On 26 and 27 February 2013, the Department of Trade and Industry hosted the Africa IP Forum at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, South Africa.  The Theme of the Forum was “Intellectual Property and Economic Growth and Development in Africa”.  

The Forum was preceded by a Welcoming Cocktail and address by Advocate Rory Voller, Deputy Commissioner: Companies and IP Commission. 

The Opening Ceremony on 26 February 2013 was introduced by Ms. Thezi Mabuza, Chief Director: DTI, who was the Programme Director for the Forum.  Deputy Director-General, Ms.Zodwa Ntuli gave a brief introduction to the Honourable Minister, Dr. Rob Davies, but was interrupted by a group of protesters from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) who made their way to the podium, chanting and displaying protest banners.  The Deputy Director-General graciously gave their leader a chance to speak and hand over a Memorandum to the Honourable Minister.  There was some uneasiness in the hall and Security personnel were alerted to monitor the situation.  Dr. Davies then approached the podium and responded to the protesters, informing them about the IP Policy Framework which will be made public in the near future.  He invited them to join the discussions.  Interestingly, most of them left the hall without staying for the plenary session 2, dedicated to ‘Access to Affordable Medicines: Incentivising Local Production of Generic Medicines In Africa’ on 26 February 2013.