The IP4GROWTH project partners in Ivory Coast, the Centre Ivoirien de Recherche Économiques et Sociales (CIRES) of the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny de Cocody, visited several communities of rural producers and artisans in Spring-Summer 2016 in order to evaluate their degree of awareness on the potential of Geographical Indications (GIs) as a tool to protect their products.
They visited the Tisserands de Bomizambo in Tiébissou to discuss their woven cloth « pagne baoulé », the Coopérative de Production et de Commerce d’Attiéké of Grand Lahou to learn about the particular characteristics of the Grand Lahou attiéké, and finally the Tisserands de Waraniéné to obtain information on the painted and woven cloths of Korhogo.
Attiéké producer reading about GIs in Grand Lahou Meeting with the weavers and painters in Waraniéné
After these visits the CIRES team organised an awareness-raising seminar on GIs with the Coopérative des tisserands de Bomizambo. This community was chosen as they are already formally organised as a cooperative, because the woven cloth of Bomizambo (“pagne baoulé”) has a strong potential to be protected as a GI, and following the requests of the weavers themselves during their inititial visit. During the seminar (May 7th 2016) the CIRES researchers presented the IP4GROWTH project and then discussed with the artisans the importance of protecting their cloths as well as what GIs represent and the necessary procedures to be followed in order for a product to be protected as a GI. They also discussed how this type of protection could benefit them financially (and as a result have social benefits for the community) by increasing the added value of their products. The weavers indicated their willingness to pursue further steps to protect their cloths and talked about the challenged they will have to face in order to do so.
Seminar on GIs with the weavers of Bomizambo
Artisans from all three of these communities were invited by the IP4GROWTH project to participate in the Regional Conference on Geographical Indications in Abidjan on September 1st and 2nd so they could get more information on this IP tool and discuss the subject with experts, as well as be able to show the particularities of their products to the participants and explain why they should be protected.