Rastas defend intellectual property rights

February 21, 2017
Priest Prince
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Disappointed that entrepreneurs around the world are cashing in on its creations, signs and symbols, local Rastafarians are calling on the Government to seek observer status in the African Union (AU) to help them press their claim for intellectual property rights.

Prophet Uriel, a member of the Ethiopian Africa Black International Congress, told THE STAR Online on Monday that Prince Emanuel who formed the congress, started the agitation for observer status in the AU. He said that despite strong advocacy from members of the Rastafarian community, the Jamaican Government has not done enough to assist the cause.

"We are calling upon the Jamaican Government to press so we get observer status in the AU because there are intellectual properties that we need to defend. All of these things that we make, we see Chiney people a use red, gold and green and a mek pure money off it. If we have the continent to defend we and back we, we can get back all these property and that how the riches a gun come back inna Africa," the Rastafarian said.

Sharon Kelly Stair, a Rastafarian empress, said that the Jamaican Government should push forward with claims to get observer status in the AU.

The AU has 54 member states and 13 countries with observer status. Haiti is the only Caribbean country with observer status. A request to become an associate member has not been approved.

"I want to ask what is the AU doing. Right now we are waiting for the Jamaican Government to take our case to the United Nations and we want the AU to give us observer status," Stair said.

The Ethiopian Africa Black International Congress will mark its 59th year of existence with a day of activities in Bull Bay, St Andrew on March 1.