The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda has announced the election of Mr. Bemanya Twebaze as the next Director General (D.G.) of the African Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).
Mr. Bemanya, who currently serves as the Registrar General, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), was elected by the Administrative Council of ARIPO during its the 44th Session in Harare, Zimbabwe on 17th November 2020.
He will become the fifth Director General for the ARIPO.
ARIPO is an inter-governmental organization (IGO) established by the #Lusaka Agreement of 1976 – to facilitate development and protection of Intellectual Property rights in member-states.
ARIPO facilitates cooperation among member states in intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, utility models, industrial designs, plant varieties, traditional knowledge, and folklore expression and geographical indications) matters, with the objective of pooling financial and human resources, and seeking technological advancement for economic, social, technological, scientific and industrial development.
ARIPO has 20 member states; Botswana, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, the Sudan, Mauritius, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working closely with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Uganda Missions in different African Member Countries, was instrumental in securing victory for the Ugandan candidate.
This historical election of a Ugandan to serve as Director General of the African Intellectual Property body comes in the wake of Uganda’s adoption of a National Intellectual Property Policy to support the existing legal regime, and to further generate, protect, commercialize, utilize and enforce Intellectual Property in Uganda.