On the 16th of March 2023, Communications Practitioners from ARIPO Member and Observer States National IP Offices convened for a virtual workshop on ARIPO Regional Intellectual Property (IP) Rights System Programme for Communication Practitioners jointly organized by ARIPO and Africa Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation (AFRI PI).

As a follow-up to a three-day training held in Harare in November 2022, participants discussed integrated approaches to information curation and dissemination to ensure that audiences received educational and informational value.

Director General Bemanya Twebaze shared remarks highlighting the need and importance of “developing a communications toolbox that addresses the diverse African landscape & tells our African innovation stories.” He further emphasized the importance of communication professionals in creating awareness of IP and recognizing and documenting creativity and innovation in our communities.

The workshop was focused on improving intellectual property awareness and created a platform for Communicators from all countries collaboratively share strategic input on the communications expectations and requirements towards creating a communication toolbox, which will be customized to implement an effective IP communications campaign in the different countries.

ARIPO and AfrIPI have deliberately embarked on a course to capacitate communicators with resources to raise awareness which has been identified as a contributing factor to the low numbers of Intellectual Property Rights filings from Africa. Patent filings in Africa over the years have continued to record an average of 0.6% of the global filings. The low number of filings can be attributed to the need for more awareness of where and how to protect creativity or innovation.

Speaking at the end of the virtual engagement, the communicators appreciated the efforts of ARIPO and AfrIPI to boost communication efforts through a robust strategy created through a consultative process. A highly anticipated follow-up session is scheduled to take place in June 2023.