Tanzania National Roving Seminar

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The Tanzania National Roving Seminar by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is ongoing at the New Africa Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Seminar being held from 20-21 July 2017 is under the theme “Fostering creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa.”

The Tanzania Roving Seminar was graced by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment (MP), Honourable Mr. Charles Mwijage who officially opened the meeting.

In his opening remarks, he said that Tanzania is working to enhance its economy through industrialisation but which cannot be achieved without Intellectual Property matters as innovation was at the centre of it. This would enable SME’s, researchers; creators to support the development and growth of the country.

Quoting a 2012 study on the Economic Contribution of the Copyright Based Industries in Tanzania between 2007 and 2010 conducted by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Government of Tanzania, the Minister informed participants at the seminar that the copyright based industries contributed between 3 to 4.6% to the GDP which was higher than the hotels and restaurants as well as the mining and quarrying sectors contribution.

On the ARIPO protocols and WIPO treaties on intellectual property the Minister openly showed readiness for Tanzania to ratify the instruments and domesticate them.

The Director General of ARIPO, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, encouraged the researchers, creators, innovators (IP generators) to utilize the regional system.

He said that ARIPO receives many applications that designate Tanzania but few applications are received from the nationals of Tanzania. Statistics show that, of the total of 10041 patent applications filled at ARIPO since the inception of the system, at least 6492 designated Tanzania. With respect to industrial designs, utility models and Trademarks, total of 1198 applications of Industrial designs, Tanzania was designated 784 times; whiles, 43 out of the 96 utility model applications designated Tanzania. In the case of trademarks, out of a total of 2295 applications, 1877 designated Tanzania.

However, Tanzanian innovators and entrepreneurs are not yet taking full advantage of the membership of the ARIPO system. Only 9 patents, 12 trademarks and 60 industrial designs originated from Tanzania since the establishment of the ARIPO system, 40 years ago. This needs to change so that the local innovators can benefit from the regional system, said Mr. dos Santos.

This is the second leg of the series of National Roving Seminars that ARIPO is conducting in the United Republic of Tanzania this week. The first leg was held in Zanzibar 17 – 18 July 2017 at Golden Tulip Hotel.

The two day seminar will see participants discussing critical issues such as the compatibility of national laws to the regional and international legal framework, copyright and related rights for development, protection of new varieties of plant and geographical indications to enhance agricultural productivity and origin based products and Swakopmund Protocol for the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore: Opportunities and Challenges and enforcement.

The Seminars are supported by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Japan Patent Office. Also in attendance were: Mrs Joyce Banya, The Representative of the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Counsellor at the Africa Bureau, Mr. Yuji Nakayama, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Tanzania, who represented the Japan Patent Office (JPO), Mrs. Doreen Sinare, The Chief Executive Officer and Copyright Administrator Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA), Mr. Frank Kanyusi Chief Executive Officer, Business Registration and Licensing Agency, (BRELA) and Ms. Joyce Mosile, Acting Registrar Plant Breeders Rights Office who also made remarks.

Over 90 participants are in attendance including: The Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA), The Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA), The Plant Breeders Rights Office, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, National Data Centre, Attorney General; Office of the Attorney General, Tanzania Film Federation, Dar es Salaam Police Academy, Creators, SMEs, Artists, Ministry of Home Affairs, The CommissionerTanzania Revenue Authority, Customs Department, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), School of Law, University of Dar es Salaam Business School, University of Dar es Salaam Institute of Information, Communication Technology-College of ICT, Chemistry Department, College of Natural and Applied Sciences University of Dar es Salaam, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Fair Competition Commission, Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA), The Managing Director CRDB Bank plc, Abenry & Co. Advocates, Abdulmalik & Surendra, AKIPLAW Advocates, NexLaw Attorneys, ABC Attorneys, Norton Rose Fulbright, Trustworthy Attorneys, Sokoine University of Agriculture Crop Science Department, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, ENS Africa, Copyright Management East Africa (CMEA), ENJIPAI, Tanzania Performance and Producers Rights Limited (TPPRL), Sugar Body of Tanzania, BPRA, FOREV AYMA, Vemma Consult Attorneys, Killindu Giattas & Partners, Multichoice Tanzania Limited (DSTV) and AKT2 Industries Ltd (ALASKA TANZANIA).