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. 

Fragmentation and Dilution of ACP Countries' Negotiating Positions During the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements Negotiations

This article examines the EPAs negotiating process in select ACP countries to highlight the fragmentation and dilution of ACP countries' negotiating positions. It outlines how the rigorous negotiation processes whittled down the ACP countries offensive interests and ultimately led to the hesitation by several ACP states to ratify the EPAs. The article concludes that EPAs are one of the factors that explain the low trade volumes between African and Caribbean countries.

Demystifying Digital Development: How the Indigenization of Knowledge-led Economic Competencies Mediates Maturational Economic Outcomes for Africa and the Caribbean

Knowledge is the base upon which anyone state can conceivably articulate its unique advantage (and distinction) within the global market. Development within this knowledge-led domain will require a wholesale ideological rethink — a redefinition of the Global South, no longer the site of economic dereliction purposed of (raw) material extraction by the Global North but, rather, as the location of knowledge for the use of African and Caribbean knowledge-industry market ambition. The importance of knowledge and digital (technology) as drivers for economic development not only canonizes knowledge as the most crucial comparative advantage in any one state’s economic toolkit but also telegraphs the path of (state) evolution African and Caribbean states must take in individual or partnered initiative. Put simply; knowledge is directly proportional to economic power, which, if left to systemic tailwinds and the unevolved state organism, will continue to remain the remit of those within the knowledge and digital imperium.

CARICOM-AU Relations: Summitry in the Making

The article proceeds as follows. First, it combines a sketch of older Caribbean-African relations with more recent cooperation-related undertakings, framing mooted CARICOM-AU summitry and its precursor diplomatic milieu by analytically situating both regions in international affairs-related high politics. I show that some recent foreign policy stances of a handful of CARICOM Member States provided early, if incomplete, signals as regards the regional push for a deepening of CARICOM-AU relations. Second, this article delves into the fundamental issue of how to cast Caribbean-African relations while also taking a closer look at summit diplomacy and the main drivers behind African and Caribbean countries' foreign policies. Third, and from a CARICOM vantage point, it pinpoints the role of geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics in the making of summitry with the AU. In the case of the geopolitical dimension, the article highlights recent systemic shifts in relations between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU). The article also examines geo-economic shifts germane to the Africa axis of CARICOM Member States’ foreign policies, underlining the associated value that CARICOM attaches to the summitry enterprise. The article concludes with a look back at core lines of argumentation, along with a look ahead at the practical implications of the COVID-19 crisis and other conditions vis-à-vis the prospects for deepened CARICOM-AU relations.

Introduction to Symposium - Prospects for Deepening Africa - Caribbean Economic Relations

Given the promising potential for deeper trade and investment relationships between both regions, there is a dearth of scholarly analysis on the Africa-Caribbean economic relationship, which this AfronomicsLaw Symposium aims to address partially. The five essays in this symposium, all authored by well-respected academics and practitioners, explore various themes of the Africa-Caribbean relationship. The essays all refer to the shared bonds of history and the need for more significant action on both sides to actualise a mutually beneficial region-to-region relationship. All of the essays offer innovative recommendations for deepening Africa-Caribbean relations.

Negotiating the AfCFTA Investment Protocol: An Opportunity for Africa to Set its Own Investment Facilitation Agenda

In order to decide whether to include IF in the AfCFTA and how, African policymakers should be aware of all these different approaches and dynamics around Investment Facilitation to be able to set their own priorities in this relatively “new” area in international investment law, crafting an innovative and holistic approach for their future investment protocol. To date, international and regional approaches in IF are still in the making – making it easier for policymakers to identify what works best for Africa. In the process, policymakers can also leverage their own cutting-edge reform efforts on investment protection and regulation, and set a regional standard as a rule-maker – which could, in turn, influence ongoing or other future global processes on this topic.

The 4Rs of Covid-19: ‘Reflect’; ‘Repair’; ‘Reboot’; and ‘Revolutionise’

The global Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented shock hopefully many of us will not be alive to see another as disruptive and pervasive as this one. A health crisis that shut down the entire global economic and trading ecosystem for close to a year; a health crisis that has and continues to reconstitute human beings natural social conditioning; a health crisis that has demonstrated political rhetoric does exactly what it says on the tin ‘listen to my words but don’t see my actions’; and a health crisis that brazenly exposed the insatiable appetite for profit, inequality, and power. