up with Sickle Cell; undergoing 28 surgeries, 6 years of immobility, physical rehabilitation, chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant, Samira birthed her passion to establish SSSCF. Spread across Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Borno, Lagos, Ibadan, and other states, SSSCF has currently received a lot of recognitions and support for its commitment to serve humanity, especially people at the bottom of the pyramid.
From Kaduna State, Grace Yakubu Ekpiken is a TV Producer, Filmmaker, and Photographer. Born out of her passion for Northern Nigeria and its people, Grace created the popular docu-series (Haske Matan Arewa) airing weekly on Arewa24 TV Channel, to showcase outstanding Arewa women in unique career fields, narrating their stories and revealing remarkable perspectives many do not get to see. This TV programme is created to educate, inspire, address, and neutralize the stereotyping of the Arewa woman as weak, uneducated, and disadvantaged. Grace declared that ‘if one father is inspired by the stories of the women of Haske Matan Arewa and decides to send his daughter to school, then my aim has been achieved.’
Finally from Kano, we will like to celebrate Aisha Tofa, who was among 2018 Leading Ladies Africa-Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria. Aisha is an entrepreneur, a journalist, and owns an advertising company (Waves Advertising Limited), which majors in media buying and monitoring, research, jingle production, event management, branding, photography, and other multimedia services. Aisha is also a Team Lead at Women Founder’s Group (WFG), and a Co-founder of Startup Kano, an organization aimed at creating an ecosystem for creative and innovative entrepreneurs in Northern Nigeria. WFG organizes an annual conference for female entrepreneurs in northen nigeria, which is exclusively attended by women with the aim of bringing together bright minds to deliver motivational speeches on a wide range of subjects to foster entrepreneurship through learning.
Indeed these young women are making great contributions to develop Northern Nigeria and the world at large. They should be considered role models for which other members of the community must emulate through different projects to create an ideal environment we all need for sustainable development. Gradually, creativity and innovation is gaining promising grounds in Northern Nigeria. However, the rights and importance associated with intellectual property is something we must give more commitment to, so as to nurture creative thinking. Also, Entrepreneurs have to be more concerned with protecting their IPs to enable them derive maximum benefits from their creations and innovations. It is only when this is achieved, that we shall know the true value of creativity and innovation. Henceforth, advocates in entrepreneurship, innovation, and other capacity building programs should endeavour to advocate for IP protection through IP law enforcement. Through creativity and innovation we can create an ideal world, capable of sustaining good life for present and future generation.
Happy world intellectual property day 2018!
Daliya Ahmad Chanchangi,
Research, Creation,and Innovation Officer,