WIPO Director General Francis Gurry opened a Roundtable Discussion on IP and the African Continental Free Trade Area emphasizing the importance of intellectual property in securing the competitive advantage from innovation.
Mr. Gurry welcomed participants to WIPO on February 10, 2020, for a three-day roundtable discussion “Contributing to a Balanced and Effective Intellectual Property (IP) System in the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” co-organized with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI).
“I’m delighted that trade is at the heart of your discussions, as well as the role that intellectual property will play,” he said in an opening address. “I think this is a very timely occasion to see how the free trade agreement within Africa to encourage intra-African trade can serve the interests of Africa.”
ARIPO Director General Fernando dos Santos and OAPI Director General Denis L. Bohoussou each welcomed participants alongside Mr. Gurry.