Intellectual Property, The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Harnessing and Protecting Modern Technology in Africa
Publication Date : 10/03/2023
The Ubuntu concept emphasizes the realization of one’s self through the realization of another, and it is this concept that forms the foundational philosophy underpinning the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (herein AfCFTA). The AfCFTA establishes an ambitious trade pact to form the world’s largest free trade area by connecting almost 1.3billion people across 54 African countries. Thus, the AfCFTA, emphasizes the realization of individual countries within Africa through the realization of the African region. One of the concerns of the AfCFTA is the promotion of innovation and enterprise through the protection of the intellectual property rights of African entrepreneurs. The big question is how well has the AfCFTA addressed the issues of fragmentation of various laws across Africa especially in relation to filing of patent and registration of trademarks. This paper finds that the monotonous patent filing requirement in various countries in Africa is one of the barriers facing young entrepreneur in Africa. This paper suggests the move from national legislation, to supra national legislation so as to achieve a harmonized and standardized market within the African region which would solve the problem of having fragmented national laws and requirement.
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