NEPAD

The Importance of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions in the AfCFTA

September 9, 2019

With the launching of the operational phase or phase 2 of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), debates and negotiations have started on different instruments that will govern this agreement. One of the main subjects would be intellectual property and particularly issues related to the protection of tradition knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). The intellectual property (IP) Annex or chapter of the AfCFTA will give Africans countries a unique occasion to deal with these issues.

Variable Geometry of African integration and AfCFTA

In my view variable geometry is likely to further slow down the implementation of the AfCFTA because it is a way to accommodate less advantageous countries or countries unwilling to move as fast as others.  Even if variable geometry is the only way to move forward in trade agreements of the 21th century as some have argued, it makes trade liberalization more complicated and slows down integration initiatives. More detailed research on variable geometry from an African perspective needs to be undertaken because the continent cannot afford the potential failure of the AfCFTA.