University of Hertfordshire

  • Thaddeus Manu
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-27
JournalCommon Law World Review
Journal publication dateMar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


In the absence of domestic standard-setting, it seems that the legislative landscapes of poor countries are subject to the policy direction of key developed countries which seek the highest returns from transnational trade and wish to have their economic interests broadened via the conduit of bilateral trade agreements. Consequently, a classic pattern that has tended to create deep concern among African countries lately is the priority given to the UPOV Convention-style Plant Breeders’ Rights over effective sui generis regimes under the TRIPS Agreement. This paper identifies a regional bilateral trade agreement—the African Growth and Opportunity Act 2000, which is already a failed initiative, as the source of political pressure on African countries to enact Plant Breeders’ Rights legislation as opposed to the reasonable and effective sui generis regimes under the TRIPS Agreement. The author will show that after signing the African Growth and Opportunity Act initiative, African countries have surrendered their territorial sovereignty to the extent that they are now under political pressure to prioritise the commercialisation of agro-biotechnology resources via the UPOV Convention-style Plant Breeders' Rights in line with the commercial interests of the United States

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