Regional Dialogue on Innovation, Intellectual Property Rights and Sustainable Development in Eastern and Southern Africa

Organised by ICTSD, UNCTAD and TIPS

29 June - 1 July 2004

Victora and Alfred Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa


Tuesday 29 June 2004


General Trends in the Field of IPRs: Harmonization of IP Standards, and Bilateral Free Trade Agreements:

Currently, there are a number of international and regional processes seeking increased harmonization of IPRs regimes. These processes are occurring at the international level in WIPO (e.g. the New Patent Agenda); at the regional level and in bilateral negotiations (i.e. Morocco–US and SACU-US). Models for harmonization being used in negotiations are mainly based in the legal regimes of the US, the EU and Japan. Harmonization processes include substantive and procedural features of IP policy that could reduce or affect important flexibilities necessary to address public interest concerns such as health, biodiversity, technology transfer, and access to knowledge. It also includes procedural matters and common registration institutions.

Recourse Person:

Sisule Musungu South Centre (Kenya)

Xavier Carim, Department of Trade and Industry (South Africa)
Sivaramen Palayathan, Permanent Mission of Mauritius to the WTO (Mauritius)
Prof. Gerhard Erasmus, TRALAC
Fiona Bayiga, Senior Attorney, Ministry of Justice (Uganda)


Health, Competition Policy and Intellectual Property:

Competition policy has been identified as one important tool for striking a proper balance between the concerns of producers, consumers and society at large. Cases like the South African competition complaint against various pharmaceutical corporations (2002-2003) are of the few precedents of competition policy and heath-related issues in developing countries. The experience of developed countries such as the US and EU can also help in identifying some of the inter-linkages between these three issues. Some experts have noted that competition policy can be an effective tool for addressing abuses in IPRs in a wide range of cases, including providing access to technology under the “essential facilities” doctrine, requiring licensing of patents under the refusal to deal theory, and issues license when prices violate excessive pricing norms.

Resource Person:
Jonathan Berger, Law & Treatment Access Unit, AIDS Law Project, Centre for Applied Legal studies, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Francis Mangeni, Consultant (Uganda)
Faizel Ismail, Permanent Mission of South Africa (South Africa)
Heinz Klug, University of Wisconsin (South Africa)
Prof. Nora Olembo, Kenya Industrial Property Institute (Kenya)

Wednesday 30 June 2004


IP Tools, Innovation and Commercialization of R&D:

There is a need to expand understanding of how intellectual property rules as well as complementary policies such as subsidies, incentives, and collaboration schemes may spark innovation, promote transfer of technology and enable developing country firms to actively participate in the global economy. But IP rules and complementary policies are not the end of the history, assistance on how to enable developing country firms to developed products and services based in local innovations is a fundamental phase in promoting development and assure a sustainable investment in the sector as well as a sound and profitable private sector.

Recourse Person:
Rosemary Wolson University of Cape Town (South Africa)


Getachew Mengistie, Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (Ethiopia)
Edward Chisanga, Permanent Mission of Zambia (Zambia)
Randall Williams, Department of Trade and Industry (South Africa)
John Mugabe, Science and Technology Forum, NEPAD (Kenya)
Mr. Abisai Mafa, Ministry of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe)


Agro-biodiversity and Intellectual Property:

Rarely is the discussion on IP as contentious as in the area of plant genetics resources for food and agriculture. Along with the growing resort to IPRs, market concentration and the increasing "privatisation" of genetic resources have raised concerns related to food security, rural livelihood, the loss of agro biodiversity, and the misappropriation of genetic resources. While the legal framework for IP protection of new plant varieties (PVP) is already well established at the international level, the incentive system for the preservation of agro-biodiversity remains weak. One important response to these concerns is the new FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, which contains
important provisions regarding the sustainable use of plant genetic resources, patentability issues, and benefit sharing. The effective implementation of the new FAO treaty and its impact on IPRs and PVP rules, are some of the challenges that policy makers will have in the near future.

Recourse Person
Robert Lettington, ICIPE (UK)


James Otieno-Odek, University of Nairobi (Kenya)
Lovemore Simwanda, Zambia National Farmers Union (Zambia)
Tom Suchanandan, Department of Science & Technology (South Africa)
Andrew Mushita, Community Technology & Development Trust (Zimbabwe)
Nelson Ndirangu, Permanent Mission of Kenya to the WTO (Kenya)

Thursday 1 July 2004


Working Groups & Closing Session


© ICTSD 2004 - Last Update: 05-Oct-2009