The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of the People’s Republic of China signed a new Memorandum of Understanding at the ARIPO headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe on 30 March 2017.

The Honorable Minister of SAIC, Mr. Zhang Mao, and the Director General of ARIPO, Mr. Fernando dos Santos signed the MoU on behalf of the respective parties. The new MoU abrogates two previous MoUs signed between the two Parties on 31 March 2011 and 8 September 2014 respectively.

This MoU establishes a general framework for bilateral cooperation between ARIPO and SAIC on activities aimed at improving the quality of administration and effectiveness of the trademark systems through the exchange of information and best practices, as well as through capacity-building activities.

The objective is to streamline the trademark application process and deal with protection issues of well-known trademarks and geographical indications.

ARIPO and SAIC have agreed to work on initiatives to promote awareness and encourage the use and understanding of the IP system relating to trademarks in each’s respective territory. In that regard, they shall develop and institute capacity-building activities, such as comparative research studies, workshops, training on examination, opposition and dispute resolution as well as on IT.

With regard to having geographical indications stimulate economic development, the Parties will increase efforts to promote value addition of agricultural products, and facilitating rural economic development by the registration and protection of trademarks and GIs for agricultural products thereby enriching farmers.

The Parties will meet annually to evaluate the cooperation activities for the year and establish the cooperation plan for the following year.

For ARIPO, the MoU is timely in that, while China is increasingly becoming the single largest investor in the region, there is very little IP rights protection being sought by those Chinese investors in the same region.

The 2017 edition of ARIPO’s flagship programme of roving seminars kicked off with two seminars being organized by the Organization, jointly with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Malawi in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe from 20 – 21 and 23 – 24 March 2017 respectively. The year’s series of the seminars is running under the general theme “Fostering creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa”.

The Blantyre leg of the roving seminars focused on the protection and promotion of patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks and computer software through the ARIPO system, while that of Lilongwe focused on economic benefits of copyright and related rights, and also on the benefits of protection and utilization of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore to the people of Malawi and Africa in general.

Each of the two roving seminars attracted more than 70 participants from a diverse cross-section of IP users and potential users in Malawi. The presenters were also people of diverse backgrounds. Amongst them, were some experts from the local universities, the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA), ARIPO, and Department of the Registrar General of Malawi.  

The Honorable Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of the Republic of Malawi Mr. Samuel Tembenu, officially opened the Lilongwe seminar with a call on ARIPO and the national IP office of Malawi to add value on traditional knowledge and genetic resources for the benefit of the knowledge and rights holders. The national offices were also urged to take leading roles in the establishment of the enabling legislation to adequately govern these new areas of IP.

The Director General of ARIPO, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, in his remarks expressed appreciation to Malawi for her support of ARIPO’s initiatives, which have seen the country ratifying the Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs, the Banjul Protocol on Marks and the Swakopmund Protocol for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore. He however urged Malawian innovators, entrepreneurs and all other IP rights holders to take full advantage of the country’s membership to ARIPO to protect their rights through the ARIPO regional system.

The main purpose of the roving seminars is to promote the use of IP in the ARIPO Member States. Since the programme started in 2013, the Roving Seminars have been organized in 14 Member States and have since benefited more than 2000 participants who went on to share the information with their respective constituencies.

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) was invited by the management of KISCH IP to train their staff on the procedures of the ARIPO system. Ms. Flora Mpanju and Mr. Charles Pundo, Heads of Search and Substantive Examination and Formality Examination at ARIPO respectively, conducted the training at the IP firm’s offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, on 8 March, 2017.

The one day training covered six major topics as follows: an overview of ARIPO, its mandates and the protocols that govern those mandates; processing of industrial property (IP) applications under the Harare protocol on patents and industrial designs and the Banjul protocol on marks; formality examination procedures of IP applications under the two ARIPO protocols; search and substantive examination procedures with regard to patents and utility models; publication and registration/granting procedures of applications under the two protocols; enforcement of IP rights in ARIPO Member States; as well as a briefing on the recent amendments to the Harare protocol that came into effect on January 1, 2017.

Harare, 14th, February, 2017 – CISAC and ARIPO, organisations championing creators and intellectual property rights globally and in Africa, are stepping up cooperation to help boost the growth of the creative sector in the region.

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, has today signed an agreement to partner with ARIPO, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization. A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two bodies today in Harare, Zimbabwe, paves the way for joint projects on strengthening copyright, technical exchange, education and training of organisations collecting revenues for creators.

The African region has enormous growth potential in the creative sector. Royalty collections for creators in the region, by CISAC member societies and across multiple repertoires, grew 14.9% in 2015 to US$68.6 million, according to CISAC’s 2016 Global Collections Report. However, this represents less than 1% of global collections totalling US$9.5 billion.

Creative and cultural industries have the potential to be a major engine of economic growth in Africa. According to an economic study commissioned by CISAC and prepared by EY in 2015, Africa’s creative and cultural industries are worth US$58 billion, employing 2.4 million people. With relatively low levels of Internet penetration and challenging conditions for the rights of creators in some countries, there is huge potential for further growth.

