Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
The promotion and protection of IPRs is central to the achievement of the AfCFTA objectives. State Parties have therefore committed to cooperate on and enter into negotiations on IPRs. These negotiations are meant to develop a Protocol on IPRs, which shall form an integral part of the AfCFTA Agreement, upon entry into force.
The work on the AfCFTA IPRs negotiations has already begun. The Committee on Intellectual Property Rights was established in May 2021 by the Council of Ministers. The Committee – comprising all State Parties – is responsible for facilitating the negotiations of the Protocol on IPRs.
In September 2021, during its first meeting, the Committee adopted its Terms of Reference and the Modalities for Negotiating the Protocol on IPRs. The Committee also decided to hold capacity building activities on a wide range of critical issues related to IPRs in preparation for the negotiations and development of the AfCFTA Protocol on IPRs.