Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

African Ministerial Conference 2015: Intellectual Property for an Emerging Africa

November 3 – 5, 2015 (Dakar, Senegal)

The Conference at King Fahd Palace Hotel highlighted the relevance of intellectual property (IP) as an engine for promoting creativity, innovation, scientific and technological transformation of African economies.

Africa has a great tradition of innovation and creativity… and innovation is a central driver of economic growth, development and better jobs. It is the key for firms to compete successfully in the global marketplace… Intellectual property is an indispensable mechanism for translating knowledge into commercial assets – IP rights create a secure environment for investment in innovation and provide a legal framework for trading in intellectual assets.

Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General

Related meetings

Jointly organized by WIPO, the African Union, the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the Japan Patent Office. Preview video: Video. Hashtag: #AfricaInnovates.

Africa innovates

Infographic: Intellectual Property for an Emerging Africa?


Overview of African innovation leaders and achievers based on rankings from the Global Innovation Index 2015.

PDF, WIPO Magazine Special Africa Issue

Special issue

Interview with WIPO DG Francis Gurry on IP for an emerging Africa, and seven stories featuring creators and innovators from the continent.


VIDEO: Brand Africa – AZAM. One Tanzanian firm has nurtured a single brand from humble beginnings to a vast array of products and sales of over half a billion dollars per year. More innovator and creator stories on YouTube.


Invited participants to the Conference include:

  • Ministers responsible for trade and industry, science and technology, agriculture, creative industry and communications;
  • senior government officials, as well as public and private sector businesses and inventors;
  • intergovernmental organizations;
  • regional economic and IP institutions; and
  • opinion leaders from within and outside Africa.

Limited space is available for the public, for more information please contact us.


The three-day Conference will consist of a High-level/Plenary session, two parallel break-away clusters and a panel discussion. Each break away cluster and discussion segment will consist of four panelists and a moderator who will guide the discussions between the panelists and participants.

  • High Level Segment/Plenary Session – Africa in a Knowledge-Based Economy-Challenges and Opportunities
  • Cluster I - Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the transformation of African Economies
  • Cluster II - Copyright and Creativity for the Transformation of African Economies
  • Panel Discussion on the African Fashion Industry: Capturing Value through IP PDF, Brochure on African Fashion Industry capturing value through IP

Detailed program

Technical documents

  • Agenda 2063 PDF,Agenda 2063
  • Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 PDF, Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024
  • Inclusive Green Economy and structural Transformation in Africa PDF, nclusive Green Economy and structural Transformation in Africa
  • Africa Competitiveness Report 2013 PDF,Africa Competitiveness Report 2013
  • At the Center of Africa’s Transformation – Strategy for 2013-2022 PDF, At the Center of Africa’s Transformation – Strategy for 2013-2022
  • Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa: “Connecting Science “ to transform agriculture in Africa PDF, Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa: “Connecting Science “ to transform agriculture in Africa
  • Common African Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda PDF, Common African Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

WIPO partners and special guest

(Photo: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma)

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission.

(Photo: JPO)

Mr. Kunihiko Shimano, Director-General, Trial and Appeal Department of the Japan Patent Office.

(Photo: Republic of Senegal)

H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal.

(Photo: Republic of Mauritius)

H. E. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius.

High-level segment panelists

(Photo: FIN4AG.ORG)

Julius O. Akinyemi is the initiator of Unleashing the Wealth of Nations and Resident Entrepreneur at MIT Media Lab.

(Photo: Dhillon)

Francis Gurry has led the World Intellectual Property Organization as Director General since October 1, 2008.

(Photo: hrst)

Martial De Paul Ikounga is Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union.

(Photo: biGEN AFRICA)

Snowy Khoza is Chief Executive Officer of Bigen Africa and President of Agape Christian Women's Network.

(Photo: Kingsley Moghalu)

Kingsley Moghalu is a distinguished Professor at The Fletcher School, Tufts University and Partner at Cooke Robotham.

(Photo: unisa)

Catherine A. Odora-Hoppers is an internationally recognized scholar and Professor at the University of South Africa.


Oluwatoyin Sanni is Group Chief Executive Officer at United Capital PLC (formerly UBA Capital).

(Photo: Mactar Silla)

Mactar Silla is an academic, international expert in communications and new technologies and Founder / CEO of MS Consulting.


Nozipho Mbanjwa - the panel's moderator - is an anchor and producer at CNBC Africa and founder of Akwande Communications.