World Intellectual Property Day Celebrates Women’s Achievements in SA

Updated on 30 April 2018

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Women innovators in Polokwane in Limpopo were in the spotlight when the trade and industry department (dti), in partnership with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, among others, celebrated World Intellectual Property Day in Polokwane in Limpopo last week.

The two-day event, with the theme Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity, “celebrated the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity, and courage of the women who are driving change in our society and shaping our common future”, the department said in a statement on Saturday.

“The event was graced by the attendance of an innovator and senior lecturer at the University of Limpopo in the biochemistry, microbiology, and biotechnology department Dr Kgabo Moganedi, who holds a doctorate in biotechnology. Her thesis dealt with the genetic diversity of the Marula tree in Limpopo and genetic stability within grafted Marula lines. She is now in the process and preparation for commercialisation of the Marula and by-products,” it said.

“Innovation is not just about a creative idea, but it is the implementation of creative ideas in such a way that they can be mass marketed to better the lives of other people. Innovation and women empowerment go hand in hand,” said Moganedi in the statement.

Breaking the barriers to women’s creativity and helping to nurture their innovative ideas was the first step towards powering change in the field of science, engineering, innovation, and technology. “Furthermore, women need opportunities to innovate. They need education, finances, time, and most of all inspiration,” Moganedi said.

An Eastern Cape woman entrepreneur who had won awards for creating an innovative energy saving device for geysers, Sandiswa Qayi, was “on the verge of heating up the market”, the dti said.

Qayi said her invention, called “Hot Spot”, which could be fitted on to any geyser and saved energy by only boiling a certain amount of water instead of all the water in the geyser, led to her launching her own business, Amahlathi Eco-Tech (AET) Africa, last year.

“AET Africa’s primary goal is to get the product fitted to the existing seven million geysers on the power grid. We hope to improve energy efficiency to help South Africans who cannot afford to have hot water due to the high costs associated with operating an electric geyser,” Qayi said.

Portia Mavhungu of PRD Solutions – creators of Para-Tube, a wheelchair seating with a built-in toilet that retrofits into any existing wheel chair – said that for her the important and inspiring contributions of countless women around the country were powering change in society.

“We need more women and girls to consider a future in the field of technology, a future as creators of the solutions to the big challenges of our time,” said Mavhungu.

She added that remarkable achievements were an invaluable legacy for young girls today with aspirations to become the inventors and creators of tomorrow. (Via African News Agency)

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