ARIPO Roving Seminar Comes to Kenya: Copyright in the Digital Environment, 16 – 17 March 2015


The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in collaboration with the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) will be hosting a seminar on copyright and related rights as part of the on-going series of ARIPO roving seminars. The Seminar will be held on 16 and 17 March 2015 in Nairobi.

The theme of the Seminar is “Copyright in the Digital Environment”. According to the host organisations, digital networks have had a major impact on the way we access, use, reproduce and disseminate copyright works such as music, film, software, visual arts among others. Therefore the Seminar is aimed at providing an opportunity for stakeholders to interact with experts and players in the industry to discuss topical issues related to the theme.

Some of the speakers at the Seminar will include:

– Githu Muigai, Attorney General of Kenya
– Tom Mshindi, Chairman KECOBO
– Sylvance Sange, Ag. Managing Director, KIPI
– Fernando Dos Santos, Director General, ARIPO
– Adejoke Oyewunmi, MIP Professor, Africa University, Zimbabwe
– Ben Sihanya, IP Professor, University of Nairobi, Kenya
– Henry Mutai, Former Managing Director, KIPI
– Hezekiel Oira, Former Corporation Secretary, KBC
– David Muriithi, Board Member, KECOBO
– June Gachui, Principal, JGIP Consultants
– Lawrence Njagi, Chairman, Kenya Publishers Association
– Sharon Chahale Wata, General Manager, KOPIKEN

KECOBO asks that those who are interested in attending the roving seminar should send their details to as soon as possible.

International Women’s Day: Celebrating African Women Leaders in Intellectual Property

Angélique Kidjo won her 2nd Grammy Award in 2015. The world renowned Beninoise singer-songwriter is Vice President of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). CISAC is the umbrella body for copyright societies worldwide.

Angélique Kidjo won her 2nd Grammy Award in 2015. The world renowned Beninoise singer-songwriter is Vice President of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). CISAC is the umbrella body for copyright societies worldwide.

Celebrated globally on 8th March, this year’s International Women’s Day highlights the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. The official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2015 is “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!”

“When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all” – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for International Women’s Day 2015.

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day (#IWD2015), this blogger has compiled a list of some of the (influential) women (leaders) in intellectual property (IP) from Kenya and throughout English-speaking Africa. The women listed below (in no particular order) are primarily drawn from IP offices, academia, non-governmental organisations and the IP legal fraternity.

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End of An Era & New Dawn at KAMP

Until September 2014, the leadership of collective management organisations (CMOs) was almost entirely female (with the exception of MCSK). However one interesting feature about the Chief Executive Officers/General Managers of all four CMOs in Kenya was that they were all trained lawyers.

This month, things have changed.

The Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) has announced the appointment of a new General Manager (GM) to replace out-going GM, Ms. June Gachui (featured above).

The new GM is Mr. Clifford Wefwafwa Mabele who holds an MBA in Strategic Management from the University of Nairobi and a BSc. in International Business from USIU-Africa. His work experience includes positions at Roberts Communications, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Nzoia Sugar Company. His expertise is in Sales and Marketing.

Mabele’s stay at Nzoia Sugar appears to have been tumultous with media reports (see here) indicating that he was suspended by the company along with four senior managers. The media report reads in part:

“Five top managers of Nzoia Sugar Company have been suspended. Patrick Murambi (human resource), Munoko Maurice (harvesting), Godfrey Wanyonyi (finance), Wanyonyi’s deputy Charles Mokaya and marketing manager Clifford Mabele were suspended. (…) Speaking to the Star yesterday, the company’s public relations manager, Joseph Kawa (….) Mabele was suspended for giving out tonnes of sugar to companies and individuals close to him that did not pay up. His case is pending in court.”

Nonetheless it appears that KAMP has decided that Mabele, a non-lawyer with no apparent experience in the music and entertainment industry, is the right man to steer the CMO in charge of representing the powerful record labels and owners of sound recordings.

As for former GM June Gachui, she has already established a name for herself in legal, media and entertainment circles. June runs a successful IP consultancy firm, JGIP Consultants (check out JGIP’s swanky website here). Aside from her IP firm, June is already a household name as a singer, actress and emcee in Kenya (check out June’s personal website here).

Here’s to new beginnings!

Women Leaders of Copyright in Kenya

As a newcomer on the intellectual property scene in Kenya, I’ve noticed one distinctive feature about the administration of copyright and related rights: it’s entirely dominated by women!

These women are not only legal professionals but they are also multi-talented and fully committed to what they do. Allow me to (re)introduce them to you and share my observations about them:

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