Human resources development has been a major
WIPO strategy for building countries’ capacity to utilize intellectual
property for technological, social, economic and cultural development.
In order to adequately respond to the ever-increasing demand for
capacity building in intellectual property, WIPO established the Worldwide
Academy (WWA) as its major academic arm, in 1998.
Since its creation, the WWA has played an
important role in helping the Organization meet new challenges and has
now expanded the scope of its training programs to deal with all
dimensions of intellectual property, including, the legislative,
administrative and enforcement aspects of intellectual property systems.
Its program comprises the following main components: Professional
Training, Policy Training, Distance Learning and a Summer School Program
(formerly known as the Internship Program) which is open to senior
students and young professionals from all regions, who are following a
course of study in the intellectual property field.
All the African countries have taken part in
at least one of the various training programs organized during the year
2000. A total of 53 national and regional seminars were organized in
which 4,079 officials participated. The training courses, workshops
and seminars promoted policy debate and a deeper understanding of the
practical implications of the intellectual property system among
decision-makers, policy advisors, development managers, intellectual
property professionals, diplomats and other target groups. They also
offered opportunities for sharing information and exchanging views on
the experience of other developing countries in using the intellectual
property system as a tool for development.
It is worth noting that training in the
enforcement of intellectual property rights and the implications of the
TRIPS Agreement were carried out in collaboration with the World Trade
Organization (WTO), while the International Trade Center (ITC)
collaborated in regional training workshops aimed at building the
capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises to negotiate transfer of
In an attempt to develop sustainability for
intellectual property teaching in Africa, the WWA is progressively
integrating intellectual property into curricula of African
universities. The University of South Africa has already introduced into
its curriculum a Diploma on Intellectual Property Law. In addition, five
long-term fellowships were awarded to students from Côte d’Ivoire,
the Gambia, Niger, Nigeria and South Africa.
It should be noted that in order to meet the
challenges, the Academy depends substantially on external partners, such
as, intellectual property offices in different regions, academic
institutions, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and specialized
agencies of the United Nations, as well as non-governmental