To Prosper, Africa must be Free to Innovate

Africa’s potential to flourish in the coming years is enormous. The newly-minted African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is set to immediately get rid of 90% of tariffs on goods traded between member states upon its July 1 implementation, which will dramatically ramp up trade and add billions to the continent’s economy. Already, 29 of the 55 African Union (AU) nations have ratified the agreement. But to truly reap the potential benefits of this new trade area, African states must drastically reform existing intellectual property laws in order to allow and encourage innovation among their citizenry.

A recent report from the Brooking Institution found that in 2017, African countries registered a mere 1,330 patents. This amount is a fraction of the 592,508 patents registered in Asia and the 116,359 registered in Europe in the same year. What’s more, the majority of patents in Africa are registered by non-residents — and that’s not the case in the rest of the world. As a continent with a young and increasingly educated population, it’s vital that Africans are free to innovate and reap the rewards for doing so…..

To read more, check full article on Real Clear World.