The second Communications Training on the ARIPO Regional Intellectual Property (IP) Rights System was successfully hosted at the ARIPO secretariat from 30 November to 1 December 2023. Hosted by ARIPO in collaboration with AfrIPI, the event saw the participation of 35 attendees from ARIPO Member States, making it a significant platform for knowledge sharing and capacity building in the field of communication best practices in raising intellectual property rights awareness.

Speaking at the opening session, the ARIPO Director General Mr. Bemanya Twebaze encouraged participants to craft IP communication strategies that capture the hearts and minds of audiences. “It is without a doubt that the role of communication in advancing intellectual property in the continent cannot be ignored. Your unique and special role in society is to inform, shape perception, and enable the free flow of information, enabling society to stay informed. This amount of influence inevitably comes with great responsibility, as you are then tasked with promoting accuracy and safeguarding public interest. It is on that basis that you were identified as a very critical stakeholder in the intellectual property crusade”, said the ARIPO DG.

Communication practitioners play a pivotal role in raising awareness about intellectual property rights. Their expertise in crafting compelling narratives and disseminating information can significantly contribute to educating businesses, innovators, and the general public about the importance of protecting intellectual property. By effectively communicating the value and significance of IP rights, communication practitioners can foster a culture of respect for creativity and innovation while also safeguarding the interests of creators and inventors.

The AfrIPI Team Leader, Ms. Aida Galindo encouraged the participants to take advantage of knowledge from the sessions for guidance in crafting communication strategies & impactful implementation. “I encourage each of you to take advantage of the knowledge you will be presented today and use it effectively. It will significantly assist you in crafting and implementing your communication strategies efficiently”, said Ms. Aida Galindo.

Participants were taken through various topics of discussion and learning by facilitators Mr. Awel Uwihanganye - Head Advancement Office, and Advisor to Vice Chancellor, Makerere University and Ms. Nadine Drummond - Content Creator, Ghost Writer and Social Media Consultant, at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Topics were crafted to factor in strategic communication initiatives that can highlight the economic, social, and cultural benefits of protecting and respecting IP rights. Furthermore, participants discussed stakeholder relations matters that support how to engage with diverse audiences including entrepreneurs, artists, researchers, and policymakers to emphasize the role of IP protection in driving innovation, fostering creativity, and promoting fair competition.

ARIPO emphasizes that the role of communication practitioners in raising awareness about intellectual property rights cannot be overstated. Their efforts are instrumental in shaping a conducive environment for innovation, creativity, and sustainable development while ensuring that creators and innovators receive due recognition and protection for their contributions.