Collins C. Ajibo
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The politics of international technology transfer
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The economic development of every nation rests principally on the level of technological capabilities and innovation capacities that can be mustered. Technology is not a free public good that is transferred without restriction, but instead is consciously generated through an investment in research and development, making the outcome of the research a protected property. The private nature of the property right inherent in technology seems to pose a difficulty for the development imperatives of developing countries. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) largely recognizes the preceding, despite its shortcomings, by embodying provisions for flexibility to balance the goal of intellectual property rights protection with the technological transfer for development. However, the evolving regime of TRIPS-Plus is poised to erode potential chances of successful transfer to developing countries, particularly African countries. Accordingly, African countries must look inward and readjust their policies to withstand and contain the emerging development-clipping regimes, and consequently, advance their technological growth objectives.

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