Signing the agreement at a ceremony in Harare at the ARIPO Headquarters today, CISAC Director General Gadi Oron said: “In today’s economy, creators and creative industries are a huge driver of growth and jobs, and this is only going to escalate in the future.   African governments, like their counterparts globally, are realising that to nurture this potential, more actions are needed to promote and protect creators’ rights. We look forward to a close collaboration with ARIPO, including opportunities for research that can demonstrate the huge economic benefits of creative industries in Africa. Today’s agreement is a positive forward step, bringing together two hubs of international expertise to work on improving the environment for the creative sector”.

ARIPO Director General Mr. Fernando dos Santos said “Africa has it all in creativity but there is a need to develop and implement strategies to promote and support the growth of creative industries. More studies on the creative industries’ contribution to the national economy have to be undertaken to assist policy makers to make informed decisions on copyright matters. Within ARIPO Member States only Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania have had such a study done with the support of WIPO and findings showed that creative industries contribute 3%-5% GDP of national economy. This should act as a catalyst for the African governments to continue supporting and promoting the creative industries.”

CISAC oversees a global network of 239 member societies in 123 countries. These include 36 members in 31 African countries. These organisations collect and distribute revenues and promote the interests of creators across five repertoire groups: music, audio-visual, drama, literature and visual arts.

ARIPO is an Intergovernmental Organization established to promote the use of Intellectual Property for the development in its Member States. Membership of the Organization is open to all states members of the African Union (AU) or of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Currently ARIPO counts 19 Member States from the East, South and Western Africa and looks forward to other African countries to be its Member States.




CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is the world’s leading network of authors’ societies (also referred to as Collective Management Organisations, or CMOs).

With 239 member societies in 123 countries, CISAC represents over four million creators from all geographic regions and artistic repertoires including music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts. CISAC is presided over by electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre and the organisation’s vice-presidents are: Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo, Argentinean film director Marcelo Piñeyro and Chinese film director, scriptwriter and producer Jia Zhang-ke.

CISAC protects the rights and represents the interests of creators worldwide. Founded in 1926, it is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation with headquarters in France and regional officesin Africa (Burkina Faso), Latin America (Chile), Asia-Pacific (China) and Europe (Hungary).| Twitter: @CISACNews| Facebook: CISACWorldwide.

Media Contact


Guylaine Moreau – CISAC Communications

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.| +33 1 55 62 08 86 or Mobile: +33 (0)6 62 13 09 16


Adrian StrainAdrian Strain Communications

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.| +44 777 5998 294



ARIPO- The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization is Africa’s leading Intellectual Property hub that fosters creativity and Innovation for economic growth and development in Africa. ARIPO’s mandate is on Copyright, Patents & Utility Models, Industrial Designs, Trademarks, Traditional Knowledge & Folklore, Access and Benefit Sharing, Geographical Indications and Plant Variety Protection. | Twitter: @_aripo | Facebook: ARIPO | LinkedIn: ARIPO | Flickr: _aripo

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and sister organization, Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle [African Intellectual Property Organization] (OAPI), signed a four year Cooperation Agreement on 09 February 2017 at the ARIPO headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe. This Agreement, which is envisaged to take the relationship of the two organizations to new heights, abrogates two earlier agreements signed by the two organizations in 1996 and 2005 respectively.

The new Agreement establishes a comprehensive cooperation framework in intellectual property matters for the two parties. In the new Agreement, OAPI and ARIPO have agreed to: work towards the harmonization of their systems; exchange documentation and technical information; mutually cooperate in the development of training and joint capacity building programs including in user awareness. The agreement also requires that either party offers technical assistance to the other when such assistance has been requested for. Importantly too, OAPI and ARIPO agreed to take common positions on major IP issues affecting the Member States of the two organizations at continental and international levels.

Directors General Dr. Paulin Edou Edou of OAPI and Mr. Fernando dos Santos of ARIPO signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.

To operationalize the Agreement, OAPI and ARIPO have jointly developed and adopted a biannual work plan for the period 2017 – 2018 that sets out specific aspects of collaboration and itemized activities to be pursued in the different areas of cooperation with agreed details on expected results, their coordination and administration as well as the timelines.  

A joint commission established by the two will meet annually to assess the level of implementation of those agreed biannual work plans.


The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) will host the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), from 13-15 February 2017 at the ARIPO Headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe. The meeting will culminate in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation between the two organizations in promoting Copyright within the ARIPO Member states and Africa at large. 

The meeting comes at a time when ARIPO has upped its work to strengthen the existing and newly established Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) in the 19 ARIPO member states who are major contributors to copyright-based industries. ARIPO has undertaken various ground-breaking activities and formed key alliances to help change the outlook of Copyright in Africa. The alliance with CISAC can only help bolster these efforts and ultimately benefit the stakeholders in the Copyright sector.

CISAC is a global organization which works to protect the rights and promote the interests of creators across all regions of the world and artistic fields; music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts. Aiming to secure fair remuneration for creators for the use of theirs works anywhere in the world. The organization with 239 member societies in 123 countries represents more than 4 million creators from all geographic areas and all artistic repertoires, that is, music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts.

ARIPO and CISAC have already started to cooperate. In November 2016, the two organizations and NORCODE collaborated to offer training to CMOs from the ARIPO Member States. The digital licensing and documentation training workshop, which was highly successful, set the tone for future collaboration including the current MOU signing.

ARIPO will be represented by its Director General, Mr. Fernando Dos Santos while CISAC will be represented by its Director General Mr. Gadi Oron. The Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (ZIMURA), will grace the signing ceremony and Mr. Oron will also have a chance to visit the ZIMURA offices.