The 6th ad hoc Working Group meeting on Geographical Indications (GIs) was held virtually today. Organized by #ARIPO in collaboration with the EUIPO's #AfrIPI Project, the meeting was attended by the following Members; Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia (Chairing). 

The task of the ad hoc sub-working group is to deliver a draft GI model law for ARIPO Member States. This model law aims to guide Member States in developing new GI legislation and to encourage the review of existing legislation in line with best practices. 

The ARIPO Director General, Mr. Bemanya Twebaze was represented by the Finance Director, Mr. Ben Mulenga. In a speech delivered on his behalf, the DG emphasized the importance of the Working Group's ongoing critical assessment of the input from all stakeholders. He added that the outcome should "enhance the socio-economic benefits of Geographical Indications (GIs) in fostering rural development, ensuring food security, and sustaining the economies of Africa."

AfrIPI houses GIs experts who have also been invaluable to ARIPO through collaborative efforts in aligning the GIs mandate with the needs of ARIPO Member States. Representing the AfrIPI Team Leader, Ms. Aida Galindo, was the Deputy Project Leader, Mr. Carlos Lleo Satorre. Speaking during the opening session, Mr. Satore articulated the EUIPO’s expertise citing that their “extensive experience has demonstrated the value of using GIs to promote the preservation, by a given community, of the typicality of a product linked to its anchorage in a geographical environment. True ambassadors for the country, such specific products, increase producers' interest in improving production practices, boost consumer confidence and increase economic wealth at least at the local level.”

The two consultants who were selected to work with the Working Group given their expertise are Professor Ben Sihanya and Dr. Courage Adanu, from Kenya and Ghana respectively.