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The global intellectual property structure has been criticised for requiring developing nations to adopt intellectual property standards that are appropriate for industrialised countries. Some commentators have observed that industrialised nations, such as the United States, developed their economies by borrowing from others, but that through the use of globalised intellectual property standards, they have effectively limited other nations from doing the same. This article does not aim to revisit the question of the suitability of the existing intellectual property standards for developing countries. Nor does it seek to analyse whether, as a general proposition, intellectual property rights should be expanded or reduced in developing nations. Rather, the objective is to consider how, taking into consideration their existing international obligations, African countries can implement intellectual property laws that work for their citizens and that align with their development priorities.