The ARIPO Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants has been adopted by the Diplomatic Conference that was held in Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania on July 6-7, 2015. Hence the name of the adopted Protocol is: Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. A copy of the Arusha Protocol is available here.
According to ARIPO, the Arusha Protocol seeks to provide Member States with a regional plant variety protection system that recognizes the need to provide growers and farmers with improved varieties of plants in order to ensure sustainable Agricultural production. Eighteen Member States of the Organization were represented at the Diplomatic Conference namely; Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda Zambia and Zimbabwe.
ARIPO reports that key inter-governmental Organizations and Co-operating Partners represented during the Diplomatic Conference including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), The National Seeds and Seedlings Association (GNIS), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).
According to ARIPO, the Diplomatic Conference called on the Member States to take the necessary steps to ensure a rapid ratification or accession to the Protocol and the Administrative Council of ARIPO to make the necessary implementing regulations in order to ensure a prompt and efficient implementation of the Protocol. Further, ARIPO reports that the Diplomatic Conference called on the Member States, Cooperating Partners and other stakeholders to provide financial and material support for the effective implementation of the Protocol.
Four Member States signed the Protocol on its adoption namely, The Gambia, Ghana (pictured above), Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe. The Protocol shall remain open for signature by Member States of the Organization and other States, members of the African Union until December 31, 2015.