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. 

Nigeria and WIPO’s Development Agenda

Nigeria’s role in shaping international intellectual property law deserves more scholarly attention. That is not to say that Nigeria’s role in this regard has not been acknowledged in the existing literature. For instance, Nigeria’s role as part of the state actors from developing countries that opposed the inclusion of intellectual property into the Uruguay Round that led to the creation of the WTO is well documented. Nevertheless, Nigeria’s role in other fora and venues where issues relating to international intellectual property law are being negotiated and discussed deserves more attention. In this regard, this blog post will focus on Nigeria’s role in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Due to constraints of space, it is not possible to provide an exhaustive examination of Nigeria’s contributions to WIPO’s work. The focus here will solely be on Nigeria’s role within the context of the work of WIPO’s Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP). The CDIP was established in 2008 after the adoption of WIPO’s Development Agenda in 2007 (more about this below). Specifically, this post will highlight the role played by Nigeria in securing the inclusion of an agenda item on ‘Intellectual Property and Development’ at CDIP.

The International Maritime Boundaries of Nigeria - Revisiting Joint Development of Natural Resources

There is renewed interest in the Nigeria- Sao Tome and Principle (STP) Joint Development Zone (JDZ). This is explored in a published chapter in the Nigerian Yearbook of International law (with co-authors). This chapter focused on the Nigeria-STP JDZ as an exemplar of a cooperative approach to maritime boundary delimitation and assesses the suitability of the particular JDZ model chosen. Therefore, this appears to be an excellent opportunity to explore the broader theme of maritime boundary zones of Nigerian vis-à-vis international maritime law. This essay argues that joint development in the spirit of a duty to cooperate within the Gulf of Guinea, will represent a Pan-African and sustainable vision, for the future exploration and exploitation of natural resources, including living resources such as Fisheries.

Domestic Effects of International Law in Nigeria: The Case of Trade Agreements

In this piece, I argue that Nigeria’s non-compliant behaviour is prevalent and entrenched in the field of international trade law, and that this behaviour is largely influenced by Nigeria’s perception of its national economic interests, which are underpinned by the protectionist policy of import-substitution. But Nigeria’s poor adherence to international trade rules should also be seen in the context of its general lack of commitment to the rule of law.

Book Review: The Transnational Land Rush in Africa: A Decade After the Spike

This essay reviews the book co-edited by Logan Cochrane and Nathan Andrews, The Transnational Land Rush in Africa: A Decade After the Spike. The book has three parts, in addition to the introduction and concluding chapter. The first part, Part I contain four chapters under the theme, The Land-Development Nexus: Grand Discourses, Social Injustice and Contestations. The second part, Part II encompass three chapter under Informality and ‘New’ Customary Land Tenure Landscapes theme. The third part, Part III contain two chapters under the Formalization, Domestic Agency and Legacies of Legal Pluralism theme. This review focuses on the book's third part, which includes studies from Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Repatriation of Benin Bronze and Decolonisation of Museums: Views from the University of Aberdeen

The handover agreement signed by the University of Aberdeen and the Nigerian stakeholders transferred copyright in images of the Benin bronze to the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments. However, the University of Aberdeen was granted a non-exclusive licence to use the images for any non-commercial purpose. Similarly, the agreement provides that all images and information relating to the Benin bronze held by the University of Aberdeen will be supplied on request by the Nigerian stakeholders at no cost and with no restrictions on their use. In this interview, Dr Titilayo Adebola, Editor, Afronomicslaw.org and Associate Director, Centre for Commercial Law, University of Aberdeen discusses the University’s repatriation of the Benin bronze alongside the role of museums in the co-production of knowledge with Mr Curtis. Mr Curtis initiated and facilitated the negotiations for the repatriation of the Benin bronze with the Nigerian stakeholders (the Oba of Benin’s palace, Edo State Government and the Nigerian Government) on behalf of the University of Aberdeen.

An Appraisal of Promises After the Ruins: The Global Land Rush in Africa

Following the global financial crisis of 2007-08, which overlapped with a global food security crisis, the global land rush emerged as a key phenomenon that has since become the metonymic expression of the global response to these crises. Cochrane’s and Andrews’ The Transnational Land Rush in Africa: A Decade After the Spike provides a timely and necessary update of the land rush “a decade after the 2007/08 commodity price spike.” The book addresses some of the major misconceptions about the land rush on the African continent and, especially, the Eurocentric coverage of the land rush in Africa within the international political economy discourse by attending to local, national, and transnational land grabs and actors that have been largely marginalized in these debates.

The Global Land Rush, Revisited

Over time, I have collaborated with researchers and practitioners to investigate the global land rush and support responses to it. This action research taught me about the material dimensions of the deals, including their scale, location, crop types, intended markets, varying degrees of implementation, and the way they shook the very foundations of local life, livelihoods and culture. It also highlighted deep-seated tensions between competing visions of agriculture, food systems, territory and society; connections to an evolving global political economy and contested notions of sovereignty and statehood; and the role the law — from land tenure systems to international trade, investment and human rights treaties — has played in facilitating the deals or resistance to them.

Towards a More Historicized Understanding of the Transnational Land Rush in Africa

The most recent rush for African land was accompanied by a literature rush on contemporary global land grabs comprised of a fast-growing body of reports matrices, articles and books. Responding critically to this literature rush, scholars are increasingly calling for a more robust and grounded methodology to link macro-level insights to more local level analyses. The edited volume The Transnational Land Rush in Africa: A Decade after the Spike answers these calls by taking a decidedly macro-level approach to the global land rush, without sacrificing nuance and country-specific historical, political and legal context. It does this in part, by investigating the impact of large-scale land investments in various African countries over time, considering not only the decade since their spike, but also the varied colonial and post-colonial histories that have shaped them.

Book Review Symposium Introduction: The Transnational Land Rush in Africa

This symposium opens up our book to examination, reflections and critical perspectives from experts such as Lorenzo Cotula, Nisrin Elamin, Wegayehu Fitawek and Kariuki Kirigia. As shown in their contributions, these discussants offer a depth of knowledge as well as passion for orienting people before profit.

Is the Arbitral Award in the Eco Oro v Colombia Dispute "Bad Law"?

The Eco Oro arbitral award demonstrates that there is still a long way to go before the adjustments that ISDS needs to make to correct its profound inequalities are taken seriously. This system not only continues to exclude the actors most affected by its decisions like local communities, but also continues to redefine, through typical private law devices, rules and substantive aspects of our democracies.