Book Review Symposium: ‘The Right to Research in Africa: Exploring the Copyright and Human Rights Interface’

In many African countries, the protection and promotion of human rights is enshrined in national laws including domestic constitutions, policies, and guidelines. Many African countries are signatories to a plethora of conventions on human rights including the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. However, in several African countries, ordinarily, socio-economic rights are not enforceable because socio-economic rights are not explicitly provided in many national constitutions. Furthermore, right to research as an evolutive and burgeoning framework in the African copyright system adds to this mix. Scholars including Okorie have advocated for the development of the right to research as a complete or explicit defence to copyright infractions or as user rights. However, the development of an explicit right to research in the African copyright context is afflicted with a plethora of obstacles. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has further restricted access to information and academic materials especially in digital formats and furthermore, many African libraries and institutions are ill-equipped to perform their role of enabling access to information. Hence, this recent book – The Right to Research in Africa: Exploring the Copyright and Human Rights Interface by Desmond Oriakhogba is an important and innovative addition to this debate. Oriakhogba argues for a reconceptualization of the African copyright system from explicit human rights law perspectives as means of localising the right to research in the African context.

The Return of Looted Benin Bronzes: Art, History and the Law

Following the University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen’s recent return of bronzes looted by British soldiers from Benin City, Southern Nigeria, in 1897, Dr. Titilayo Adebola is pleased to present this fireside chat with Professor Bankole Soidipo SAN. The University of Cambridge relinquished possession of a bronze cockerel “Okukor” after students campaign inspired the decision for it to be returned in November 2019. While the University of Aberdeen relinquished possession of a bronze depicting the head of an Oba of Benin after its approved repatriation in March 2021. Professor Sodipo was actively involved in facilitating the discussions and negotiations between the Nigerian stakeholders and British universities that culminated in the return of these Benin bronzes. Professor Sodipo was recently nominated (in October 2021) to be conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, of which official investiture will be in December 2021. He received his LLM from the University of Lagos and Ph.D from Queen Mary, University of London. He is a Professor of Law at Babcock University, where he has previously served as the Dean, Faculty of Law. He is the Senior Partner at G. O. Sodipo & Co.

WIPO National IP Essay Competition 2021: Intellectual Property, SMEs, and Economic Recovery in Nigeria

The WIPO Nigeria Office welcomes participation of all students of tertiary institutions across Nigeria in the 2021 National IP Essay Competition on the topic "Intellectual Property, SMEs, and Economic Recovery in Nigeria". 

WIPO Webinar: How to Resolve Entertainment Disputes through WIPO Alternative Dispute Resolution Options

On August 25, 2020, from 3pm – 5pm WAT, the WIPO Nigeria Office in coordination with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre will host a practical webinar, “How to Resolve Entertainment Disputes through WIPO Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Options”.


WIPO Nigeria Office Upcoming Events

The Beijing Treaty deals with the intellectual property rights of performers in audiovisual performances, notably by bolstering five kinds of exclusive economic rights for the beneficiaries’ performances fixed in an audiovisual format: the rights of reproduction, distribution, rental, making available and broadcasting and communication to the public.  As home to Africa’s largest movie industry (Nollywood), the third largest movie industry globally, as well as one of the most dynamic global entertainment industries, this Treaty bears significant implications for actors and creative performers in Nigeria.

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.

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.