ARIPO collaborated with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organization (IFFRO) in launching the Reprography Project in Lilongwe, Malawi on 27 March 2023.

The project will provide mentorship to strengthen Reproduction/Reprography Rights Organizations (RROs), which have been successfully established and still require support to become fully operational in English-speaking African countries. The challenges faced by RROs are multidimensional and require long-term strategic effort to remedy, and this project stands as a tried and tested concept to accelerate
the process.

The Reprography Project is in line with the Harare and Nairobi Strategic Plan pillars and actions that were agreed upon by the Heads of Copyright Offices and Chief Executive Officers of Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) during the Symposium on Copyright and Related Rights held in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2017, and in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019.

The two Strategic Plans cover matters to do with the institutional framework referencing the need to strengthen and upgrade RROs/CMOs, offer technical support, and information technology solutions. All these interventions ensure a balanced and effective regulatory framework that maximizes the mission and role of CMOs/RROs, to enable study visits and peer-to-peer exchanges that encourage sharing of best practices (Sustainable networks).

As tangible progress is being made towards the development of sustainable collective management infrastructure in the participant countries, ARIPO has pledged support through the provision of assistance to individual RROs to equip them to systematically address the various matters arising in their unique

The sustainability of the reprography project is key, therefore, part of the objectives is to build a strong and collegiate network of collective management specialists in the participant countries and to build links with the wider IFRRO community.

The overall success of similar projects will also be enforced by the ratification of the Kampala Protocol on Voluntary Registration of Copyright and Related Rights which was adopted in August 2021 by the ARIPO Council of Ministers and will enter into force once five (5) countries deposit their instruments of ratification or accession with the Director General of ARIPO

Special appreciation goes to all the stakeholders who attended the launch of the Reprography Project in Malawi to name just a few: Ms. Sylvie Forbin, DeputyDirector General, WIPO; Ms. Sarah Tran representing Ms. Caroline Morgan, Chief Executive IFRRO; Ms. Dora Makwinja, Executive Director COSOMA; Ms. Maureen Masamba – COSOMA Board Chairperson, Ms. Tracey Armstrong President of IFRRO/ CEO Copyright Clearance Centre (CCC), our Project Consultant, Mr. Olav Stokkmo and all the stakeholders who were in attendance.

We thank our partners WIPO and IFRRO for always availing their support towards the development of Copyright & Related Rights in the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), its Member States and Africa as a whole.