Director General Visits Mozambique, Participates in ARIPO Administrative Council

November 28, 2022

WIPO Director General Daren Tang met with high-level officials and heads of national departments and agencies of Mozambique to discuss how intellectual property could contribute to economic growth and development in the country during a three-day visit from November 21 to 23, 2022. He also participated as Guest of Honor at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Administrative Council.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Adriano Maleiane, the Director General highlighted  WIPO’s new vision aimed at making IP relatable to everyone, everywhere with emphasis on supporting underserved groups in particular women, youth and SMEs. Mr. Tang said IP is a powerful catalyst for job creation and business growth.

Noting the vibrant, diverse and rich culture of Mozambique, as well as the economic potential of tourism for the country, the Director General assured the Prime Minister of WIPO’s commitment to support the country in harnessing the IP system in such areas where it has comparative advantage. Commending Mozambique for registering the first GI in the ARIPO Member states, ‘Cabrito de tete, the Director General went further to discuss how extending GI protection to other unique products like Arroz de Zambézia could help bring IP closer to the unique heritage products of the country.

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WIPO Director General Attends 46th Session of the ARIPO Administrative Council (Photo: Kelvin Costa)

During his meeting with Minister of Industry and Commerce Silvino Moreno, discussions focused on the government’s commitment to strengthening the use of IP as a tool for economic development and industrialization. Mr. Moreno pointed out that Mozambique’s membership to both WIPO  and ARIPO demonstrates the value placed on IP. Highlighting the important role played by IP in the era of globalization, the Director General emphasized the need to adopt an ecosystems approach to IP, making it relatable to all. He pointed out that the geographical indications (GIs) system is a valuable tool to support the protection and commercialization of products of Mozambican origin. They agreed that WIPO would avail the IP user community of Mozambique of the IP skills development and training, as well as the broad range of distance learning courses offered  by the WIPO Academy.

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WIPO Director General Meets Mozambique's Minister of Industry and Commerce (Photo: WIPO/Chavez Prado)

Welcoming the creation of a new Institute for Culture and the Creative Industries, Mr. Tang and Minister of Culture and Tourism Edelvina Materula discussed the need to support artists and creators in order to boost the creative economy. Mr. Tang noted that famous festivals of Mozambique such as the Gwaza Murhini and Marrabenta were a major tourist attraction and could be branded through IP to enhance their value. The Director General reiterated his commitment to support the country in looking to its future through the arts, tourism and the creative industries in general. Other areas of technical support which were discussed included work with creators under WIPO Connect and WIPO for Creators as well as training in IP and tourism.

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WIPO Director General Meets Mozambique's Minister of Culture and Tourism (Photo: Kelvin Costa)

During a meeting with Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Nivagara, the Minister highlighted aspects of his Ministry’s vision aimed at ensuring that women, youth, SMEs and national research institutions are able to generate new ideas and creations and protect their creations through the IP system. He was interested in the establishment of a framework which unites all actors of the innovation ecosystem in support of economic growth. Noting the synergies in vision, and the cross-cutting nature of IP, and hence the need to adopt an ecosystems approach, the Director General expressed support in the revision and updating the country’s existing National IP Policy and Strategy to address the IP needs of the country.

During his meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Manuel Gonçalves, the Director General congratulated Mozambique on its membership of the UN Security Council and the successful hosting of the ARIPO Administrative Council. They agreed on the need for Mozambique to work closely with international organizations such as WIPO to accelerate the country’s economic growth.

Noting the country’s drive towards industrialization, the Deputy Minister pointed out the importance of IP training and skills development to the industrialization process. It was agreed that WIPO’s broad range of distance learning and other IP training programs would be a useful starting point for stakeholders in the country.

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WIPO Director General Meets Mozambique's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Photo: WIPO/Chavez Prado)

In his discussions with Director General of the Institute for Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (IPEME) Joaquina Daniel Gumeta, the Director General pointed out that the challenges faced by SMES in using the IP system as a tool for business growth. Agreed areas of cooperation between WIPO and the IPEME were in enhanced awareness raising and deployment of WIPO tools and services in support for SMEs such as the IP Diagnostics Toolkit. 

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WIPO Director General Attends 46th Session of the ARIPO Administrative Council (Photo: WIPO/Chavez Prado)

In his opening address to the ARIPO Administrative Council, the Director General noted that the Africa of today is truly on the threshold of a new chapter of its development. He stressed that in this African Renaissance, innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and creativity will become increasingly important, and IP will move from the edges to the center of African economies.  ARIPO and its members are and will continue to be at the forefront of these changes.

In a subsequent dialogue with the 22 Heads of IP Offices of ARIPO, Mr. Tang emphasized the importance of coming together to transform IP into a powerful driver of jobs, growth and opportunity so that no-one is left behind. He spoke about the power of IP to help unleash the innovative and creative potential of the 1.3 billion people in Africa united through the African Continental Free Trade area (AfCFTA), into an economy that is already the size of US$3 trillion. He emphasized the need for the heads of offices to intensify their efforts towards transformation from mere IP registries to innovation agencies – a journey which many of them had already embarked on, and which WIPO and ARIPO pledged to work together to support.

He pledged to building on the existing strong foundations in the relationship between WIPO and ARIPO.

During the visit, Mr. Tang also held talks with representatives of the Mozambican collective management society (SOMAS), the Rector of the country’s premier university, Eduardo Mondlane University and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Science and Technology Parks on the importance of a strong IP ecosystem to spur innovation and creativity.

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