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. 

Those Who Serve a Revolution Plough the Sea: Ghanaian Market Traders and their Resistance to the ECOWAS Supranational Order

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Revised Treaty of 1993 is supposed to be the basis of a legal revolution that ended its members’ sovereignty and create a regional order that mirrored the European Union’s (EU) successful supranationalism. Departing from its 1975 Treaty ECOWAS has been reconfigured as a new entity whose rules, under article 9 (4) are of direct and binding effect on its members – the essence of supranationalism.

The Repatriation of Benin Bronzes: Analysing the Intersections of Arts, Culture and the Law

Titilayo Adebola, Associate Director, Centre for Commercial Law, University of Aberdeen and Editor, Afronomicslaw.org discusses the University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen’s return of Benin bronzes to Nigeria on 27th and 28th October 2021 respectively, with Babatunde Fagbayibo.

Money Power and Financial Capital from a Decolonial Perspective

This is an exciting book that develops a multi-disciplinary perspective on cross-border financial flows, grounded in Marxist political economy. While the book certainly speaks to a diverse set of literatures, in this brief review I’d like to relate this work to broader debates about dependency theory and decolonizing economics.

Foreign Exchange Control and Capital Accumulation in Zimbabwe: Insights from Alami 2019

Based on a careful analysis of historical and contemporary capitalism in Zimbabwe, it has been shown that money and foreign currency management is deeply political. Hence, instead of being applicable to emerging markets only, there is a case for extending Alami’s work to developing countries in general. Alami’s book is highly recommended to anyone interested in understanding the functioning of money, finance, and indeed the logic of foreign exchange policies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Book Review of “Money Power and Financial Capital in Emerging Markets”, by Ilias Alami. Routledge, 2019

Alami’s book is particularly good at the empirics (full disclosure: I was one of the referees of this article by Alami; if my memory is correct I recommended either an immediate acceptance or publication after minor revisions). He describes and explains the ways and lengths walked by governments of these countries to manage a significant conjuncture in their recent history.

The Return of Looted Benin Bronzes: Art, History and the Law

Following the University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen’s recent return of bronzes looted by British soldiers from Benin City, Southern Nigeria, in 1897, Dr. Titilayo Adebola is pleased to present this fireside chat with Professor Bankole Soidipo SAN. The University of Cambridge relinquished possession of a bronze cockerel “Okukor” after students campaign inspired the decision for it to be returned in November 2019. While the University of Aberdeen relinquished possession of a bronze depicting the head of an Oba of Benin after its approved repatriation in March 2021. Professor Sodipo was actively involved in facilitating the discussions and negotiations between the Nigerian stakeholders and British universities that culminated in the return of these Benin bronzes. Professor Sodipo was recently nominated (in October 2021) to be conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, of which official investiture will be in December 2021. He received his LLM from the University of Lagos and Ph.D from Queen Mary, University of London. He is a Professor of Law at Babcock University, where he has previously served as the Dean, Faculty of Law. He is the Senior Partner at G. O. Sodipo & Co.

Money Power, Rentiership and Extractivism in Emerging Countries

Capitalism is a complex mode of production where general trends unfold as a multiplicity of social, political and economic levels that, more often than not, seem to be in contradiction with each other. It is therefore tempting to fall into the ideological trap of just remaining on the surface, describe phenomena at first sight and set aside any theoretical attempt to make sense of complexities and variegations. An apparent example of falling in this temptation are studies that present power as exclusive of the political sphere, thus detached from civil society (what we could nowadays call the economic sphere).

The Role of the State in Managing Crossborder Flows and the Politics of Crossborder Capital Management Tools

The heightened movement of financial capital across the globe, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, has breathed new life into three long-standing, yet until recently side-lined, debates: the value of cross-border capital controls (increasingly discussed under the banner of ‘macroprudentialism’); dependency theory (key elements of which manifest in the emerging literature on ‘subordinate financialization’); and the role of the state in a capitalist system (discussed in various critical political economy literature, including the influential critical macro-finance scholarship). Alami’s book Money, Power, and Financial Capital in Emerging Markets: Facing the Liquidity Tsunami is a critical intervention into all three debates and serves as fertile ground for a critique of the capitalist state in a highly financialized global system.

Symposium Introduction: Money Power and Financial Capital in Emerging Markets: Facing the Liquidity Tsunami, Routledge, 2019

I wrote this book as an attempt to think politically about the cross-border movement of money and financial flows in developing and emerging economies, in Africa and elsewhere. Much of the economics literature, whether mainstream or more critical, and whether scholarly or policy-oriented, tends to conceive of this topic as a technical question. If only emerging markets attracted the right amount of financial capital (neither too little nor too much) with the right quality-mix (a healthy balance between long-term and short-term flows), then financial crises, speculative bubbles, overborrowing, and other negative effects could be avoided, and global finance could be harnessed for development purposes. From this perspective, then, what is at stake for emerging markets is to implement the right policies, regulations, and institutions.

AfCFTA and International Commercial Dispute Resolution – A Private International Law (Conflict of Laws) Perspective

In this presentation, I have argued that the current national conflict of laws regimes to resolve intra-African private cross-border commercial disputes are not fit for purpose. They must be reformed to enable them to deliver on the goals of the AfCFTA. One can expect an increase in private cross-border commercial disputes arising from increased intra-African trade with the implementation of the AfCFTA. It would be unfortunate if all the efforts of member states and the AfCFTA Secretariate are devoted to developing AfCFTA’s inter-state dispute resolution mechanism, and little or nothing is done about the legal framework for resolving cross-border private commercial disputes. This is because most of the trade transactions under AfCFTA would involve private business entities. Their rights need to be protected to ensure certainty and predictability for them.