Africa IP helpdesk: bridging continents


Muireann Bolger

Africa IP helpdesk: bridging continents

Anton Balazh /

The EU’s Africa IP SME helpdesk aims to support economic growth in Africa while presenting new economic frontiers for EU businesses, finds Muireann Bolger.

Ties between European Union (EU) countries and Africa have strengthened in recent years, and the unveiling of an Africa IP helpdesk for European businesses aims to cement them.

The launch of the initiative during October’s EU-African SME Summit 2021 in Rome comes when small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have emerged as the backbone of economies in the EU and Africa. And IP has become central to the future success of Africa-EU trade relations.

The move is a timely one. In 2020, the EU was Africa’s largest trade partner, accounting for 31% of Africa’s exports and 29% of its imports. Meanwhile, most African countries enjoy duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market, and manufactured goods represent 70% of EU exports to Africa.

IP, SME, Africa, EU, EUIPO, trademarks