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AfrIPI supports the registration of geographical indications in the African Intellectual Property Organization: Pierre de Mbigou, Gabon

On 18 October 2023, the AfrIPI Project organised a restitution workshop on the geographical indication ‘Pierre de Mbigou’ from Gabon, in collaboration with the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI).

The hybrid workshop was organised with the support of the European Union Delegation in Gabon and was attended by representatives of the Coopérative des Produits Artisanaux de Mbigou (COOPAM), the OAPI National Liaison Structure in Gabon (OGAPI), Internal Trade and Crafts Departments in Libreville.

As part of the implementation process for the registration of Pierre de Mbigou as a geographical indication (GI) and its effective long-term use, activities were held to provide guidance on drafting specifications for GIs and to present the results of a prospective study by the AfrIPI project. These analyses are intended to support the action plan for future GI applications for registration.

By the end of the workshop, the stakeholders reached a consensus on issues that are crucial to the success of the GI, including its availability, positioning, marketing, protection, and the institutional and technical support that will be needed for the registration and smooth operation of the Mbigou Craft Products Cooperative.

‘La pierre de Mbigou’ is a block of steatite from Mbigou in Gabon, which is worked and transformed by Gabonese craftsmen into unique works of art. It is a sector that is essential to the local economy, and one that should be protected both nationally and internationally.

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