The intellectual property system becomes critically relevant in the whole innovation discourse as it provides the required incentives through the granting of temporary monopolies to innovators to recoup the costs that are heavily associated with research and development particularly in the area of pharmaceutical research and drug development. For example the life saving HIV medicines which have drastically reduced the number of HIV and ADIS related deaths came as a result of innovation and technology but not without heavy investments into research and development.
- ensuring that intellectual property institutions are efficient and sufficiently funded;
- supporting intellectual property policies with sound economic management, good infrastructure and other appropriate policies in areas such as education, science and technology, culture, taxes, investment regulations, production and technical incentives, trade, and competition;
- establishing an active and coherent intellectual property policy coordinated throughout government bodies;
- educating local communities, businesses and the public on the potential benefits of the intellectual property system;
- providing assistance to innovators/producers/creators on how to use intellectual property protection to their commercial advantage and supporting efforts of stakeholder organisations in this area;
- bridging the gap between academic and research institutions, government and industries;
- making it a priority to strengthen and/or create a legal framework to ensure implementation and effective enforcement measures against intellectual property theft. There is also a need for clearly designated and sufficiently resourced enforcement institutions, supported by training, international cooperation and public education; and
- enhancing information and communication technological base of the country as this a critical area on which 90 percent of business transactions are conducted.
In conclusion, the ZIMASSET policy document is a very good initiative and forms the springboard to jump start the Zimbabwean economy that has been in free fall following the imposition of sanctions by western governments. As highlighted by the Vice President, Cde Joyce Mujuru at one occasion, the ZIMASSET policy document is an elastic document and Government departments should interpret it fluidly and objectively with a view to improving economic and social developments. As highlighted above, intellectual property plays a significant role in promoting innovation and technological development which are very much needed to exploit the vast natural resources base which Zimbabwe possesses. Without innovation and technology, the realization of economic and social development will remain dream as Zimbabwe will not be able to economically exploit the vast natural resources that lie in the all the corners of the country. The situation currently obtaining in the country where we are exporting most products in primary form is an undesirable one given the trite fact that raw products do not fetch much value on international markets. The unassailable fact is that innovation and technology are the game changers in promoting socio-economic development.