Monday, 27 February 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.37: Niger

The 37th in the series of A to Z visits by Afro-IP's Kingsley Egbuonu to national IP office websites reaches the landlocked West African republic of Niger -- one of the poorest countries in the world, beset by major problems of drought and desertification. This is what Kingsley found:
"Overview

Niger is a Contracting Party to several intellectual property treaties including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It is also an OAPI member.

Copyright Office

• The Niger Copyright Office (BNDA) Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Niger. 
• The website for this office is www.bnda.ne.wipo.net

Industrial Property Office

• The Directorate of Industrial Development (Ministry of Commerce and the Private Sector) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in Niger. 
• This office has no website.

Social Media Presence

None found.

Intellectual Property update in Niger

None found.

Conclusion

The only website that exists requires a great deal of attention in order to serve its purpose and be helpful to users. In addition, Afro-IP would have preferred the main IP office to have one.

It is public knowledge that Niger has humanitarian crises such as food and water insecurity to contend with (see here and here), therefore it is not surprising that IP is less of a priority for its government – if it ever was. Nevertheless, considering its rich cultural heritage, tradition and a population largely dependent on agriculture (see here), IPRs and/or sui generis rights - if designed and coordinated effectively in the national interest - could play a vital role in Niger.

As reported here by Afro-IP, Niger benefited from WIPO’s music rights initiative across West Africa and, with this, it is hoped that Niger can see how IP can aid socio-economic development".
Kingsley tweets as @IPin Africa

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