Kampala Capital City Authority - KCCA - recently launched an innovation competition targeting university students and graduates. According to KCCA, the competition is looking for solutions addressing some of the challenges faced by the citizens.
"Innovation is one of the core values of KCCA and in support of this KCCA has launched the Technology Innovations competition targeting students and graduates who can give working solutions to challenges faced by citizens and the government."
This year, the focus is on solutions that can improve reporting on their services. The feedback would be on a couple of on-going projects as well as other areas that are still lacking.
"There are a number of services offered by KCCA in the City which include; maintenance of roads, street lighting and waste management," they wrote.
Adding, "it is important that citizens have a solution where they are able to report to KCCA on the status of such services in their areas so that they can be identified and resolved by the right officials in the shortest time possible."
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Yet among its terms and conditions, for participating, one stands out in a very ridiculous way. It requires the participant to give up control over their innovations.
"KCCA requires that upon award of these prizes the owners transfer to KCCA the entire right, title, and interest in and to said Innovation, and any patent and patent applications deriving there from for any such innovation," it read.
What is even ridiculous is that they do not specify exactly what the innovator will get in return for giving up their innovation. Apart from vaguely stating that it's a cash prize.
But, if you've been around the Ugandan innovation space for some time, then you know that the said cash prize could easily be US $1000.
Now, the questions are; Is that worth one giving up their innovation? Is this a new way for corporates and agencies to "steal" innovations legally? Where will this leave innovators?
Update: They removed the part requiring innovators to surrender their IP and any rights to their innovations. Check it out here.