Mr Timo Olkkonen, the EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, met with ARIPO (for the second time) and the AfrIPI team (for the first time).
The meeting led to a rich and fruitful discussion, particularly about geographical indications, one of the pillars of the AfrIPI project.
ARIPO representatives included their Director General, the Corporate Services Executive, the Intellectual Property Office Executive and the Head of Policy, Legal and International Cooperation. They invited Mr Olkkonen to the upcoming regional conference on geographical indications for ARIPO countries on 10 to 12 November 2021.
Mr Dennis Schiers, the AfrIPI project leader, indicated that ARIPO’s warm welcome for the project was making it very easy to move forward.
Mr Bemanya Twebaze, the Director General, highlighted that ARIPO Member States should take advantage of the potential economic value of geographical indications through the project.
Towards the end of his visit, Mr Olkonnen congratulated the project team for their passion for IP in Africa. He commented, ‘There is no lack of intellectual creativity but how to harness that for economic growth?’. With the EUIPO enlarging its presence in Africa through the AfrIPI project, there is much hope for Africa’s economic growth.