Twenty-Seven-Year-Old Ghanaian Wins Young Innovators Video Competition

Marking World Intellectual Property Day, on Tuesday, UN patent experts announced the champions of this year’s youth video competition. Selected among 142 entries from 63 countries, the top three winners come from Syria, Ghana, and China, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) winners sent the message globally that young people are stepping up to innovation challenges, using their energy and creativity to steer a course towards a better future.

Twenty-five-year-old Hekma Jabouli from Syria won the first prize with her short film showing a home-made smart device designed to help her sister regain mobility after shrapnel injured her spinal cord. Twenty-seven-year-old John Wobil from Ghana took second place for his video about a new rice thresher, while digital designers Li Binglu and Cai Quinge, Chinese nationals living in Japan, came in third with their story about creating new pictograms or emojis to forge connections among remote workers.

Underscoring the fact that half the world’s population is under the age of 30 and the fastest-growing demographic in many parts of the world, WIPO Director General Daren Tangsaid that “younger people are already working on solutions to shared issues, supported by IP [intellectual property] rights like trademarks, patents, designs, copyright, and others that help people earn a living from their work”.

Furthermore, he said “at a time when humanity needs to come together to address a range of urgent challenges – from overcoming the pandemic, to combating climate change – we must help our youths to realize their innovation potential”.

WIPO has been working to build a more inclusive IP ecosystem by expanding access to IP for groups who have been historically under-represented, including women, smaller enterprises, and younger people, which is why the theme for this year focuses on “Intellectual Property and Youth innovating for a Better Future”.

Created in 2000, World IP Day aimed to increase the general understanding of intellectual property. Since then, it has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of music and the arts and driving the technological innovation that helps shape the world.

A group of judges created a shortlist of 20 videos from the almost 150 that were submitted, which were then subjected from 12 through 22 April to an online public vote that garnered 36,819 ballots. Entrants were requested to submit a short video clip under the theme: “We are young and innovative. Let’s build a better future with IP!”. The three winning videos were screened at an event at WIPO headquarters in Geneva. “Innovating for Better Health: Supporting Young Innovators through IP” was organized to mark the Day, bringing together young people from different regions.


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Written by Mercy ANURIKA

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