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.
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.
The objective of the African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN) is “to serve as a forum for the research, study and exchange of ideas in the field of international economic law in Africa and beyond”. Established in 2008, the AfIELN (initially AfSIEL) is now in its 11th year, although it was not until 2011 when it had its first conference in South Africa. It was then that the name AfIELN was formally adopted.