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Susan Isiko Štrba, Intellectual property pluralism in African development agendas: Food security, plant variety protection and the role of the WIPO, In book: Is intellectual Property Pluralism Functional? February 2019, Publisher: Edward Elgar



The chapter addresses IP pluralism from both legal and institutional perspectives, using the example of plant variety protection, access to food and food security in Africa. It demonstrates that increasingly, IP pluralism has become less and less functional because the various African IP agendas, with a few exceptions, are evolving in response to external rather than internal stimuli. It investigates how the relationship between global IP governance institutions and African regional and continental arrangements impact on agricultural innovation in Africa. This chapter posits that WIPO already contributes to the way African institutions use IP for plant variety protection. It should be included in the debate on finding solutions to balancing the protection of IP and agricultural innovation in Africa. The chapter, therefore, proposes WIPO as an additional avenue for using agricultural innovation for development in Africa and suggests how it could fulfill this role.

Susan Isiko Štrba, Legal and institutional considerations for plant variety protection and food security in African development agendas: solutions from WIPO? In Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, 2017, Vol. 12, No. 3


African institutions are increasingly embracing high standards of intellectual property protection in their ‘development agendas’. In particular, concerning plant variety protection (PVP), one observes a worrying trend of premature harmonisation of PVP standards despite the possible negative impact on food security and access to food on the African continent. Scholarship and debate on PVP protection has tended to ignore the role of WIPO when consi`dering solutions to PVP and food security. This paper posits that WIPO has a role to play in enabling the use of intellectual property in African ‘development agendas’ for agricultural innovation in a way that leads to long-term food security and access to food. This role stems from the organization’s original mandate as well as the way it has adapted and continues to adapt its programmes in an attempt to provide practical solutions to new challenges of IP governance. The paper addresses the relationship between WIPO, PVP and food security in Africa from a legal and institutional perspective. How can WIPO contribute to agricultural innovation and PVP in a way that caters to African development? Particular attention is paid to WIPO’s contribution to the legal and policy architecture of the African Union (including the implementation of the African Union Model Legislation for the Protection of the Rights of Local Communities, Farmers and Breeders and for the Regulation of Access to Biological Resources), the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Susan Isiko Štrba, A Model for Access to Educational Resources and Innovation in the Developing World, In Daniel Gervais (ed.), Intellectual Property, Trade and Development, Strategies to Optimize Economic Development in a TRIPS-plus Era, Second Edition


A model for access to educational resources and innovation involves several elements. There is need for experiments with different approaches. Some will work better for certain countries than others, depending on a number of factors, including the level of development and membership in developing country trading blocs. The starting point is for each country to decide the national educational and innovation goals it wants to achieve then decide what to do with copyright — either use it to achieve the identified goals or use other means. Where developing countries have to choose between copyright and access to educational resources and innovation, they should be guided by the test of ‘greater impact to society’

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