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WIPO Initiates IP Management Training Program in the African Region

December 21, 2023

In December 2023, WIPO initiated an IP management training program to empower business support institutions, and businesses in Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Senegal.

In an effort to enhance intellectual property (IP) management capabilities, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized three workshops in December across Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Senegal. These workshops were part of a broader project under implementation to develop business support services within the following chamber of commerce, with the support of the Conférence permanente des chambres consulaires africaines et francophones:

  • Chamber of commerce of industry of mines and crafts of Cameroon (CCIMA), on December 6 and 7.
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ivory Coast (CCI-CI), on December 11.
  • Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Dakar (CCIAD), Senegal, on December 15 and 16.
Ms. Marina Sauzet and the participants of the workshops held in the headquarters of the CCI-CI on December 11, 2023. (Image: Chambre de commerce et d’Industrie de Côte d’Ivoire)

The workshops leveraged the expertise of WIPO, utilizing the WIPO IP Diagnostics for OAPI and WIPO IP for Business series of guides. These resources provide valuable insights into IP management and how businesses can effectively utilize IP to protect their innovations and grow their businesses.

The workshops overall gathered nearly 100 participants who benefited from live IP consultations, personalized guidance, and support from both the staff of chamber of commerce staff, accompanied by a local expert and/or a representative of the local IP office, along with WIPO's appointed international expert, Ms. Marina Sauzet.

The primary objective of the live consultations was to offer hands-on experience to the appointed chamber of commerce staff, enabling them to understand the intricacies of effective IP consultations and the valuable advice that should be delivered. The structured discussions between the companies and the staff were facilitated using WIPO tools and materials for businesses.

Image: Chambre de commerce, d’industrie et d’agriculture de Dakar
Image: Chambre de commerce, de l’industrie, des mines et de l’artisanat, Douala, Cameroun

These workshops were organized in close coordination with the respective IP Offices of Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Senegal, ensuring a collaborative and impactful approach to IP management education in the region. This was underscored during an interview held on the sidelines of the Senegalese workshop, where Director General Makhtar Dia of the Senegalese Agency for Industrial Property and Technological Innovation (ASPIT) and Aboubacar Sédikhe Sy, Vice-President at CCIAD, highlighted the significance of the workshop in encouraging businesses and in particular SMEs to safeguard their products and innovations.

By fostering knowledge exchange and practical training, WIPO aims to empower businesses, particularly SMEs and startups, to navigate the complex landscape of intellectual property with confidence.

The initiative marks a significant step toward building a robust foundation for IP management within the business community in the African region, contributing to the overall growth and innovation ecosystem in the participating countries.