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The Protection of Geographical Indications in Zimbabwe: An Overview of the Relevant Legislation, Institutional Framework and Mechanisms



In this paper, I examine the approach taken by Zimbabwe to regulate the use of geographical indications (GIs). In line with its obligations under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, Zimbabwe enacted the Geographical Indications Act (chapter 26:06), thereby establishing a specific legal and institutional framework for the protection of GIs. Further, I take a closer look at the implications of this development and the relationship between the law on GIs and other pertinent pieces of legislation such as the trademark law. Despite the adoption of a sui generis law, Zimbabwe is yet to realize economic benefits, if any, from GIs. I make a proposition that an in-depth study is necessary for the purposes of assessing the costs, benefits and potential contribution of GIs to the socio-economic development of the country.