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 Fate of the Developing States in International Arbitration and the Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard

In this book, the author took the interdisciplinary approach to explore the application of the FET clause in the IIAs between developed and developing countries as well as its subsequent effects on the socio-economic context of the developing state. The main aim of this book as stated in p. 171 is to re-conceptualize the FET clause from the perspective of the host States with comprehensive consideration of their social, political, and economic conditions.

Review of The Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) Standard in International Investment Arbitration: Developing Countries in Context

Probably buoyed by its relatively open-ended nature, the fair and equitable standard (FET) of protection of foreign investors has become a much more invoked arsenal than the claim of direct or indirect expropriation. As Professor Sornarajah notes in his foreword to the book, very few scholars have dealt with the impact that the relatively opaque, if not expansive interpretations of the FET standard by arbitrators has had on the host States, particularly those from the global South. Professor Rumana Islam’s work is a notable exception to this.

Book Review: Rumana Islam, The Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) Standard in International Investment Arbitration — Developing Countries in Context, Springer, 2018.

The book flees from a Manichean vision of international investment law. It is not written against foreign investors and in favor of developing States. With a scientific caution, the author reflects on how bridges can be built between these two actors with the aim of upholding development priorities without undermining investors’ protection — thereby hinting at a fair and equitable treatment for host developing States

Introduction to the Book: ‘The Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) Standard in International Investment Arbitration: Developing Countries in Context’ (Springer, 2018)

The overarching argument made in the book is that there is a pressing need to reconceptualize the interpretation of the FET standard, taking into account the particular developmental circumstances of the developing countries in investor-State disputes. The book explores these challenges and issues that the developing countries face arising from overly broad interpretations of the FET standard.

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.