Presentation on theme: "Lead Researchers: Professor Adebambo Adewopo (NIALs) Dr Joke Oyewunmi (University of Lagos) Helen Chuma-Okoro (NIALS) Others Team Members: Kunle Ola (Nigerian."— Presentation transcript:
Lead Researchers: Professor Adebambo Adewopo (NIALs) Dr Joke Oyewunmi (University of Lagos) Helen Chuma-Okoro (NIALS) Others Team Members: Kunle Ola (Nigerian Copyright Commission) Sheila Narki Djangmah (Copyright Office, Ministry of Justice, Ghana) Mr. Vincent Oriokpa (statistician, National bureau of statistics, Abuja, Nigeria Subject of Study: 1. Aba shoe makers cluster located in Aba, Abia State of Nigeria 2. Abeokuta local textiles producers located in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria 3. the leather products market in Ghana located in Accra, Ashanti Region, the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. 4.Leather tannery sector in Kano, Nigeria
Background Textiles and leather form a large proportion of the export trade of Nigeria and Ghana. This could be improve if market preference for the goods is enhanced in the international market. One reason why they are not competitive is the fact that they are of low quality which sometimes causes the products to be rejected by the importing countries and buyers. Leather and textile are high on the list of products requiring high environmental and quality standards. Yet the manufacturers are not able to meet such standards, meaning the goods cannot even compete favourably at that level. Examples from other countries reveal that similar industries not necessarily in terms of product but in terms of size and other attributes have utilised trademarks to create a brand of their product that meets quality and standards even at the international level. Question is whether such examples can work to improve the market for these products
Research Question Whether group trademarks can be used in Nigeria and Ghana as a means of promoting branding and fostering competiveness of similar products. Subsidiary Questions: What are the reasons for poor presence in the market and low competiveness How can trademarks help in overcoming these problems What are the challenges in adopting group trademarks To answer these questions the Shoe and textile sector was selected: Textile is a viable economic product in both countries, both of which host whole sectors devoted to textile productions which are unique to the countries and have distinctive appeal locally and internationally. Thirdly, the textile industry comprises of both industrialised, factory -based operators on the one hand, and manual/grass-root operators who bring in traditional knowledge and knowhow into the production processes on the other. At the same time, the textile industry in both countries faces stiff competition from the international market, and also has to contend with requirements for high standards; textiles being one of the products that require standardisation and strict technical regulation. The leather industry shares similar attributes and challenges to a large extent. These examples constitute areas where useful lessons can be learnt from the experience of other countries that have successfully used certification and collective trademark to standardise similar products, for textiles you think of the pashmina textiles in India. From these examples group marks could potentially facilitate market expansion, provide a platform for effective branding and standardisation, encourage collaboration by the enterprises in ensuring quality standards in the bid to promote the common concerns and interests of the subscribers to the mark as a group; where the benefits of innovations and creativity are enjoyed by all as they work collectively towards promoting the demand for goods on which the mark is fixed in the international market
Objectives A general overview of certification marks and collective marks; Situational analysis of the trademarks regime of Nigeria and Ghana and the extent to which the concepts apply in these countries; The status of the leather products market and industry in Ghana, and in Nigeria with specific reference to shoe manufacturing; the leather tanning sector in Nigeria, and the textile industry in both Ghana and Nigeria with particular reference to textiles produced using traditional methods; The implications of relevant international standards and quality requirements on trade in textiles and leather products originating from Nigeria and Ghana and how they can be addressed by trademarks; Potential challenges in using collective and certification marks for the textile and leather industries in Nigeria and Ghana; Road maps and approaches to implementing research findings; Areas of further research
Methods and Materials Desk top research looking at data (both published and unpublished) to address the theoretical background, extent of research in that area where they exist and other background information Field Research Cluster sampling Questionnaire designed to the extract information on knowledge of and current use of trademarks; willingness to use group marks; perceived challenges to their business, existing structures,.... Interviews of personnel of key stakeholder institutions in government and the industry to understand the challenges of the sectors, level of trade and standard requirements applying to them, government policy or plan towards addressing the challenges, statistics on use of common marks, etc.
