Queen Mary Alumni

Alumni profile - Grace Ama Issahaque

To mark Black History Month and its 2021 theme, Grace Ama Issahaque reflects on why she is 'Proud to Be' in regards to her education and career, her country, and the inspiring individuals who have come before her and who will follow in her footsteps in the legal sector. 

(Computer and Communications Law LLM, 2017)

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"My name is Grace Ama Issahaque and I am a proud Ghanaian by birth. I graduated from the University of Ghana in 1990 and I was called to the Ghana Bar in October 1992. I then went on to obtain a master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Turin in 2004 and in Computer and Communication Law from Queen Mary University of London in 2017.

As a Chief State Attorney at the Registrar - General’s Department, Ministry of Justice in Ghana, Accra, I serve as the Head of the Industrial Property Office of the Registrar - General’s Department and Deputy to the Registrar General.

I have deep knowledge and experience in intellectual property, international law, computer and communication law and company law. I have worked in different capacities at the Attorney General’s Office as a former Prosecutor at the Prosecution Division and now Registrar General’s Department where my responsibilities include administration and registration of company law and intellectual property law. I also lecture part-time to impart knowledge to others.

Creativity and innovation abound on the African continent and particularly so in my country, Ghana. Black History Month reminds me of the capability of Black people to thrive and survive in a challenging world, as well as their passion to forge on and do much better than in the past. 

I have represented my country in many international fora including ECOWAS/ACP, EU Partnership Agreement on Intellectual Property, Swakopmund Treaty on Traditional Knowledge and Genetic Resources, Arusha Protocol on Plant Varieties, Singapore Treaty on Trademarks, Kampala Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright, Administrative Council Meetings for the Heads of IP Offices of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), and the Assemblies of Member States of the World Intellectual Property (WIPO) among many others.

I have also served in different capacities at the WIPO Assemblies of the Member States as Vice Chair of the Paris Union Executive Committee (2012), Chair of the Madrid Union Assembly (2014), Chair of the Paris Union Executive Committee (2014), Chair of the Paris Union Assembly for Industrial Property (2015- 2016), Vice Chair of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and Union Assembly (2019-2020), and Vice Chair of the Hague Union Assembly (2021).

Alumna Grace Issahaque at work

My degree in Computer and Communication Law from Queen Mary has impacted my work immensely. It has shaped how the Industrial Property Office embraces technology to improve its delivery of service to stakeholders. Our work processes have all been digitalized and staff now recognize the importance of data verification, authentication and confidentiality rules and regimes. The experiences and knowledge gained during my master’s degree has further impacted positively on my role and responsibilities at a national level and shaped my attitude and work ethics. With the support of the IP Office staff, I have cleared a backlog of applications for industrial property rights spanning over a decade in just two years by rendering efficient and timely services to users. The IP Office continues to evolve by instilling in staff work ethics that respect priority, fairness and timeliness to make the Office stand out as a center of excellence for IP Administration and registration in the sub-region.

Creativity and innovation abound on the African continent and particularly so in my country, Ghana. Black History Month reminds me of the capability of Black people to thrive and survive in a challenging world, as well as their passion to forge ahead and do much better than in the past. In regard to Black advancement in my country and industry, I believe Ghana could exploit new digital technologies in government businesses to instigate collaborative relationships with stakeholders that will shape our priorities and improve service delivery and efficiency culminating in transparency at government level.

It is my fervent hope that countries will use the international rules and norms to provide a level playing field for all to thrive and live fulfilling lives.

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is a sobering moment for me as I reflect on the opportunities that have come my way and shaped my work ethic and social life, and which continue to propel me to strive for excellence in whatever I do. It is my fervent hope that countries will use the international rules and norms to provide a level playing field for all to thrive and live fulfilling lives.

I am inspired by strong, dedicated and passionate women, jurist and educators, who have charted a path for others to follow such as the first woman Chief Justice of Ghana, Her Ladyship Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo, both of whom I have had the privilege to work with on various levels throughout my career. I trust that my dedication to work and to serve my country selflessly will inspire some of my students, young women and staff who want to chart a path for themselves in the legal profession.

I am proud to be making an impact in my field of endeavor."