The Year Ahead in Asia-Pacific

Published: February 1, 2018

On December 4-6, 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, INTA attended the African Economic Conference 2017, which was themed “Governance for structural transformation.” The conference was officially opened by Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the conference brought together more than 500 participants, including government officials, researchers, and many other development actors. International leaders and authorities in the field of governance research were also present. INTA was represented by Tat-Tienne Louembe, the Association’s Representative for Africa and the Middle East.

During the conference, Mr. Louembe discussed the Association’s growing activities in Africa and the development of synergies and partnerships with attendees from key institutions, such as the AfDB, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the UNECA, and Corporate Council on Africa (CCA). He emphasized that in this new era of innovation, mastering IP rights will be a game changer for Africa.

On the margins of the conference, Mr. Louembe visited the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO), where he had a closed meeting with Ermias Yemanebirhan, Director of EIPO. INTA was pleased to learn about EIPO’s crucial role in strengthening the Ethiopian IP rights system as a way to increase brand value and bolster the economy.

Mr. Louembe later visited Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST). During this high-level meeting, Mr. Louembe and Ms. Agbor discussed the state of IP in Africa, future joint raising-awareness activities, and INTA’s 2018‒2021 Strategic Plan. In addition, Mr. Louembe had a bilateral meeting with Babajide Sodipo, Chief Policy Advisor, Department of Trade and Industry at the African Union. Among other topics, Mr. Sodipo briefed INTA on the latest developments pertaining to the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). According to African Union officials, the CFTA aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business people and investments, thus paving the way to accelerate the establishment of the Customs Union. It will also expand intra-African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation and instruments across Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and across Africa in general.

INTA’s first ever participation in this event demonstrates the Association’s strong interest on the continent and its willingness to reach a wider audience about the positive impacts of IP on economic growth.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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