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National Technical Working Group for the Protection and Promotion of GIs in Nigeria

National Technical Working Group for the Protection and Promotion of GIs in Nigeria

Geographical Indications (GIs) is an aspect of Intellectual Property Rights that applies to products whose unique attributes, characteristics, features or popularity is obtained from their geographical origin. Nigeria has about 10,000 potential geographical indications products. Among them are Benue-yam( which is misappropriated and rebranded as Ghana yams in overseas markets), cotton from Taraba, Nsukka yellow pepper (Ose Nsukka), Potatoes from Plateau region; Sokoto red goatskin (misappropriated as morocco leather); the Kebbi Rice (Lake Rice); Abakaliki Rice; Ofada Rice; Ijebu garri; and Gongola highland tea, etc.
Unlike other jurisdictions, the economic importance of geographical indications and their use in commerce in the modern international market economy has not been harnessed in Nigeria. Consequently, the European Union Intellectual Property Office and European Union Commission co-founded and funded Africa Intellectual Property and Innovation(AfrIPI) Project is supporting the Nigerian government create enabling environment for the protection and promotion of GIs in Nigeria with Africa International Trade & Commerce Research (AITCR) serve as the national partner coordinating the activities of the established Technical Working Group (TWG) to protect and promote Nigerian GIs.
The goal of the Technical Working Group is to develop and submit an appropriate bill for the protection and promotion of GIs in Nigeria. The TWG on GI has been working assiduously on this goal since September 2021. The TWG recently had a physical meeting in Nigerian Export and Promotion Council Conference Hall in October 2012 to consider the provisions of the draft bill being developed.
A national conference on creating legal and institutional frameworks for Geographical indications in Nigeria was held in Abuja 17th-18th February, 2022.

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