The Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) was adopted on 11 July 2000 and came into force on 26 May 2001. The document has been described as 'the turning of a page in the history of the African continent' as it represented the beginning of a new era for the 'political, judicial, and economic organisation for Africa.' The Constitutive Act recognises gender equality as one of its principles.
Even though the political situation may have delayed Nigeria's commitment to the AfCFTA at the time of the Kigali declaration, public consultations was never a bad idea. However, the government consultation initiated by the Buhari government and facilitated by the NOTN have come and gone. After the consultations, some initial skeptics have been won over about the benefits of Nigeria signing up to the AfCFTA. However, objectors to the AfCFTA remain, who stand their ground that Nigeria is not ready to join the AfCFTA.
This symposium, comprising six contributions, presents case studies of the existing plant variety protection systems in Africa, complexities around introducing new systems as well as the interlinkages between plant variety protection, human rights and traditional knowledge.
The signing of the consolidated text of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in March 2018 by 47 African Union member States was a significant milestone. It was the first time since the Abuja Treaty of 1994 that a continental trade agreement had been negotiated. This symposium critically appraises the agenda of the AfCFTA. It kicks off with a post that boldly makes the case why this agreement promises to redress the comparatively low levels of intra-regional trade as well as the dearth of high value exports from Africa.