On 7 September, AfrIPI -the first-ever African cooperation project focusing on Intellectual Property Rights- held its inaugural Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting.
The project partners – the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI), the African Union Commission (AUC), the European Commission and the EUIPO – discussed and approved the AfrIPI overall plan and future activities for next years.
Among other activities, AfrIPI will support the registration of geographical indications (GIs) in Africa and the EU, the development of IP guidelines for OAPI and ARIPO member states, and train IP examiners on international frameworks (such as The Hague Agreement).
Now that the AfrIPi overall and annual plans are approved, the project will enhance protection and promotion of IP Rights in Africa, hence contributing to national economies, trade and business in the region.
“The reason why cooperation is so important is that IP rights are closely related to economic wellbeing – in particular sustainable development, the creation of quality jobs, and of balanced trading conditions. In a globalised economy, especially with the internet by-passing physical borders, it is essential that IP rights are understood in a common way and also protected” said Christian Archambeau, EUIPO Executive Director.
AfrIPI becomes fully operational in 2020. For four years, it will support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and boost continental economic integration.
AfrIPI, funded by the European Commission and EUIPO, and managed by EUIPO, aims to strengthen national and regional IP institutions and enforcement systems, while promoting IP benefits to businesses and other economic actors.
In doing so, AfrIPI will reinforce EU and Africa cooperation to further implement all IP-related aspects of AfCFTA. This pan-African free trade area is, as of 2018, the largest in the world in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
AfrIPI will also pay special attention to geographical indications (GIs). Support will be given African GIs such as Cabrito de Tete and Penja Pepper, as they are beneficial GIs for local communities.
Learn more on the new AfrIPI website: www.afripi.org