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CLDP Exposes Key Malian Decision Makers to Importance of Intellectual Property Rights

CLDP Senior Counsel Marianne Guerin McManus with OAPI and Government of Mali Presenters at IP Decision Makers Workshop March 2012

On March 6-7, 2012, CLDP, with the support of the USAID mission in Bamako and in partnership with the African Organization for Intellectual Property (OAPI), and the Malian Government (GOM) organized a workshop to introduce and familiarize members of the Malian executive, legislative and judiciary branches with the benefits of integrating Intellectual Property (IP) initiatives in development programs and policies. The workshop focused on encouraging high-level GOM representatives to create a commercial environment in Mali that protects IP rights by presenting (1) the environmental and public health risks associated with the use of counterfeit goods and (2) the potential economic gains (trade and investment) related to the enforcement and use of IP rights, notably in the context of fiscal policies and scientific research.

The two-day workshop exposed 50 participants from various Malian agencies and ministries, including the Malian Ministries of Industry, Investment and Trade, of Economy and Finance, of Farming, of Health, of Tourism and Craft Industry, of Agriculture, of Justice, of Public Safety, of Education, of Culture, of Communication, the Malian Supreme Court and Chamber of Commerce to the benefits their respective constituents can derive from the integration of IP concerns in development programs and policies.

The workshop was divided into 4 parts which were selected to specifically address IP issues relevant to Malian government representatives: (1) an overall presentation and introduction to IP, (2) strengths and weaknesses of the Malian economy, (3) the socio-economic issues at stake and (4) strategies for incorporating IP in development programs and policies in Mali. The conference exceeded expectations in terms of participation. The participants were extremely attentive and engaged, present at every session and very active during Q&A.

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