Kenya was the first country in Africa to join the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention when it became a member on 13 May 1999. On 11 April 2016, Kenya deposited its instrument of accession to the 1991 Act of UPOV Convention and is the 56th member to become bound by the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention. The 1991 Act will enter into force in Kenya on 11 May 2016.
The objective of UPOV is to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection for plant breeders. UPOV aims to encourage the development of new varieties of plants for the benefit of society.
Presently, 27 countries in Africa provide protection for Plant Breeders’ Rights and 22 of these countries are members of UPOV. The African members of UPOV are: Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania and the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) which covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros (except Mayotte), Congo (Republic of), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
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