The Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) and the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that many hailed as a vehicle that will foster the country’s economic development and growth aspirations.
The brain-child of CIPA, the MoU was first mooted in April 25th, with the symbolic event cemented Wednesday, ending a fluid and loose working relationship between the two diverse but dependent organizations. Noted CIPA Registrar General Paul Masena at the signing ceremony held at BURS Headquarters: “The signing of the MoU between the two organizations ushers in a new era of close collaboration and smart partnership, aimed at easing the doing of business in Botswana.”
While BURS is well known for its critical function of collecting tax revenue for government from businesses, CIPA on the other hand is entrusted with the task of facilitating establishment and operation of business through registration and protection of intellectual property rights.
“Inherently therefore the two organizations have a symbiotic relationship which if properly nurtured can assist Botswana to attain its economic development aspirations and sustainably drive the economic development agenda for the benefit of Batswana,” Masena added.
Formerly the Registrar of Companies, CIPA’s symbiotic relationship with BURS can be traced back to the days when the latter was referred to as Department of Taxes. BURS Commissioner General, Ken Morris said the MoU is intended to enhance the partnership between BURS and CIPA in implementing Botswana’s Doing Business Reforms.
“Through the MoU, the relationship between BURS and CIPA is formalized,” he said.
Under the Companies Act, CIPA has a statutory obligation to seek a no-objection notice from the Commissioner of Taxes whenever a company is de-registered. Furthermore, the current Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act places an obligation on BURS to exercise controls over copyright works that come through Botswana’s borders to ensure that they do not infringe copyrighted works in the country. Masena said the MoU demonstrates the high level of interaction and collaboration required between BURS and CIPA, which serve as the foundation for future engagements. In conclusion, Morris said BURS was happy that the two parties have finally managed to conclude the MoU by way of signing.
“The signing should pave the way for establishment of relevant structures, full implementation and realization of the MoU’s benefits,” he added.