The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is an inter-governmental organization (IGO) that facilitates cooperation among member states in intellectual property matters, with the objective of pooling financial and human resources, and seeking technological advancement for economic, social, technological, scientific and industrial development.
The history of ARIPO goes back to the early seventies when a Regional Seminar on patents and copyright for English – speaking African countries was held in Nairobi. That seminar recommended that a regional industrial property organization be set up. In 1973 the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) responded to a request by these English-speaking countries for assistance in pooling their resources together in industrial property matters by establishing a regional organization. Following a number of meetings at ECA headquarters in Addis Ababa and WIPO in Geneva, a draft Agreement on the Creation of the Industrial Property Organization for English-speaking Africa (ESARIPO) was prepared. This agreement, now known as the Lusaka Agreement, was adopted by a Diplomatic Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia on December 9, 1976.