Morocco to host 2019 All-Africa Games
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
The Moroccan Youth and Sports Ministry announced on Monday that Morocco will be hosting the 2019 Africa Games (AAG), formally known as the All-Africa Games or the Pan African Games. Equatorial Guinea was selected to host the event in 2016, but announced in November 2017 that they were withdrawing from hosting, citing economic problems.
Officials from the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa visited Morocco earlier this month and decided, together with the African Union (AU), that the country had the necessary facilities and expertise to stage an international sporting event of this magnitude.
The AAG is held every four years, before the Olympic Games. The competing nations are from the African continent and are affiliated with the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA).
In 2019, the AAG will gather more than 5000 athletes who will compete in various disciplines, in order to book their tickets for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
It is well known that hosting international sporting events boost the economy of a host country. For example, hosting such events can boost the economy through tourism, infrastructure projects and showcasing the host country as an emerging market with potential for investment.
Statistics show that the stock markets in both a host country and a country that wins the sporting event hosted have an upwards trend around the event. As such, host countries are not generally deterred by the cost of hosting the events, but view the event as an opportunity to draw the attention of the rest of the world.
Statistics further show that host counties experience an increase in trade, and that even countries bidding to host an upcoming event experience trade increases. This suggests that any increase in trade is derived from the signal of being “open for business”, rather than the event itself.
International sporting events also bring people together through the feel-good factor, thus providing a powerful tool to bridge societal divides and strengthen the economy. Moreover, stories of success in sport can inspire individuals and businesses of the economy in various ways.
For examples of investment in Morocco surrounding the AAG, see the following links:
This brings us to the next important topic… intellectual property rights in the host country, Morocco.
Intellectual property (IP) plays a significant role in international sporting events, such as AAG. For example, trade marks and patents can be used to protect IP and/or generate income at these events. A proprietor may thus wish to obtain IP protection in host countries before such events. Morocco is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property.
General points on obtaining a trade mark in Morocco:
- A multiple-class trade mark application is available in Morocco.
- An opposition period of two months from publication of the trade mark application is provided.
- Registration of a trade mark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing and is renewable for 10 year periods.
- A trade mark registration may be renewed within 6 months before the expiry of the registration and/or 6 months after the expiry.
- A trade mark in Morocco is subject to cancellation if it has not been used within five years from registration.
General points on obtaining a patent in Morocco:
- To be patentable, an invention must meet three criteria: novelty, inventive step and industrial application.
- A patent duration is 20 years from the date of filing or the PCT International filing date, with no possible extensions.
- The priority right allows patent applicants of a member of the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property to file extension requests in other member countries within no more than one year, starting from the date of the filing of a national application.