Analysis

The Analysis Section of Afronomicslaw.org publishes two types of content on issues of international economic law and public international law, and related subject matter, relating to Africa and the Global South. First, individual blog submissions which readers are encouraged to submit for consideration. Second, feature symposia, on discrete themes and book reviews that fall within the scope of the subject matter focus of Afronomicslaw.org. 

Bilateralizing the EU-EAC EPA: An Introductory Legal Analysis of the Kenya-UK Economic Partnership Agreement

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Kenya and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Kenya-UK EPA) was signed by both parties on 8th December 2020. Unlike the proposed US-Kenya FTA (whose fate is uncertain under the new Biden administration), this agreement is at an advanced stage and there are many indications that it will enter into force as it has been approved by the Kenyan executive and only awaits parliamentary approval and ratification.

Introduction to the Book Review Symposium on ANRC's "Rethinking Land Reform in Africa: New Ideas, Opportunities and Challenges"

In 2020, the African Natural Resources Centre (ANRC) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched its book entitled: “Rethinking Land Reform in Africa: New Ideas, Opportunities and Challenges”. The goal is expressed “to achieve a thought-leading policy platform and publication of inquiry, analysis and research for breakthrough progress in land reform policy”. ANRC was not sparing in its choice of contributors both numerically and in quality, with fourteen contributors comprising of Professors, Researchers, Policy Advisors, Historians, and Economists from different walks of life ranging from law to land management, political science, economics and taxation. The respective contributors are from diverse institutions within and outside Africa. The plausible implications of this are that not only does the book afford a broad analysis on the issue of land reform at different professional spheres, but it also offers both endogenous and exogenous perspectives.

RCEP's Contribution to Global Data Governance

While RCEP creates a modified data governance template, it remains within the logic of 20th century treaty language and design. Meanwhile, a normative reevaluation of international economic law is overdue and ongoing. Depending on whether international economic law’s arc will continue to bend towards economic efficiency and aggregate welfare gains rather than planetary environmental sustainability, individual human flourishing, and justice, future international economic law may need to change in form and substance. To make treaties data-ready for the 21st century, more dynamism, flexibility, and experimentation are desirable.

Beyond Land Reforms: Strengthening Links with Food Sovereignty and Land Rights Activists

The ANRC's volume on 'Rethinking Land Reforms in Africa: new ideas, opportunities and challenges' delivers what it promises: a diverse and stimulating compilation of perspectives over the relationship between land and the socio-economic conditions of people in Sub Saharan Africa. Its main merits are the reclamation of the political nature of land, the combination of academic and non-academic contributors who break with the monotone and hyper-specialized vocabulary that tend to monopolize conversations around land reforms, and the variety of topics and perspectives (including in disagreement).

Will Land Reform Change Black Rural Rural Women's Realities in South Africa

In my view, land reform ideas, opportunities and challenges should be informed directly by people depending on land and fighting for different social relations: rural women, rural movements, farm workers, urban land occupiers, shack dwellers, and smallholder farmers. Without listening to them, land reform will not result in just societies.

The EU’s Vaccine Export Controls Negate its Self-interest, International Solidarity and International Law

Although the Regulations commendably exempt ninety-two countries, their restrictions still apply to many upper-middle income countries, such as South Africa, which is not only relatively poor but is battling with one of the most contagious variants of the virus. The Regulations also do not exempt a country like Canada, which despite its relatively ample resources, does not yet manufacture its own vaccines and is home to particularly vulnerable indigenous peoples, especially in its Northern and polar regions.

The Land Question and Legal Pluralism in Africa: Recent Contributions and Future Work

The volume's contribution do well in facilitating the reader's understanding of the broad range of legal and practical intricacies of land reform and land rights, including chapters that examine commercial incentives for land vis-a-vis the security of rural land rights (Chapter 4 by Lorenzo Cotula), shifting policy paradigm (Chapter 7 by Howard Stein) property transfer taxes (Chapter 8 by Riel Franzsen), and the role of women in land reform (Chapter 11 by Eugene Chigbu) among other topics.

The Significance of Descent-Based 'Customary' Land Management for Land Reform and Agricultural Futures in Africa

Since the 1960s, land reform has been a key topic in Africa. Many land policies have been formulated and related programmes have been implemented - all in the name of improving agricultural investment and therefore, productivity, as well as bringing about general social and economic development. By doing so, many land policies and land reform interventions worked to do away with African landholding systems which were dubbed "static, rigid, insular, inflexible, incompatible, and insecure" due to the absence of clearly defined and enforceable property rights. It is these perceived weaknesses 'inherent' in African landholding system that prompted the need for land reform. Pauline E. Peters and many others have widely criticised these conventional premises of land policies and land reform interventions in Africa - and so she continues in the chapter The Significance of Descent- Based 'Customary' Land Management for Land Reform and Agricultural Futures in Africa of the edited volume Rethinking Land Reform in Africa: New Ideas, Opportunities and Challenges.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): A Dilemma for People and Human Rights in the Global South?

The current century's threat to communities, including climate change and vast and deepening inequalities, may be aggravated by the Agreement. By limiting the power of governments to govern in the interests of the community and the environment, and bolstering a regulatory framework intended to advance the interest of multi-national corporations and only the wealthiest people, trade and investment agreements deepen issues of human rights. The RCEP may, as a consequence, advertently exclude marginalised groups, including women, indigenous peoples, migrants and essentially those without any capital or political power. 

The Geopolitical Impact of RCEP- Another Feather to the Chinese Crown?

Doubts have been raised whether RCEP can be a game changer for the region or not; due to many issues such as that, there already exists a good number of Free trade Agreements (FTAs) between these RCEP members (therefore RCEP is not adding something substantially new), some barriers and loopholes still remains, it does not offer any major breakthrough in new trade issues such as e-commerce. It will take some time to see the effects of RCEP, but surely the reduction of tariffs and non-tariffs will stimulate economic growth in the medium-long term. It will take some time to see how the member states benefit and reap the facilities of RCEP. But one impact is certainly visible if seen from the dynamics of geopolitics in the region, that at the moment, China has added an extra point in the game of strategic balance in Asia by clearly maintaining its dominance in the region.