TRIPS Implementation in Francophone Africa

Carolyn Deere

in The Implementation Game

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199550616
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720284 | DOI:
TRIPS Implementation in Francophone Africa

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This chapter explains why a group of the world's poorest countries adopted an array of TRIPS‐plus standards. It begins with a review of the colonial influence on IP regulation in francophone African countries and the origins of their distinctive regional approach to IP protection. It then introduces the region's common IP framework, the Bangui Agreement, and shows how the latest revisions exceed TRIPS requirements. The chapter traces the Bangui revision process through three phases, highlighting the limited capacity of national IP offices and the policymaking vacuum on IP issues in the region. It argues that the TRIPS‐plus outcome was a result of pressure from international donors (upon which countries relied for financing and technical expertise) and from their own regional organization, the African Intellectual Property Organization (over which they exercised little effective oversight). Importantly, this case highlights that in lieu of direct economic threats, capacity‐building was a decisive tool for international pressure. Moreover, for countries in a weak position in the international system, the compliance‐plus global political environment was a persuasive intervening factor.

Keywords: francophone Africa; TRIPS flexibilities; economic pressure; national capacity; capacity‐building; OAPI; regional approach; Bangui Agreement; colonial; France

Chapter.  29041 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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