Bemanya Twebaze, the new Director General of the African Intellectual Property Organisation

Uganda’s Bemanya Twebaze has been elected as the next Director General of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), the ministry of foreign affairs has revealed.

Bemanya who currently serves as the Registrar General, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), was elected by the Administrative Council of ARIPO during its 44th session in Harare, Zimbabwe on 17th November 2020. He will become the 5th Director General for the ARIPO.

“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.

“The 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,” the ministry of foreign affairs says in a statement.

Twebaze, becomes the second Ugandan to head ARIPO after the late Justice Jeremiah Herbert Ntabgoba who was the organization first Director-General, from June 1, 1981 to August 31, 1987.

What ARIPO does

ARIPO is an intergovernmental 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 geographic indication) matters, with the objective of pooling and financial and human resources, and seeking technological advancement of economic, social and 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.