Conference Special Issue Publication: The African International Economic Law Network


May 1, 2020

The African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN) is pleased to announce the publication of selected papers from their Fourth Biennial AfIELN Conference which held at Strathmore Law School, Nairobi, Kenya in July 2019. The conference theme was Africa’s Participation in International Economic Law in the 21st Century. The AfIELN is one of the regional networks of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL).

This Special Issue of the Manchester Journal of International Economic Law builds on an initial conference proceeding which was published on Afronomicslaw. According to the special issue Introduction, the AfIELN Executive Team

“… sought not only to encourage collaboration and participation that challenges, engages and addresses Africa’s marginality in global economic governance, but also critical scholarship on the various emerging innovative platforms on the continent. We were overwhelmed by the quality and volume of submissions received in response to our call for papers. Over three days, 20 panels brought together over 100 scholars and practitioners from across the world to address diverse themes pertaining to IEL in Africa.[1]

Given the current inauspicious international economic regime, examining Africa’s participation is even more critical. The papers in this Special Issue reflect a growing body of exciting, new scholarship on IEL in Africa. Employing diverse theoretical and methodological approaches in interrogating the continent’s participation in IEL, our contributors critically reflect on the challenges, blind spots, and impediments to trade and investment liberalization in Africa. We hope the pieces in this Special Issue goes some way toward representing the wonderful diversity of themes, ideas and innovative approaches we heard in Nairobi.”[2]

In the concluding section of the Introduction, the AfIELN Executive Team identified four (4) key spaces that international economic law in Africa must continue to thrive and build on the current momentum: (i) production of scholarship on international economic law in Africa; teaching and research of international economic law in Africa; (ii) practice of IEL in Africa; and (iv) the policy space.[3]

Congratulations to all the authors, and the SIEL-AfIELN Team on a terrific Special Issue.

[1] The thematic areas covered by the panels included: African approaches to international economic governance; regulatory sovereignty; ACP-EU Trade Agreements; special and differential Treatment; the AfCFTA; Sino-African relations; sustainable development; the environment and climate change; Africa & the WTO;, private international law & IEL in Africa; public health intervention & systems in Africa; new constitutionalism; civil societies and non-state actors; intellectual property rights; tax, monetary and financial policies; corruption and investor to state arbitration; cryptocurrencies & digital transactions; human rights, extractive industry & corporations; and the role of women and African voices in IEL.

[2] See, Olabisi D. Akinkugbe, Ohio Omiunu, Amaka Vanni, Regis Y. Simo and Luwam Dirar, “Africa’s Participation in International Economic Law in the 21st Century: An Introduction”, (2020) Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, Volume 17, Issue 1: 1-10, pp. 3-4.

[3] Ibid, pp. 6-8.