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First-ever Communication Training on the ARIPO Regional Intellectual Property Rights System

From 8-10 November 2022, AfrIPI in collaboration with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) hosted a Communication Training session on the ARIPO Regional Intellectual Property Rights System at the ARIPO Secretariat in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The objective of the training was to build the capacity of the participants to understand intellectual property (IP) issues and raise IP awareness among various stakeholders. It also aimed to help promote respect for IP rights and encourage intellectual property protection.

The Communication Training is the first of its kind at ARIPO and the region. It has been positively welcomed by the participants, who felt it was important for communicators to learn the technical side of Intellectual Property (IP) and how to demystify it to the general public. The general public needs to understand the importance and impact of intellectual property in their daily lives.

Additionally, there is a need for government communicators and the media to be equipped to effectively communicate the ARIPO Regional Intellectual Property Rights System and the positive effects of the AfrIPI project to their audiences, which can be used for awareness creation at a national, regional, and global level. Many people are unaware of, or misinformed about, intellectual property. For example, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the creative sector are losing out on the benefits of intellectual property.

This Communication Training on the ARIPO Regional Intellectual Property Rights System covered IP rights, including patents, trade marks, copyright and related rights, utility models, industrial designs, geographical indications, plant varieties, and trade secrets, and how to communicate them to the public. It also covered the ARIPO protocols and their respective scopes. Moreover, two seasoned trainers in the field of communication from Ghana and Uganda shared best practices on how to communicate IP effectively.

Representatives from ARIPO Member and Observer States attended the event in person. Among others, participants included members of the National IP Offices, government communicators, and the media from Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, The Kingdom of Eswatini, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Communication Training on the ARIPO Regional Intellectual Property Rights System was officially opened by Aida Galindo and Director General of ARIPO, Mr Bemanya Twebaze. Aida Galindo is the new AfrIPI Project Leader who took up office on 1 November, 2022.

‘Communication plays a significant role in building respect and awareness of intellectual property rights. Without effective communication, the business sector, including SMEs, innovation hubs, and Research & Development institutions, will not readily be aware of intellectual property rights and how these rights can benefit their businesses and sustainably sustain their national economies. At AfrIPI, we are committed to help the Africa communication community to make the most of IP promotion,’ said Aida Galindo, AfrIPI Project Leader.

‘In Africa, IP awareness can transform lives by helping reduce poverty, creating employment, and accelerating economic growth. For this reason, we are intentionally conducting this training to ensure that, ultimately, we are all well-versed with the mandate of ARIPO, as well as the IP system and its potential benefits,’ stated Mr Bemanya Twebaze, Director General of ARIPO.

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