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. 

The Role of Trade Facilitation in Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers in the African Continental Free Trade Area

This article discusses the significant role of the role of trade facilitation in addressing NTBs in the AfCFTA. The article is divided into six parts. The first part outlines the various types of NTBs. The second part discusses trade facilitation. The third part discusses the trade facilitation and elimination of NTBs at the African regional level. The fourth provides an account of trade facilitation and removal of NTBs under the AfCFTA. Part five provides the concluding remarks. The sixth and last part offers some recommendations for the implementation of trade facilitation commitments under the AfCFTA Agreement with a view of effectively curbing NTBs in intra-Africa trade.

Corruption and South Africa's Foreign Policy

The purpose of my essay is to flesh out why the issue of corruption should be the preeminent foreign policy issue for the South African government – in line with the imperatives of the Constitution and furthered by the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and other courts, as well as giving effect to its own commitment of human rights in its most recent Foreign Policy White Paper (mentioned earlier). Moreover, South Africa has ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, adopted in 2003 and coming into force in 2005.

What Role Does the Constitution Play in Shaping and Implementing South Africa's Foreign Policy?

We have argued that the Constitution primarily allocates foreign policy responsibility to the national executive. The President and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and its foreign missions are the key actors in the executive responsible for making and overseeing foreign policy. The Constitution prescribes both substantive and procedural rules to guide the executive in its foreign policy choices

When It Comes to the Courts, There's Nothing Really Foreign About "Foreign Policy"

In South Africa’s constitutional scheme, all public power, including foreign policy powers, is subject to judicial review for legality, rationality and compliance with the Bill of Rights. However, the scope of the judicial review – and in particular the standard of rationality – is informed by a certain deference to the executive, in order to respect the democratic principle and its institutional competence. The level of deference will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. This means that the level of scrutiny to be afforded the other branches of government’s respective foreign relations powers and responsibilities cannot be predicted with any degree of confidence. Rather, the particular circumstances and context of the case will be the primary concern of the courts.

The Role of the Constitution and Courts in the Making and Implementation of Foreign Policy

The courts, utilising their Constitution given powers, have in certain cases declared foreign policy unconstitutional for being inconsistent with the Constitution. The courts have also interpreted foreign policy in order to bring it in line with the Constitution. In so doing, it can be argued that courts have invariably played a role in the making and implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.

Border Posts Infrastructure Concessioning Regime and Trade Efficiency under the AfCFTA

This contribution proposes that African governments consider adopting border reform concessions that cover a range of solutions besides infrastructure. Should a concession be limited to infrastructure provision alone, the net effect of infrastructure on trade efficiency needs to be determined in an endeavour to arrive at fair user charges.

Trade Security Role of Customs Administrations within the AfCFTA

Trade security is an important component of Customs work. Customs administration should adapt to the environment they operate and the commencement of the AfCFTA is a new development which calls for adaptation. The AfCFTA presents challenges to trade security due to the large volumes of cargo whose movement should be as unhindered as possible. Various international instruments seek to promote trade security through promoting collaboration, capacity building for Customs administrators, as well as simplification and harmonization of procedures. Interestingly, all trade instruments discussed have demonstrated that trade facilitation and trade security are intrinsically inter-linked. Even though Customs administrations in the AfCFTA have embraced digital technologies they continue to have implementation challenges.

Low Levels of Customs Officials’ Awareness: A Recipe for Underutilization of AfCFTA

There is need for Customs administrations in Africa to evolve from gate-keeping role and enforcement of policies on behalf of other government departments, to being active contributors in the policy-making initiatives. Customs officials involved in manning ports of entry should be involved in assessing the practicality of certain trade measures like Rules of Origin as well as making contribution on how best to enforce the regional trade arrangements. This could involve the relevant trade Ministers involved in the regional negotiations consulting with Customs administrations on the best approach to design the measures that would directly require Customs enforcement.

In Pursuit of Transparency for Trade Facilitation in Southern Africa

The Southern African States are encouraged to continue with their laudable efforts of implementing transparency measures. They should strive to meet the implementation deadlines that they have set for themselves. They should seek assistance to mitigate any capacity constraints that are preventing them from making necessary reforms. Fortunately both the TFA and the AfCFTA recognise the importance of special and differential treatment (S&DT) and technical assistance to improve prospects of compliance. This gives some assurance that members will continue to achieve greater success in improving transparency going forward.