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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

EC supports protection of GIs in Africa

The European Commission signed on Monday 26 November in Zanzibar (Tanzania) a cooperation agreement with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to improve the protection of traditional agricultural products (geographical indications or "GIs") in Africa.
This will involve, among other matters, promoting the GI legal framework, informing producers and other stakeholders and enhancing the public's awareness of GIs and their potential for African producers.
The (non-legally binding) agreement is an administrative memorandum of understanding in which the Commission's agricultural department and ARIPO undertake to work together in development of GIs.
The EU has developed over time a comprehensive scheme of protection of geographical indications, which encourages diverse agricultural production, protects product names from misuse and imitation and helps consumers with information on specific characteristics of products.
Speaking at the opening plenary of the 36th session of ARIPO's Administrative Council, where the agreement was signed, Dr Gift Sibanda, ARIPO's Director General, declared "We took a strategic decision last year to develop geographical indication protection. Through this cooperation with the Commission, we hope to build a system of effective GI protection, suited to African farmers' needs."


Source: European Commission