On 5 June 2017, a three day symposium on copyright and related rights began at the headquarters of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in Harare under the theme: "Shaping the Copyright and Related Rights Systems in Africa". The symposium brought together copyright offices, collective management organisations in ARIPO Member States and entrepreneurs together to discuss pertinent issues on copyright and related rights and ARIPOs role on shaping the copyright and related rights system in Africa. A number of copyright and related rights issues including: the economic importance of copyright and the creative industries for African countries; the legal framework for copyright; essential components in the administration of copyright at the national level; using copyright to create an enabling environment and the content industry in the digital environment are being discussed.
The symposium will end on Thursday, 7 June. Seventy-three participants from the ARIPO Member States are participating in the symposium, which was officially opened by Mrs Virgina Mabhiza, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The opening ceremony was graced by several member states and potential member states’ Ambassadors to Zimbabwe or their representatives.
The resource persons are all experts in copyright and related rights at the regional and global levels. Ms Sylvie Forbin, the Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Ms Caroline Morgan the Chief Executive of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFFRO) are among the global experts taking part.
Regionally, heads of copyright offices, heads of national Intellectual Property Offices, heads of collective management organizations, as well as some cooperating partners and academics are participating.
Delegates from various Member States are also showcasing literature, products and services from their respective countries’ creative industries in an Exhibition running concurrently with the symposium.