Monday, 4 February 2008

Japan's support for IP in Africa - some details

The Japanese Ministry for the Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has reported on the conference, held on 28 January 2008, on Support for Africa in the Field of Intellectual Property. According to the METI report:
"This is the first official meeting organized by the Japanese government for discussion on cooperation with Africa in the intellectual property field. Upon approval by the Diet, the JPO will establish a fund aimed at assisting Africa in developing human resources in the intellectual property field, by increasing the amount of its annual voluntary contribution to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by 0.11 billion yen, starting FY 2008. At the conference, to which WIPO representatives and the heads of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) were invited, an agreement was reached on the future direction of the support for Africa and how the support fund program should be established and implemented".
The conclusion of the event was that, according to METI,
"ARIPO, OAPI, WIPO and African countries welcomed the JPO’s plan to support Africa through its voluntary contribution to WIPO, and expressed the expectation that human resource development assistance financed by this fund would contribute to the self-sustained development of Africa’s regions by fostering legal, economic and public administration professionals with expertise in intellectual property. It was agreed that ARIPO and OAPI should cooperate for the implementation of the fund program, and that the JPO and WIPO should hear proposals from African countries and work in cooperation with ARIPO, OAPI and other related organizations to carry out projects under the fund. The results of the conference will be incorporated into the discussion at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) to be held on May 28-30, 2008".

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