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

WIPO & Donor Community to Explore Ways to Enhance use of IP for Development

Geneva, November 2, 2009

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is hosting an international conference in Geneva on November 5 and 6, 2009 to help improve understanding among the donor community of the key developmental role of IP, to encourage their support for intellectual property-related development projects and improve access by developing countries, particularly least developed countries (LDCs) and countries in Africa, to donor funding for such projects.  

The Conference will demonstrate, in particular, to bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, the relevance of intellectual property (IP) to development and to explain how developing countries can use IP to facilitate their economic, social and cultural development, in particular in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  

The Conference will focus on three main themes: Aid for Trade; Science, Technology and Innovation for Development; and the Digital Divide. It will bring together presentations of real life examples of IP in action in developing countries from a diverse set of presenters such as: a film producer from Nigeria (Madu Chikwendu, MCM Group, Nigeria), two African designers involved in exporting to developed country markets (Ronel Jordaan and Cheick Diallo), a rose breeder from Kenya (Bas Smit of Kordes Roses), a coffee producer from Ethiopia (Tadesse Meskela, General Manager, Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), a South African publisher (Brian Wafawarowa, New Africa Books), the Senegalese music industry (Rokhaya Daba Sarr, Bureau Export de la Musique Africaine & Tringa Musiques et développement) and a traditional knowledge expert (Ann Sintoyia Tome, Maasai Cultural Heritage Foundation Kenya).  

These real life experiences will be accompanied by a series of high level roundtable discussions with senior policy-makers. The Conference will be opened by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry followed by introductory keynote speeches by the United Nations Under-Secretary General, Special Adviser on Africa, Cheick Sidi Diarra and the Brazilian Under-Secretary for Economic and Technological Affairs, Ambassador Pedro Carneiro de Mendonça. 

The conference is an important step in building a relationship between WIPO, its member states and the donor community and offers an opportunity for developing countries to engage with the donor community on IP-related issues and for WIPO to foster partnerships in support of improved access to funding.  

While implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda is provided for under the Organization’s regular budget, the mobilization of extra-budgetary resources is seen as a means of broadening the impact of WIPO’s development work in general and speeding up implementation of recommendations under the WIPO Development Agenda in particular. This initiative is in support of the WIPO Development Agenda which calls for the mobilization of additional resources through donor funding, the establishment of funds in trust and other voluntary funds within WIPO specifically for LDCs and countries in Africa to promote the use of IP for social, economic and cultural development. 

Anyone interested in participating in the meeting, which is open to the public, is requested to complete the on-line registration form.

For more information, please contact the News and Media Division at WIPO:
  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
  • E-mail