In 2023, WIPO and ARIPO undertook several collaborative initiatives. While some are still ongoing, I would like to highlight a few of them in this statement.
Firstly, ARIPO expresses its deepest appreciation to WIPO, represented by Director General Mr. Daren Tang, for the continuous collaboration and generous support extended to our Organization. This collaboration is crucial in bringing developmental impact to Africa, particularly in terms of building intellectual property capabilities necessary for addressing the continent's challenges and fostering innovation.
Under the Tripartite WIPO-ARIPO-OAPI framework, we organized the Regional Forum on Intellectual Property (IP) for Women in Agribusiness in Rwanda. Additionally, we joined forces in empowering SMEs, academic institutions, and research organizations through IP Weeks programs in Uganda and Botswana.
To ensure that IP continues to deliver make a significant impact to Africa, we have worked together to enhance the enabling infrastructure and information exchange between the ARIPO Secretariat and the Member States. Notable initiatives include workshops on IPAS Cloud functionality, the TISC Regional Meeting, and online training on the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
On the Copyright front, several projects are currently underway. In March 2023, we conducted the ARIPO-WIPO Seminar on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms for Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Disputes, generating increased interest from Member States for further support in this area. Furthermore, we successfully concluded a webinar on Digital Licensing and Documentation for Copyright Management Organizations (CMOs) and the 4th Annual Copyright Symposium. In collaboration with the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO), we initiated the Reprography Project to assist Reproduction Rights Organizations in ARIPO Member States.
I would like to emphasize that the Heads of IP Offices Conference (HIPOC) has been consistently successful. We recently completed the second edition of HIPOC in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference serves as a platform for promoting cooperation and open dialogue among Member States, allowing the sharing of best practices and experiences in IP rights administration and management within the region. Ongoing projects include the IP School Club initiative.
Furthermore, we have relaunched joint efforts with WIPO Academy to transform ARIPO Academy into a Regional Center of Excellence for IP training. We have also renewed our partnership between Africa University, ARIPO and WIPO to continue delivering the Master of Intellectual Property Programme, aiming to cultivate qualified professionals capable of leading IP development in Africa. The patent drafting course will resume in September this year.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the impactful engagements we are engaged in, and we value this privilege greatly. ARIPO sincerely thanks WIPO and looks forward to further strengthening our cooperation.
Thank you for your attention.
Copyright: WIPO. Photo: Emmanuel Berrod.