GI Protection in Africa

African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) 

i. General description

The Bangui Agreement, establishing the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), applies directly in each Member State. It  represents the “IP Law” of its Member States[1]. Under the Bangui Agreement (Annex IV), GIs are protected through a sui generis system.


ii. Legal framework:

Bangui Agreement, March 1977 (Annex VI), as last amended in February 1999


iii. Practical information:

Organisation Aficaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI),Yaoundé, Cameroon.


African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

i. General description

The Lusaka Agreement created the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)[2]. The Council of ARIPO adopted the Banjul Protocol on Marks which empowers the ARIPO Office to receive and process trademarks applications on behalf of states party to the Protocol. According to the Banjul Protocol a GI can be registered as collective or certification marks; an applicant may file a single application either at one of the contracting states or directly with the ARIPO Office, and designate states where protection is sought[3].


ii. Legal framework:

The Banjul Protocol on Marks adopted by the Administrative Council at Banjul (Gambia) on November 19,1993 and amended on November 28, 1997, May 26, 1998 and November 26, 1999 and as amended by the Council of Ministers on August 13, 2004[3]


iii. Practical Information

African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Harare, Zimbabwe



i. General description

Morocco protects GIs through a sui generis system. In 2008 has been adopted the law 25-06 which established an effective protection for products other than wines through Geographical Indications, Appellations of Origin, Agricultural labels identified by specific logos.


ii. Legal framework:

Decree No. 2.75.321 of 12 August 1977 (25 Shaban 1397) regulating wine-making and the stocking, circulation and trading of wines

Order No. 869-75 of the Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform regulating the appellation of origin regime for wines of 15 August 1977

Law No. 17-97 concerning Protection of Industrial Property, Decree nº 1-00-91 of 15 February 2000, which entered into force on 18 December 2004 and modified in 2005 and definitive published on 20 February 2006 by Decree N. 2-05-1485


iii. Practical information

The Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office (OMPIC) is the authority responsible for the registration of GIs and AOs



i. General description

In Kenya GIs enjoy Trademark regime protection, which covers certification marks with geographical names. A draft law on Geographical Indications has been prepared in January 2001, but there is noy yet in force[4].


ii. Legal framework:

Trademarks Act, chapter 506, No.51 of 1956 as amended in the year 2002

Trademarks rules, L.N.575/1956, as amended in 1994 and 2002 

Draft Geographical Indications Bill 2007


iii. Practical information:

The authority for registration is Registrar of the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI)


South Africa

i. General description

Trademarks protects Geographical Indications in South Africa. Geographical indications can be registered as collective or certification marks. The sui generis system concerns only wines and spirits.


ii.Legal framework:

Liquor Products Act Nº 60 of 1989 amended by Liquor Products Amended Act Nº 11 of 1933

Trade Marks Act nº 194 of 22 December 1993, entered in force on 1 May 1995, concerns all goods and services


iii. Pratical Information

The autorithy responsible for registration is the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIP)



[1] On March 1977 different French – speaking African countries signed the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) Agreement in Bangui, which was revised in 1999 and entered into force in February 2002. States currently part of OAPI: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central Africa, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo are Parties to the OAPI Agreement (Total 16 Member States)
[2] On December 1976 the Lusaka Agreement was adopted in Lusaka, Zambia by some English – speaking African countries. States currently part of ARIPO: Botswana, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe (Total: 16 Member States).
[3] States currently party to the protocol are: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
[4] In December 2007 the Kenya Intellectual Property Office (KIPI) and the Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) approved a technical cooperation programme between the two countries to to make a key contribution to the establishment of a functional GI-protection system in Kenya and to support the country in raising awareness on GIs within EAC member states.
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