The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) recently collaborated to deliver a capacity-building workshop aimed at enhancing intellectual property rights (IPR) policies and regulations and promoting compliance with the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The event took place from 28th February to 1st March 2024 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

During the event, ARIPO provided insightful presentations on the organization’s vision, mandate, and activities. The ARIPO Director General, Mr. Bemanya Twebaze, was represented by the Director of  Intellectual Property, Mr. David Njuguna, who emphasized ARIPO's commitment to fostering IPR protection and development within its member states. ARIPO’s involvement in this collaborative effort underscores its crucial role in facilitating the harmonization of IPR frameworks across the continent.

Representatives from various SADC member states presented updates on the current status of their IPR policies and levels of compliance with the TRIPS Agreement. These discussions provided valuable insights into the progress made by each country towards achieving TRIPS compliance and offered opportunities for knowledge sharing and best practices exchange.

The primary objective of the workshop was to bolster regional and national IPR policies and regulations, ultimately leading to enhanced TRIPS compliance among SADC member states. By fostering a collaborative environment where knowledge, expertise, and experiences could be shared, participants were able to gain valuable insights into effective strategies for implementing and enforcing IPR frameworks.

The ARIPO-SADC collaboration on the TRIPS Compliance and Guidelines Workshop marks an important step towards strengthening IPR protection and development in the Southern African region. By facilitating knowledge exchange and capacity building, both organizations aim to support their member states in achieving TRIPS compliance and fostering economic growth through effective IPR frameworks.