The digital platform was produced in collaboration with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) for Funds-in-Trust/Japan Industrial Property Global (FIT/JIPG) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
While declaring the event open, Mme Massandjé Toure-LLite, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, ECOWAS Commission, said the AfricDeezayn application aims to provide a virtual online space for designers from the ECOWAS Member States to showcase their creativity and talent and interact as a community.
Represented by Dr Anthony Elumelu, the commissioner said: “This digital tool will enable the talented designers of our beloved region to contribute to our industrial development by stimulating innovation.
“Nowadays, the frantic race towards technological progress places design at the heart of an innovation process that combines ergonomics, aesthetics and use with our traditions and cultures.
“Innovation and design are therefore two closely linked areas that play a crucial role in the development of products and services that are meaningful to all of us as users. In this regard, there’s no doubt that this application will help to boost creativity in our region.”
Toure-LLite added that, given the current challenges facing developing countries, setting up a vírtual community of designers and innovators will enable them to interact and contribute to the creation and application of new ideas, new methods or new products to improve existing processes or meet many of the consumers’ needs.
On his part, H. E. Mr. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, said designs could easily be copied, noting that: “That’s why protecting intellectual property through copyright and related rights is crucial.
“AfricDeezayn is more than just an app; it’s a gateway to understanding these rights and the tools available to protect your creativity.
“With AfricDeezayn, you can easily learn how to register your design and protect it from unauthorised use. This allows you to control your work, negotiate fair deals and build a successful brand around your creative vision.”
Marcus Hopperger, Senior Director, Department for Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indication (DTIDGI), Brands and Designs SectOR (BDC), WIPO said with the App, IP rights of designers would be protected, adding that they would also get to enjoy the resulting commercial benefits.
He said stakeholders and design communities in the ECOWAS countries could now download the mobile app on their Google Play stores.
According to him, two countries: Ghana and Ivory Coast, were chosen as the pilots for the initiative, adding that the App is in French and English languages.