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Published By:Mary C. Gwera

By Upendo L. Ngitiri, Switzerland 

The Judiciary of Tanzania delegation led by His Lordship the Principal Judge, Hon. Mr. Mustapher Mohamed Siyani paid a courtesy visit to the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, on 13th November, 2023 following an invitation of WIPO Director General.

The aim of the visit was to discuss collaboration endeavors between WIPO and the Judiciary of Tanzania and to participate in the WIPO Annual Judges Forum.

During the reception, the Principal Judge congratulated Mr. Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO, for his outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment displayed by various WIPO works which harnessed and strengthened the effective use of IP for social, cultural and economic development across the world and   promoted innovation and creativity. 

He also conveyed his appreciations to Dr. Marco Aleman, Assistant Director General of WIPO, IP and Innovation Ecosystem Sector, for the substantive works undertaken to build Judicial Capacity in Tanzania.  The Principal Judge thanked WIPO for their immense contribution that has improved the provision of justice in the area of intellectual property (IP) in Tanzania. 

Hon. Justice Siyani emphasized that the Judiciary of Tanzania has immensely benefited through various judicial experiences and capacity building programmes, training materials designed for the Judiciary of Tanzania and publication of decisions and their respective summary in the WIPO Lex Judgment database.  He commended Ms. Eun-Joo Min, Director of the WIPO Judicial Institute, for the close collaboration which has led to these remarkable achievements. 

He also complimented the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre for enhancing mediation services within the Judiciary of Tanzania through mediation training programmes, provision of online case administration tools to the High Court of Tanzania, Mediation Centre and the accreditation of seven Tanzania Judges to serve as WIPO Mediators. 

 Hon. Justice Siyani acknowledged that a total of 815 Judicial Officers (Judges and Magistrates) have benefited from various capacity building activities undertaken by WIPO in collaboration with the Judiciary of Tanzania since 2019. He  also  thanked the WIPO Division for Africa and WIPO Division for LDCs for supporting the country project at the initial stage which acted as a bridge to the great relationship between WIPO and the Judiciary.

On his part, Dr. Aleman Marco, thanked the Principal Judge and his delegation for visiting WIPO. He added that WIPO appreciates and values the close cooperation between the Judiciary of Tanzania and WIPO. He said that “WIPO is gratified by the excellent collaboration between the Judiciary of the United Republic of Tanzania and WIPO.  This partnership started in 2019 and has evolved into a comprehensive collaboration with a Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2021. The MoU has planted seeds for an extremely productive relationship between the two institutions. In over two years, a lot has been accomplished and we are particularly pleased with the fruits of this collaboration.   I look forward to further strengthening our partnership and working together toward shared goals.".

Following the discussion held thereafter, Dr. Aleman said that WIPO in cooperation with the Judiciary will organize a face-to-face workshop next year in Tanzania which will be facilitated by Expert Judges from various countries and WIPO Officials.

He also stated that WIPO will publish Tanzania Courts' current IP decisions in the WIPO Lex judgment database and cooperate with the Judiciary of Tanzania to prepare a summary of those decisions.

Besides that, he remarked that WIPO will consider the request to integrate the WIPO Lex judgment database in the Judiciary of Tanzania website so that Judges and Magistrates can access decisions available in the WIPO Lex directly through the judiciary web and the request to take onboard the Judiciary of Zanzibar in various judicial capacity building activities undertaken by WIPO. 

After the reception, the Judiciary of Tanzania delegation was taken through various activities undertaken by the WIPO Academy to promote IP education worldwide. The WIPO Academy promised to continue working closely with the Judiciary of Tanzania by offering the distance learning General course   on IP for Judges and WIPO Academy’s course customization service, in order to adapt the content in accordance with   the national legislation and jurisprudence, which will further develop the IP skills of Judicial Officers in Tanzania.

The delegates who accompanied the Principal Judge were  Hon. Wilbert Chuma, Judge of the High Court of Tanzania and Former Chief Registrar, Hon. Aidan Mwilapa, Deputy Registrar and Personal Assistant to the Principal Judge, Hon. Jovine Bishanga, Senior Resident Magistrate and Personal Assistant to the Chief Registrar as well as Hon. Upendo Ngitiri, Senior Resident Magistrate and Focal Person for the Judiciary of Tanzania-WIPO collaboration.  

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