The proposal to launch the Masters in Intellectual Property dates back to July 2006, when the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) organized a Colloquium on IP Education, Training and Research which was held at the ARIPO Headquarters. During the Colloquium, the participants called for an emergency action plan to address the critical shortage of intellectual property professionals and experts in Africa. They requested WIPO Academy and ARIPO in cooperation with Universities in Africa to establish a Training of Trainers Program at the level of Masters Degree in Intellectual Property in one of the Universities in the member states of ARIPO. It was felt that this approach would be more cost effective and respond to the critical need of IP experts in Africa for teaching and enhancement of the human resources development in IP.
Following this recommendation, meetings were held between ARIPO and WIPO on the possible ways of establishing a Masters Degree in Intellectual Property in Africa. Africa University, a pan-African institution based in Mutare, Zimbabwe was selected for partnership. Consequently, WIPO, ARIPO and Africa University established and signed a five-year joint agreement on March 26, 2008 for the commencement of the Masters degree in Intellectual Property (MIP) Program. The MIP Program commenced in 2008 following the signing of the agreement.  The Language of instruction is English.
Until the sixth Cohort which graduated in June 2014, the program has so far graduated 167 students from the following 24 countries across Africa: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroun, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and  Zimbabwe