n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Climate change and intellectual property rights in Africa : Environmental necessity-economicopportunity

Volume 8, Issue 5-6
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Promoting the development of clean technologies is critical in achieving a low-carbon economy in Africa. The objective of this paper is to shed more light on the role of IPRs in the efforts to mitigate climate change in Africa. This paper argues that the existing IP regime, specifically the patent system, does not necessarily preclude African countries from developing clean technologies that meet world standards. However, African countries lack capacities to adapt, develop, deploy and operate high low-carbon technologies which can give them competitive advantage in the global market. This article proposes that African countries should create an institutional set-up by which innovative strategies can easily be shared to accelerate and facilitate the development and diffusion of clean technologies. The paper concludes that unless African countries adopt appropriate policy mix to stimulate technological catch-up with rest of world in the area of clean technology development and diffusion, they will continue to lag behind and face deepening marginalization in the global economy, irrespective of the IP system regime.

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