Current Status of Work Aba cluster done Abeokuta done Ghana partly done and on-going Kano partly done and on-going Data analysis not done Engagement with key stakeholders in Ghana and Nigeria on-going. The following institutions have been engaged: SON, Trademark registry,...
Tentative Findings The legal and institutional framework in Nigeria -Protects certification marks and not collective marks and GIs - Has not ratified the Madrid Protocol Implying that collective marks and GIs cannot be registered in Nigeria. A trademark has to be registered in each country where protection is required. Cumbersome process for a certification marks aimed at becoming an international brand. SON sets several standards requirements for textiles but not for the manufacturers of leather products in the informal sector. The enabling Act is the SON Act. Ghana- -Protects collective marks and not certification marks. Has not ratified Madrid. Again the same problem applies.
Other Findings The entrepreneurs expressed ignorance of trademarks and those of the communal nature. Some of the officials in the regulatory institutions except trademarks office exhibit the same ignorance. None of the manufacturers have ever registered a trademark except the big textile companies (Aba uses foreign labels). Some of the Aba products are of high quality but their Nigerian origin is deliberately hidden They generally expressed willingness to use such a common mark. A few at the Abeokuta cluster have doubts about the idea ; they regard it as a foreign concept not having any place in their traditional practice in the market. There are existing structures (market bodies) to manage such a mark and in Abeokuta this is stronger. No such structure exists in the Ghana leather cluster. In Aba there could be the challenge of agreeing on a common body since there is rivalry between the leadership of the different organisations. Abeokuta textiles have a common unique quality which can be used to distinguish the product by origin. For this a GI may be more appropriate. The Aba product lacks such quality they produce to their individual standard, but they are willing to support and participate in any program that will foster standardisation of quality. All participants are willing to learn more about these concepts to see how it will benefit them. There is a clear need for enlightenment programs in the form of seminar for them.
Cont’d Quality depends on a number of dynamics: government’s import policy; incentives in the form of tax, access to funding, subsidy on raw materials and other regulatory support; imposition of and enforcement of quality and standards; provision of necessary infrastructure like road network, electricity, among others. The effort has to be driven by both the industry and government. Government role should be to provide the enabling environment and necessary infrastructure. The clusters have potential to contribute significantly to growth since as they stand today they employ large number of people with potential to employ more if well managed and supported by the government. The leather manufacturers in Nigeria and Ghana source some of their leather from Kano. Major challenge would be protecting the brand from imitations.
Early Recommendations Standard setting and regulation in relation to shoe products; Control or prohibition of the importation of cheap and substandard substitutes of the products; Provision of accessible credit facilities; Continuous training on techniques, skills, technological awareness, marketing and competitiveness; Enhanced government assistance and collaboration with the industry; Industry self-regulation and coordination; SON carries out Duty Draw Back Scheme in collaboration with other government agencies namely; Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Nigerian Customs Service and the Central Bank. Through this scheme, importers may claim repayment of import duty paid for material used in the production of local goods, which are exported. The bodies concern should assist the manufacturers in the shoe and leather sector to benefit from such schemes. The scheme is established to provide relief for producers of various export goods (leather and textile inclusive)
Possible areas for further and/or future follow up/engagement Enlightenment programme for traders and government bodies Further research on the best approach Seminars and enlightenment programs to inform small and medium scale enterprises on the use of trademarks to facilitate competitiveness and market access; Training programs targeting key stakeholders on the potentials of collective marks to encourage growth of this sector; Review of the course content/curriculum on trademarks law and IP generally to also address new paradigms and concepts in the context of openness and sharing in relation to IP rights; Collaboration with relevant institutions to ensure these.
Challenges Encountered Reluctance of government officials to speak Reluctance of businessmen to speak because they have lost trust in such programmes Deficiency in language which makes them unable to understand and answer the questions in English