Africa Update 2020 – São Tomé and Príncipe

Registry Visit

Adams & Adams’ Mozambique partner, Elio Teixeira, travelled to São Tomé in São Tomé and Principe in November 2019 to meet with the Registrar of the National Intellectual Property and Quality Service (SENAPIQ), Mr. Domingos da Silva da Trindade. We were encouraged to learn of the Registry’s computerisation project, supported by WIPO, which seeks to create an electronic database of the Registry’s records. The aim is to complete the project within the first quarter of 2020. Completion of the project is set to improve the speed, accuracy and quality of registration certificates. The Registry now publishes journals quarterly, an improvement from the 3 editions published annually in the past.

KEY OPPORTUNITIES & CONCERNS

Opportunities

  • Agriculturally-productive land is being well-managed for profitable exports
  • Tourism sector has good growth potential
  • Discoveries of offshore oil and natural gas reserves can start a local energy sector

Concerns

  • Fluctuating commodity prices can destabilise the cocoa and coffee exports as well as future oil and gas exports
  • Islands’ isolation off West Africa has made the country often invisible to business investors and tourists
  • Poor rural infrastructure impedes economic and social growth

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