Ashanti Minister Seeks Patent For Kente

Simon Osei Mensah

THE ASHANTI Regional Minister-designate, Simon Osei-Mensah, says he will push for the country to protect its intellectual property right in Kente designs as a way to sustain traditional and cultural heritage.

According to him, he had previously discussed the idea with the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the need to make Kente designs exclusive to the country.

Answering questions at his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Osei-Mensah said this would also protect the country’s textile industry from cheap imports of Kente designs that are smuggled into Ghana.

He disclosed that some countries had begun pirating the designs of Kente and that until the nation took steps to protect inventor’s rights of Kente, it would be difficult to stop these pirates.

“Some other countries are coming out with some designs that appear to be Kente and until we get the patent right for Kente, it will be difficult,” he stressed.

“If we are able to obtain patent rights for the weaving of Kente, it will help us improve the culture of this country and boost tourism,” the nominee asserted.

Mr. Osei-Mensah disclosed that he intended to promote tourism in the Ashanti Region and make it a source of revenue for the country, pointing out that there were plans in place to revamp Lake Bosomtwi, a natural lake, to boost tourism potentials of the region.

According to him, some investors had already expressed interest in Lake Bosomtwi to make it an attractive tourist destination, intimating that he asked the investors to submit detailed proposals, which would be looked at.

“We want to see if it is possible to develop Lake Bosomtwi into an integrated international eco-tourism centre where people can go and visit. That is the only natural lake in West Africa and if we are able to develop it, it will help us a lot,” he argued.

By Ernest Kofi Adu