On 25 October 2022, the Technical Working Group of the African Geographical Indications (GIs) Consultative Committee met virtually to prepare the discussion points for the Consultative Committee for the Continental Strategy on GIs in Africa, scheduled in November 2022.
The main objective of the GI Consultative Committee is to coordinate GI-related activities in Africa. Members of this Committee are the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the European Commission. By consensus, this core group could be enlarged to national intellectual property offices in Africa, mainly those involved in implementing GIs, even if they do not belong to the ARIPO or the OAPI. In addition, other stakeholders like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the French Development Agency (AFD), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) are invited as observers for their technical support and expertise.
The Continental Strategy on GIs in Africa provides a roadmap for the AUC members and key stakeholders of the strategy to facilitate the development, promotion, and protection of GIs in Africa. The cross-disciplinary nature of the targeted outcomes calls for synergies among the players.
On 11 October 2022, the first virtual meeting of the Technical Working Group of the African GI Consultative Committee took place. The second meeting was held on 25 October 2022. The African Union chaired the meeting, with representatives from the ARIPO, AfrIPI, African Union, the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, CIRAD, the FDA, the FAO, OAPI, UNCTAD, Swiss IPI and WIPO.
The key objectives of the session were to:
- provide updates on the projects supported by key institutions or partners, focusing on synergies between partners that could multiply or prolong their impacts and effects;
- present the strategy of the GI-hub and collect comments and;
- discuss synergies regarding the offer of training on GIs in Africa.