Intellectual property rights (PAIPO)
IIn the knowledge base economy, for Africa to be a force to reckon with, stakeholders are expected to stimulate the generation of intellectual property and secure its legal protection. This may require a clear policy to drive the whole process of technology generation and the subsequent wealth creation through the use of the knowledge. With the right policy and institutional framework, African countries can forge ahead in stimulating both inventiveness and the generation of productive innovations
Many patent offices in Africa are facing major new challenges as the international system becomes increasingly globalized. Moreover, the desire to build knowledge-based economies has made it necessary for such offices to obtain large chunks of IP information from various sources to enhance their functions. It will be extremely costly for individual patent offices to manage huge databases and related IP technical information.
There are two regional organizations, ARIPO and OAPI, to deal with some of these issues at the regional level. Cognizant of the considerable progress made under Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that requires a common policy front by African countries, African head of heads of states summit adopted a resolution to establish a single Pan African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO) in January, 2007. They requested AUC in collaboration with RECs, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and in coordination with African Intellectual Property Organization (AIPO) and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to submit the texts relevant to the establishment of a single Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO). Indeed, the Africa-wide IP organization will serve as a cost-effective entity to streamline IP management in Africa. As a public-service organization, the entity will thus benefit from increasing economies of scale as it seeks to serve the IP needs of the whole continent.
The project aims at first garnering support of stakeholders for the implementation of the decision on the creation of PAIPO. It also aims at undertaking activities in the areas of intellectual property capacity building for the benefit of member states. Under this program also, seeks to address a wide range of policy issues related to the protection of GR, its access and use which undoubtedly has an impact on the millions of African resource poor farmer for their food and health care concern. This program will also undertake specific actions to stimulate African inventiveness and contribution in the global knowledge pool, thus, driving African development.