January 16, 2019
Welcome to Afronomicslaw.org, a blog on the international economic law landscape as it relates to Africa. A major goal of this blog is to complement current analysis of international economic law issues as they relate to Africa in the blogosphere. We believe that this blog is particularly timely because there are significant international economic law developments taking place in Africa that invite more contemporaneous reflection and discussion. These developments include the ongoing ratifications of phase one of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the commencement of phase II negotiations on investment, competition rules and intellectual property. In addition, the African Union and the European Union have commenced preliminary talks about renewing the Cotonou Partnership Agreement due to expire in early 2020. African Union member states are debating how best to organize their negotiations to renew the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. One group of states want the African Union to negotiate as one block. Others want the Regional Economic Communities to negotiate on behalf of their respective members. Another group has suggested that the African Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat in Brussels should negotiate on behalf of the African Union.
That is not all. The African Growth and Opportunity Act will expire in 2025 and the Trump Administration continues to consider post AGOA Africa/US relations. We have not mentioned Africa’s turn to the East and China in particular for its trade and investment and the massive outlays of infrastructural development and its implications China has embarked on in Africa. At the sub-regional level, the regional economic communities have been very active in a broad range of issues including the yet to come into force, Tripartite Free Trade Agreement between the East African Community, (EAC), the Southern African Development Community, (SADC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). All these developments provide an excellent backdrop for this new blog. This blog will complement the growing and important voice of scholars of Africa international economic law to share their views. It will also offer policy makers, practitioners and others interested in these issues a forum to insightfully engage and reflect on these developments more contemporaneously with the events of Africa’s international economic law. There is also a growing number of African teachers and scholars of international economic law in African law faculties, think tanks, research and training centers. These include TRALAC, Trapca, and the Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies (TGCL) established jointly by the Universities of Bayreuth and Dar-es-Salaam that are already producing high quality graduates in the field of international economic law in Africa. We will work towards connecting with the experts that have and continue to emerge from these institutions of excellence as well as from Universities, particularly those in Africa, so that we can all participate in building an inclusive and engaged network here at Afronomicslaw.org.
We also envisage that this blog will be of interest to civil society groups and organizations engaged in making international economic integration and investment possible in Africa. To achieve these objectives, the blog will regularly post news items, developments in Africa’s regional economic communities, as well as host feature and book symposiums. Those interested in posting content to this blog can contact us at Afronomicslaw@gmail.com We encourage blog posts that are analytical in nature up to a maximum of 2,000 words. Comments on blogposts are welcome. They will moderated only to encourage civil discourse. Our first symposium on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) kicks off today. We have lined up a terrific set of contributors to the symposium and we hope you enjoy it.
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Although we have already lined up forthcoming feature and book symposia, we welcome any suggestions for future symposia and topics. We look forward to working with all of you to make http://afronomicslaw.org a vibrant home for all issues related to African International Economic Law.