frica'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 percent 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.
Patents in Africa
A recent report from the Brookings 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.