Readers may know that last week the 39th and the 15th Sessions of the Administrative Council and Council of Ministers of African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) respectively, took place in Lusaka, Zambia.
Zambia’s Minister of Commerce Margaret Mwanakatwe opened the 39th Session which saw Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) Chief Executive Officer Anthony Bwembya take over as Chairperson of the ARIPO Administrative Council.
A video of some of the remarks from the outgoing Chairperson, Mr. Bemanya Twebaze, who is Registrar General, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) is available here.
Zambia’s Vice President opened the 15th Session of ARIPO Council of Ministers. The Vice President congratulated ARIPO for the achievements made in the last 39 years of its existence, and particularly mentioned the adoption of the Swakopmund and the Arusha Protocols, capacity building activities, and infrastructure developments at ARIPO. During the Session, Mrs. Mwanakatwe was elected chairperson of the ARIPO Council of Ministers taking over from Uganda’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Rtd. Major General Kahinda Otafiire.
During the Session, the Council of Ministers took note of the following documents:
i. Report of the Chairman of the Administrative Council regarding the decisions taken by the Thirty-Ninth Session of the Administrative Council that was held in Lusaka from November 16 to 18, 2015;
ii. Report of the Director General on the Activities undertaken in 2014 and 2015 under the Consolidated Medium-term Strategic Plan for 2011-2015;
iii. Report on the Financial Position of the Organization;
iv. Report on the ARIPO-WIPO-KOICA Project for the Modernization of the ICT Infrastructure of the ARIPO office and those of its Member States;
v. Status of the Construction of the Extension of the ARIPO Headquarters Building;
vi. Report on the adoption of the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants;
vii. Report on the Implementation of the Mandate on Geographical Indications;
viii. Report on the Implementation of the Five-year Development Plan (2011-2015) of the ARIPO Academy;
ix. Report on Copyright and Related Rights;
x. Report on the Recent Developments of Intellectual Property in Africa.
More significantly, the Council of Ministers considered the recent development of Intellectual Property in Africa, especially the creation of the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO) and adopted a Declaration to that end. In the Declaration, the Council called on the Ministers responsible for Intellectual Property in AU Member States to lead the implementation of the decision of the Heads of State and Government on the creation of the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO) which should focus on policy coordination and strategic direction for the development of the Intellectual Property system in Africa.
During the Session, the delegation of Malawi offered to host the Sixteenth Session of the Council of Ministers. The Council expressed its appreciation to the Government of Malawi for the offer, which means that next Sessions will be held either in Lilongwe or Blantyre come 2017.
Also, during the Sessions, the current ARIPO Director-General Mr. Fernando dos Santos was re-elected unopposed for a second four year term commencing 2017.
Finally, this blogger has been informed that during the Sessions, a new logo for ARIPO was adopted as pictured below:
This blogger welcomes readers’ comments on any of the developments from the ARIPO sessions.