The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), through its official website, is inviting applications from suitable qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the post of Director General of the Organization. The closing date for applications is 31 May 2012.
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization – ARIPO, formerly African Regional Industrial Property Organization, is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation among African states in patent and other industrial property matters. It has the capacity to hear applications for patents and registered trademarks in its member states who are parties to the Harare (patents) and Banjul (marks) protocols.
ARIPO’s 18 member states are mostly English-speaking countries.
This week I spoke with visiting representatives from the Copyright Office of Botswana which is under their Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property (ROCIP) and compared notes on the administration and enforcement of copyright and related rights in our respective countries.
The Botswana’s Copyright Office is in fact still in its infancy. It has only four members of staff who are meant to cater for the entire country. The Industry Property Department is slightly better with about 15 members of staff. Out of the four employees in the Copyright Office of Botswana, only 2 of them have special training in Intellectual Property courtesy of the Franklin Pierce Center. Meanwhile the leading national institution for tertiary education, the University of Botswana (UB) doesn’t offer any programmes on Intellectual Property.
Therefore the challenges of adminstration and enforcement of copyright in Botswana are colossal. There is only one Collective Management Organisation (CMO) which collects royalties and license fees for all the various copyright holders. This CMO is called the Copyright Society of Botswana and it leans quite heavily on the Copyright Office of Botswana for support.
The following are some of the lessons the Botswana Copyright Office could learn from Kenya as they grow and develop their capacity: