News3 April 2019Brussels, BelgiumAgriculture and Rural Development
A step closer to the establishment of African Geographical Indications
On 29 March 2019, three initiatives were decided on, as part of the implementation of the ‘African Union Continental strategy for Geographical Indications (GIs) in Africa 2018-2023’. These actions include the preparation of a set of specific training and technical assistance programmes to develop GIs in Africa, the establishment of an African GI website and the identification of a number of GI pilot products to be developed in different African countries.
These actions were set by ‘the Consultative Committee for the Continental strategy for Geographical Indications in Africa’ at their second meeting in Essaouira, Morocco. They will be officially launched at the forthcoming African Union-European Union Agriculture Ministerial Conference in Rome in June.
The ’AU Continental strategy for Geographical Indications in Africa 2018-2023’ was adopted by the African Union in October 2017 and endorsed as a specific deliverable of the AU-EU Summit in November 2017.
Through the development of GIs, this strategy aims to develop rural areas in Africa, preserve heritage and tradition, while helping farmers and producers in Africa to gain added-value for their quality products. It is implemented at the African, regional and national level.
The Consultative Committee has members from the African Union, the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and the European Commission. In addition, it also has observers from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).