To mark the 2021 International Women’s Day themed #Choose to Challenge, Afronomicslaw.org celebrates Professor Abbe Brown’s brilliant contributions to Intellectual Property Law. Professor Brown is the Dean for Student Support at the University of Aberdeen, Vice Chair of BILETA (British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association) and Member of a high-level expert working group on genome editing and patents.
This webinar is a collaboration between Afronomicslaw and the South Centre, Geneva, to mark the 25th anniversary of the South Centre. Both the South Centre and Afronomicslaw share a commitment to discuss the protection and promotion of the development interests of countries of the Global South.
While WIPO’s technical assistance programme has been seen as less biased than much of the bilateral assistance on offer from the EU and the US, the history that Africa has with WIPO concerning cooperation in the provision of IP technical assistance can be said to have led to the introduction of Western-style IP norms across the continent. Our leaders and negotiators, therefore, need to proceed with caution in negotiating the AfCFTA IP protocol and the kind of technical assistance they receive. They must consult broadly and court the services of African scholars and experts on the matter.
In the webinar, the panelists brilliantly discussed salient subjects pertinent to global intellectual property (IP) rights rules and relevant implementation mechanisms at regional and national levels. In quintessential Afronomicslaw.org fashion, the discussions underscored Global South interests and reinforced the importance of fostering development-oriented IP systems.
This article will briefly examine this dynamic across three interconnected dimensions: (1) flexibility and innovation in IEL agreement models, with a focus on trade agreements, that better integrate economic and social development goals and allow parties to adapt to new circumstances or phase in commitments on a more incremental basis; (2) flexibility in implementation of trade disciplines and agreements; and (3) legal and regulatory innovation that can both define and flow from IEL agreements. These three dimensions take into account both treaties themselves and how they relate to changes in law and regulation in practice, drawing a link between international agreements and their operation that is particularly important in times of change or uncertainty. In assessing dimension three, legal and regulatory innovation, which has been a focus of my work over the past decade,
Finally, we have seen a surge in climate activism, especially from children and young adults, especially after Greta Thunberg launched the Fridays for Future (FFF) Movement in August 2018. FFF is a global movement that seeks to ‘put moral pressure on policymakers, to make them listen to the scientists, and then to take forceful action to limit global warming.’
Financial institutions should focus on the positive opportunities and learning experiences from this pandemic and plan how they will help their member states adjust to the effects of COVID-19 and attain sustainable development thereafter. This step will be in line with the World Bank’s advice on planning for the economic recovery from COVID-19, in the bid for nations to restart their economic engines and build back stronger and better in the short term and longer term.
There is a new struggle for Africa’s market. The contestants include the European Union (EU), United States (US), Russia, India and China. In this blog, I reflect on the new European Union -Africa Comprehensive Strategy proposals. The blog pushes against the Strategy’s revision of the historical relationship between the two regions which is built on embedded inequality. This is because, to be a true partnership, the unequal nature of the relationship between the EU and Africa must be centered. In the contest for its market, Africa has a unique opportunity to harness the competition tactically.
A sustainability objective will foreground sustainability-based assessment in lieu of a traditional impact assessment mode which is founded on the triple bottom line approach. Centering ‘sustainability’ as a key objective, also, makes a no-contract decision a necessary option when it is shown that a prospective project endangers the environment or at-risk-ecosystems. This option appears not to have been considered in the Guide. The Guide on ALIC provides an opportunity to rethink land use agreements from the ground-up.
Treating climate change as a small subset of environmental issues which are then treated as if they can be balanced against economic or social concerns is highly problematic in a time of climate crisis. It is to be hoped that the final text of the ALIC Zero Draft will endeavour to more seriously grapple with the implications of climate crisis for agricultural land investment contracts, and pay close attention to the findings of the IPCC CCLR.