At the Fifty-Fifth Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO (October 2015), the WIPO General Assembly, at its Forty-Seventh (22nd Ordinary) Session, decided with respect to the issue of new WIPO External Offices, during the 2016/17 Biennium that priority should be given to Africa. For this purpose, Member States were encouraged to submit their hosting proposals to be considered under the Guiding Principles.
Subsequently, according to the WIPO Program and Budget Committee (WO/PBC/25/12), several African Member States had notified WIPO of their wish to host an external office namely Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia. However, at the expiry of the extended deadline of March 29th 2016, only six African countries had filed their hosting applications namely Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Kenya and Nigeria.
According to a media report by Algeria Press Service here, “following the vote held in Geneva on 4 August 2016, Algeria was chosen since the first round to host WIPO external office for North Africa as it got 29 votes, Egypt (7), Morocco (7) and Tunisia (2), while Nigeria was chosen to host WIPO external office for sub-Saharan Africa.”
Algeria’s Copyright Office has confirmed the news and posted a copy of a Press Release dated 8th August 2016 celebrating this overwhelming vote as an honour for Algeria and recognition of Algeria’s work in the area of intellectual property.
A copy of the proposals made by Algeria and Nigeria to host WIPO External Offices are available here.