The African Intellectual Property Organization, commonly branded by its French acronym (OAPI) is composed of 16 (sixteen) west and Central African countries that are former French colonies. The member states are: Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo and Equatoria Guinea.
OAPI member states have acceded to a number of international conventions with respect to the protection of intellectual property, including the Paris Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Berne Convention, the Hague Agreement concerning the international deposit of Industrial Designs, the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Marrakech Agreement establishing theWorld Trade Organization, including the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
OAPI is in charge of implementing normal administrative procedure, resulting from a uniform system for the protection of intellectual property rights, in light of the international conventions to which its member states have acceded. The states of the union also strive to create a common system of protection against unfair competition. They strive to attain the role of intellectual property in achieving the aim of technological development.