In an essay published in 2002, the late Kenyan scholar, Ali Mazrui, asked the critical question of who killed democracy in Africa. In his archetypal incisive take on African issues, Ali Mazrui delved into history to identify both internal and external forces that have conspired to commit the crime of “democra-cide”. Suffice to say that although the political dynamics of the continent has evolved, many of the culprits mentioned by Ali Mazrui are still busy at the slaughter slab, shredding democracy into bits.
European Union (EU)
The current international, regional and national architecture of Intellectual Property law confers privileges to foreign transitional interest blocks in order to profit from patents by extending, trademarks, copyrights and so on for longer periods of time. This legal enclave diminishes the possibility of developing technologies, including diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and other medical supplies vital to treating patients infected by COVID-19 and it hampers efforts to distribute them in a timely manner to all the countries currently affected by the pandemic. However, the creative elements of a new global system are emerging now, one characterized by coordination between WIPO, WTO and WHO.
Drawing from comparative experiences, it is opined that a systematic academic study of private international law might create the required strong political will and institutional support (which is absent at the moment) that is necessary to give private international law its true place in Africa.
As this article focuses on comparative legal research, before choosing to employ it, it is critical to understand what it constitutes. Hoecke notes that, ‘researchers get easily lost when embarking on a comparative legal research. The main reason being that there is no agreement on the kind of methodology to be followed, nor even on the methodologies that could be followed’. According to Paris the lack of definition of what comparative law is, or what the method of comparative law is has exacerbated the situation.
Intra Africa trade remains at its lowest ebb and perhaps this sad state of affairs can only be remedied by the actualization of the envisaged Africa Economic Community (AEC). To this extent RIAs, such as those under study in this paper, offer viable building blocks and learning curves for negotiating in the much larger multilateral trade system.