On the 25th of February 2022, Dr Titilayo Adebola participated in a High-level Brainstorming Session on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) organised by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to generate ideas and discuss the possible elements to consider in the development of the AfCFTA Protocol on IPRs.
One of the central objectives of the AfCFTA is to create a single market for goods and services, facilitated by movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent and in accordance with the Pan African Vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa” enshrined in the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA emphasises the need to establish clear, transparent, predictable and mutually-advantageous rules to govern Trade in Goods and Services, Competition Policy, Investment and Intellectual Property among State Parties, by resolving the challenges of multiple and overlapping trade regimes to achieve policy coherence, including relations with third parties.
The negotiations for these rules have been scheduled in three phases. Phase I covered Trade in Goods, Trade in Services as well as Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes. These instruments entered into force on the 30th of May 2019. Phase II covering IPRs, Investment and Competition Policy is currently undergoing discussions and negotiation. Phase III commences immediately after Phase II negotiations and will cover E-Commerce.
See Dr Adebola’s recommendations for the AfCFTA Protocol on IPRs in her paper titled “Mapping Africa’s Complex Regimes: Towards an African Centred AfCFTA Intellectual Property Protocol” (Volume 1, African Journal of International Economic Law, 2020).