Zimbabwe hosts 22 countries for ARIPO meeting

The Chronicle

Business Reporter

A TWO-DAY Intellectual Property Tools workshop for 23  African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) member states began in Harare today.

The workshop is meant to equip African countries with the latest technological advancements.

ARIPO  and  in conjunction with the Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation Project in Africa (AfrIPI) are hosting the programme.

Participants are drawn from Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In the last decade, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has worked very closely with the European Union’s Member State IP offices to develop IP tools that help make their work more efficient and which make IP information freely available to the public – openly and transparently.

IP tools offer immediate tangible benefits to the users of the IP system in Africa, such as, among others, quality and reliability and access to information.

In a statement, the director general of ARIPO,  Mr Bemanya Twebaze said : “The workshop comes at a critical time when Member States are increasingly adopting various IP tools in their offices. This workshop will bring closer to home all the cumulative skillsets and IT tools that have been developed and perfected over time, used in European IP offices, and proven to bring positive results.”

The IP tools generate efficiency gains for IP administrations and free up resources to expand the IP rights services offered.

Therefore, the workshop intends to establish a clear roadmap for implementing the IP tools that each office in the participating states would want to use, organisers said.

Many African countries, including Zimbabwe, are embracing intellectual property (IP) as a powerful tool for economic growth.

The country launched the Zimbabwe National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy, which provides direction on development of IP systems among other enablers. The strategy seeks to spur innovation and creativity in various sectors of the economy.

It also addresses education and funding, identifies priority areas for research, human resource development needs, and the expected products for research initiatives.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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