March 2, 2011
Professor Kojo Yelpaala spoke on "The Impact of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Biodiversity Convention on Human Health and Food Security," to a large audience of students, faculty and government officials on February 18, 2011, at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana.
Yelpaala, an international business expert who has been member of the McGeorge faculty for 30 years, urged African leaders to establish a common research center to facilitate a biodiversity convention on human health and security. He said the establishment of such a center would allow that organization to train more researchers who could contribute to the development of Africa.
Calling on African leaders to put away political affiliations and focus on issues that would emancipate the continent from foreign dependency, he said, "This would help curb the huge sums of money invested in foreign institutions to solve African problems. Africa must avoid overdependence on developed countries and find solutions to its own problems. It has the collective brainpower to conduct important research on many diseases adversely affecting the progress of Africans."
Yelpaala's appearance was sponsored by the Legon International Scholar Series of University of Ghana. Yelpaala, who holds a law degree from the university, has long conducted research and written on issues confronting Africa and how they can be tackled. He has been particularly critical of several agreements reached by international organizations that apparently have aggravated the risk to human health and food security posed by debilitating diseases.