The ARIPO Director General (DG), Mr Bemanya Twebaze, had a successful meeting with the WIPO Director General, Mr Daren Tang, on Wednesday, 27 January 2021. The meeting’s overall objective was for the two Director Generals to exchange on the ongoing cooperation activities and future plans.
The WIPO DG, Mr Tang underscored how important the WIPO Development Agenda is, especially for Developing Countries, and expressed his commitment to the Agenda and stressed that there is no one-size-fits-all for its implementation.
Mr Tang highlighted that it was important to understand the needs in the ARIPO Region in order to customize interventions, especially the support to the development of entrepreneurship .
In that regard, Mr Tang indicated that WIPO would continue supporting ARIPO and Intellectual Property Organizations (IPOs) in its Member States in their drive to use technology for IP management and registration. WIPO will also continue supporting Training and Education (MIP programme and the Patent Drafting Course), the development of IP and Innovation Ecosystems (IP Financing and Commercialization).
WIPO is also willing to work with ARIPO, Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI), and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) towards the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that was launched in January 2021. ARIPO and OAPI are to engage on the second phase of the AfCFTA negotiations that will cover IP, Competition and Investment. WIPO also intends to support ARIPO to reach out to the youth, who form 65% of the African population through the WIPO Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector.
The ARIPO DG, Mr Bemanya Twebaze, expressed gratitude to WIPO for continued support and highlighted that the support expected in 2021 should cover, among others, the maintenance of the ARIPO Regional IP Database; The rollout of the ARIPO Member States Module; The participation in the PCT Seminars; Training and capacity building; Copyright activities including the Diplomatic Conference on Copyright to be held in July 2021; and other activities that were discussed in the WAO Consultations meeting of 25 January 2021.
The two Directors General were informed of the planned Biennial Review Meeting of the WAO Representatives. They encouraged the discussions of their respective teams under WAO and pledged their full support. They further agreed that the cooperation should identify activities that create value; Impact lives; Bring difference in people’s lives; and help youth leverage technological advancements.