This article analyses the ways in which African states might implement plant variety protection as part of their obligations under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.

The report summarises the legal and institutional framework of intellectual property rights, examines the possibility of developing alternative regional and domestic systems, argues the case for sui generis plant variety protection systems, and highlights lessons from India concerning the development of such systems.

The author recommends that African — and should avoid the introduction of patents or plant breeders' rights.