OAPI workshop: Geographical Indicators

Published Date: December 14, 2023

OAPI in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in Africa (AfrIPI) project and the Project to Support the Implementation of Geographical Indications (GI) in OAPI Member States (PAMPIG2) recently hosted a regional workshop in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé. The three-day event focused on the “Management of Geographical Indications in the OAPI area: Current approaches, lessons, and prospects” and aimed to introduce new GI management mechanisms to participants from OAPI’s seventeen member countries.

According to Jean-Marc Châtaignier, the Ambassador/Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Cameroon, labelling African products is crucial for international competitiveness and is of benefit to both producers and consumers.

While the African continent already boasts GI-labelled products, experts emphasize the need to increase the number of African GIs to capitalize on economic opportunities. The Regional Workshop discussions highlighted the potential of GIs in Africa, especially with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) which represents a market of approximately 1.2 billion consumers.

Drawing inspiration from the European experience, OAPI aims to build GIs for local products, aligning with its Strategic Plan for 2022-2027.The workshop aimed to promote international best practices in intellectual property to facilitate intra-African trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area. OAPI member countries are urged to establish CNIGs to ensure compliance with GIs, fight against fraud, and protect honest producers from unfair competition. OAPI’s Strategic Plan emphasizes the fight against counterfeiting and the consolidation, promotion, and sustainability of existing and future Geographical Indications.

Sources:
AfrIPI and OAPI strengthen the capacities of the national GI committees | AfrIPI
Geographical Indications: a lever for African economic growth – Journal Intégration (journalintegration.com)

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