Amongst most African countries there is well developed patent protection for inventions. Since patents are most certainly the most restrictive types of intellectual property, it goes without saying that there are numerous regulations governing patens. Adaptations of previous inventions can also be patented provided that the new invention is not obvious. (A person skilled in the specific area should find the invention to be unique)

Inventions must be innovative and useful to qualify for patent protection. Usefulness means that the invention must first work and then be a functional item for the particular industry. If you invent something that will be of no use to anyone, it will not qualify for patentability. There should be no former or present disclosure of the features of the invention, other than in the application. As such no broadcasts, adverts, or reports should exist about the invention. African countries have their own requirements for an invention to qualify for patent protection.


Member countries have renounced their national sovereignty to convey to the patentee a single title of protection valid in each country. Designation of countries is not required.
All member states are included in a patent application: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo.


Member countries may designate any of the member countries for patent applications. ARIPO member states may also have their own patent systems.
Harare Protocol Contracting States: Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sào Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.