What is the relationship between regional integration and promotion of intellectual property rights? What intellectual property conflicts, if any, arise when regional economic bodies come together to form a single trade area? How do regional economic bodies establish appropriate policies to cater for competing national & regional interests while enhancing regional and continental integration? Speaking at the Strathmore University auditorium on 4th October 2016, CIPIT’s second distinguished speaker, Dr. Henry Kibet Mutai, revealed his profound interest in regional integration and intellectual property and sought to answer these questions with a view to giving proposals for an intellectual property protocol under the TFTA.
The Agreement establishing the TFTA was signed on 10th June 2015 bringing together member states of the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to create a single market and promote trade amongst the states. The topic of the day couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time as intellectual property rights will be a key area in phase 2 of the negotiations for the establishment of the TFTA.