The heads of Intellectual Property (IP) offices of the ARIPO Member States convened in Kigali, Rwanda, for the Heads of IP Offices Conference (HIPOC). The conference, which was being held for a second time and has become an annual event, took place from 6-8 June 2023. It was organized by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and was hosted by the Rwanda Development Board.
Member States represented at the conference were Botswana, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Kingdom of Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The conference provides an opportunity for heads of IP offices to discuss IP-related developments in the ARIPO Member States and to adopt a coherent and efficient approach to implementing technical assistance offered by WIPO and other partners.
While presiding over the opening ceremony, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, Mrs. Nelly Mukazayire said:
“We are gathered here today to discuss and explore the critical role of intellectual property in shaping Africa’s future. This conference provides a platform for ARIPO Member States’ IP Offices to come together, share best practices, and strengthen cooperation in intellectual property management and enforcement. By aligning our strategies, harmonizing our policies, and building robust intellectual property ecosystems, we can effectively maximize the potential of our intellectual assets, foster innovation-driven entrepreneurship, and create an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth.”