Friday – Harare, 09 December 2016*, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel M. Addy, and current Vice Chair of the Africa Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) joined the Vice President of Zimbabwe, the guest of Honor, His Excellency, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa, in the commemoration of ARIPO 40th Anniversary and Dedication of its new state of the art headquarters. The Commerce Minister, as the Current Vice Chair of ARIPO Council of Ministers also served as the guest of honor and opened ARIPO’s Conference on Innovation.
The Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is the flagship organization for the promotion of IP on the continent. It is comprised of 19 member states and oversees the domestication of critical IP protocols for the promotion and protection intellectual property rights on the continent. The events marked its 40th anniversary as an organization. It is supported by member states, the World Intellectual Property Organization, Government of Japan, China, and EU among others. Through its academy program, it continues to train lawyers and other professionals to build capacity in member states.
Attorney Roosevelt Gould, Legal Counsel and IP Focal Point at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Mr. Robert Mezzeh, the Director for the Liberia Industrial Property Office accompanied the Minister. On October 25th, Liberia ratified the Swakormund Protocol and passed the new Intellectual Property Law.
During the mission, the Minister also held several bilateral meetings with the government of Japan, ARIPO and WIPO and have task team on mission to prepare the necessary documents requested by partners for support of the setting up of the new IP office. The assistance package will include two one year scholarships for recently graduated law students interested in specializing in Intellectual Property Law and working at the new IP Office. It will also including training of judges, lawyers, examiners and registrars in Monrovia, Geneva, Harare and Tokyo to contribute to building the capacity of the IP Office.