Traditional Knowledge

The Significance of the Eccentricity of the Draft Pan-African Investment Code

Without losing sight of the gaps in the PAIC, it is submitted that, even though it is not yet officially adopted as a binding instrument (given the uncertainty surrounding its official adoption), the PAIC can be important for African states. Primarily, as envisaged in its Article 2 (1), it can serve as a guideline for preparing model BITs as well as negotiating BITs with African and non-African states.

Through Her Lens: Phenomenal Views on Intellectual Property Rights

The International Women’s Day is an opportune time to recognise and celebrate female scholars. This post spotlights five female scholars of African descent, Professor Ruth Okediji, Professor Olufunmilayo Arewa, Professor Caroline Ncube, Dr Amaka Vanni and Dr Chijioke Okorie, for their outstanding contributions to the multifaceted and often esoteric intellectual property rights (IPRs) debates

Access to Food and Intellectual Property Rights: Commentary on the Draft UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts

This commentary considers the access to food component of the draft UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts (Guide) and voices its silence on intellectual property rights (IPRs). In the past decade, foreign investors have increased the number of investments in the long-term lease of arable land, especially in Africa, and in the Global South, generally. The reasons for the choice of these locations include the availability of large portions of inexpensive agricultural land, inexpensive local labour and favourable climatic conditions for crop production. The Guide proposes more responsible investments in agriculture from public and private sector investors as a way to achieve, inter alia ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Zero Hunger’ (Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2).

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.

Intellectual Property and Innovation for National Development: Lessons from South Africa

This essay will briefly highlight some key policy and legal steps South Africa (SA) has adopted to take advantage of the gains of IP and innovation for its national development. It will then draw lessons from that experience that IP negotiations in the AfCTA can benefit from.

The Critical Concept of International Intellectual Property Law as the Encryption of Disparity for Africa in the Global Market

Although the restructuring of the existing legal framework is unavoidable, the solution must be carefully sought in a conducive, fair and equitable manner to ensure the needs and interest of the marginalised communities should be considered. It is possible that this approach may provoke controversy, but it is vital ensuring uniform and equitable legal framework that address the need and interest of the marginalised communities to find a balance in the system.

What Should the AfCFTA's IP Agenda Be?

Intellectual Property (IP) is one of the three items currently under negotiation in Phase II of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA negotiations include IP because of the continued relevance of the innovative and creative sectors to trade in goods and services across the globe. With a focus on Pharmaceutical Patents, Plant Variety Protection (PVP), Geographical Indications (GIs) and Traditional Knowledge, this post suggests that the primary purpose of the Protocol on IP in the AfCFTA should be to promote socio-economic development on the continent.