604. The delegation of Japan appreciates the delegation of United States of America for introducing our concept paper. As stated in our concept paper, document , encouraging women's participation in the IP system can open doors to financing, growth of a business, and further opportunities, and also benefits society in knowledge sharing and fostering innovation. Taking this opportunity, the delegation of Japan would like to briefly introduce a branding project in Kenya, which was financing came from Japan Funds-in-Trust as an effort relative to this agenda item, "Women and IP".
605. This is the project to support a community of women basket weavers in Kenya's Taita Taveta County in acquiring a collective mark for basket which made of fibres derived from sisal plant. This project was implemented from 2016 to 2017, and led by WIPO, in cooperation with the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), the One Village One Product Program (OVOP) Kenya, and the Taita Taveta County Government. A year of work with WIPO and partners is as follows: an association was formed by women basket weaving groups from different villages; quality standards were set, and training sessions organized; women creators learned about the intellectual property (IP) system, and legal and graphic design assistance was provided.
606. In addition, the women basket weavers have obtained a collective mark, a tool for branding their baskets as an achievement of this project. The "Taita Basket" mark is a strategic IP tool for developing their regional brand, which would allow the basket weavers to command higher prices, increase sales and improve their standards of living. Once the quality of the brand is well-known, it would help to justify the fair prices that the baskets warrant, bring more profit to the women creators, and improve their quality of life. In this project, not only did more than 400 women basket weavers in Taita Taveta County learn about the IP system, but they also became active users. We hope this project would become a successful example of how to enhance the brand value of African products by leveraging IP. Similar projects have been profiting in Ghana and Botswana that the delegation of Japan also looks forward to sharing experiences with other Members.
607. The delegation of Japan also looks forward to sharing experiences with other Members.