The Arts, Africa and Economic Development: The Problem of Intellectual Property Rights

Kabanda, Patrick. “The Arts, Africa and Economic Development: The Problem of Intellectual Property Rights.” Law, Social Justice and Global Development Journal Issue 2016 (1) (May 1, 2016) Part 2.

Posted: 6 Jun 2016

Date Written: May 1, 2016

Abstract

The subject of this article is the application of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) to Africa's cultural economy, and its implications for development. Drawing on extensive research, including field work in Africa and interviews with key people in the field, the study explores the concept, definitions and various ways in which Intellectual Property is formulated, particularly with regard the production and international trade in cultural goods. The paper tackles two widespread assumptions: the first is that Intellectual Property is a necessary condition of successful cultural production; and second, that Intellectual Property is antithetical to African culture -- that an effective Intellectual Property regime in Africa is inoperable. On the first point, the paper observes Africa's extraordinary levels of cultural production, without substantial IP protections; and on the second point, it explains that while property rights in Africa are complex, an effective IP regime could indeed be devised. With reference to various events and projects by the World Bank and others, the author sets out the necessary conditions for an IRP development in Africa.

Keywords: Africa, Intellectual Property, the creative and cultural industries, economic development, global development

JEL Classification: O1, O2, O3, O19, F1, J24, K33, Z1, Z11, Z18, Z19

Suggested Citation

Kabanda, Patrick, The Arts, Africa and Economic Development: The Problem of Intellectual Property Rights (May 1, 2016). Kabanda, Patrick. “The Arts, Africa and Economic Development: The Problem of Intellectual Property Rights.” Law, Social Justice and Global Development Journal Issue 2016 (1) (May 1, 2016) Part 2., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2788076

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