The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa

This contribution entails an analysis of the development of a standard material transfer agreement presently being negotiated under the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. In particular, the article explores the key concerns for the African negotiating group, and what ought to be looked out for in the design of a standard agreement. Case studies of agreements designed between bio-prospectors and indigenous communities are selected from Asia, the Pacific region, Latin America, and Africa (the San and the commercialization of Hoodia) for comparative purposes whereupon conclusions as to whether Africa will benefit are drawn. The recommendations are drawn from tested legal principles in the general realm of international law taking into consideration the African peculiarities that ought to inform the African negotiating group. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]