Influencing policymaking on minimizing Intellectual Barriers in the SADC and EAC region for People Living with HIV

Influencing policymaking on minimizing Intellectual Barriers in the SADC and EAC region for People Living with HIV


This programme will combine the strengthening of working relationships between national ministries of Health, Finance and Trade with streamlined technical capacity strengthening of civil society organisations. National coalitions of patient groups and civil society will be formed, while building strategic media capacity. The work will lead to the documentation of real-time case studies, it will explore the use of competition law and advocate for flexible legislative reform to allow for compulsory licensure. The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) together with the Southern Africa Regional Programme on Access to Medicines and Diagnostics (SARPAM) will build on current interventions, with a longer term regional goal of enhancing coordination and consensus building towards regional manufacture of medicines and incorporating flexibilities in national patent laws.
At regional level, the programme will continue to support both national and regional efforts by collaborating with the Southern African Development Community Secretariat and Parliamentary Forum (SADC Secretariat and PF), while also finding entry points to collaborate on the IP and TRIPS-flexibilities agenda, with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO). The Programme proposes to continue in-country interventions in Botswana (a country which has taken progressive steps towards IP reform that was supported under Phase 1) and to start work in Mozambique, which is still at elementary stages. The consortium will continue to provide strategic and technical support to Mauritius and in Zimbabwe, by working closely with the Zimbabwe Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+).

Project details

Time frame
01 April 2018 - 31 July 2021
€ 200,000
Active in
Kenya, Mozambique


The main objective is to “enable greater numbers of people living with HIV and Tuberculosis to access quality, affordable, life-saving and life-improving treatment”, through two long term Strategic Objectives (SO). SO2: “Incorporating flexibilities in national patent laws” and SO3: “Ensuring that existing flexibilities are used; including the opposition to new patents or issuing compulsory licenses.” The programme is working towards contributing to the longer term regional goal of enhancing coordination and consensus building towards regional manufacture of medicines and to advance SO1.


Both Mozambique and Zimbabwe have issued compulsory or government use licenses in the past, Zimbabwe with a high HIV and TB burden, amended its legislation in 2002 to fully comply with the terms of the TRIPS Agreement. The country has previously amended its Patents Act, but further amendments are required to streamline some provisions to align these to a number of the flexibilities. In 2015 the country finalised its National Intellectual Property Policy, which proposes to expand the use of the available TRIPS flexibilities. A strengthened civil society coalition, working alongside the national technical working group, will be required in order to promote greater government accountability. Patent landscaping activities are required to galvanise evidence-based policy reform.

The new Mozambique Industrial Property Code (IPC) Decree stresses the use of competition law and the enforcement of IP rights, it does not articulate the use of the TRIPS-flexibilities clearly in a country with a high HIV and TB burden. Civil society in Mozambique remains weak and not supported. The programme will revitalise the TWG that was formed, pursue a patent landscaping exercise to support evidence of the patent gaps, and strengthen the capacity of civil society partners for advocacy. This will ensure civil society participation in the development of and leverage on the Decree to formalize a cohesive National rights-based IP Policy.

Kenya and Uganda are strategic targets for expanding this work. Both countries are members of the EAC, which has SAPAM membership and ARASA has strong civil society partners in both countries, who are already implementing work support by ARASA. Combining the strategic relevance of these countries to advance research on the use of competitive as a possible solution, while advocating for the necessary reforms, will advance a strong evidence-based access agenda in both countries.


Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
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