Afro Leo received a flyer by email from the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) promoting its Africa IP Forum that is to be held over two days at the end of this month in Johannesburg. The agenda* is heavily slanted in favour of developmentalists. You can register here but there is a limit of 500 attendees, so hurry.
You may remember the failed attempt by US based CLDP to sponsor and arrange its Africa IP Forum in 2012 in conjunction with the DTI. Their agenda received significant criticism on grounds that it was too focused on what may broadly be termed "western interests" (you can follow the debate on this blog by searching "Africa IP Forum").
The DTI, with its pro development agenda, has also disclosed the position of RSA's government toward IP in general, in case there was any doubt. This position has shifted over the past decade from one that supported IP in a form that exists in developed countries to another that is considerably less keen to pander to big users of the IP system and more keen to promote exceptions and limitations. The recent frustrated views of Harms and Dean who sat on the advisory committee to the Government or were otherwise influential for many years, give us an another indication of just how strong and steadfast the position of RSA's Government appears to be.
"an Africa wide umbrella organization of African IP officials, industry, and IP stakeholders - to bring East, West, and Southern African IP officials and private sector together to determine practical and innovative solutions (both national and regional) to the challenges posed by counterfeiting and piracy (AL - sounds like an enforcement agenda), as well as effective utilization of IP rights to foster innovation and economic growth in Africa".
*the Africa IP Forum agenda can be obtained from email@example.com or by clicking on the "agenda" link which has been updated since this post was published.