Africa and Intellectual Property: We will keep destroying the continent if ….

Photo source- Ear Hustle

Africa will keep destroying itself if it continues to consume without creating, owning, or maximizing intellectual property for real development.


There are over 600 million young men and women in Africa. Up to 432 million of these young people have no jobs or won’t get any jobs. And every year, about 11 million youth will join the labor market, adding to the army of unemployed youth in Africa. At the present rate, the army will keep growing till 2027 (MasterCard Foundation).


But there is no indication that Africa is paying enough attention. We are not paying enough attention to our future. We are not paying enough attention to education in Africa. We are not paying enough attention to science and technology in Africa. We are not paying enough attention to sustainable development in Africa.


The 21st century will not be Africa’s century as the world claims if Africa remains a consuming continent for what Africans are neither producing nor maximizing to benefit Africans.


To get it right, Africa must not only take its intellectual property (IP) system seriously but also begin to invest in creating, owning, and commercializing its own IP. Shopping malls and e-commerce sites alone are not real development. We must develop Africa’s IP to meet needs locally and add value globally.

Senator Ihenyen is the Lead Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He heads the firm's Intellectual Property Practice and Blockchain & Virtual Asset Practice.

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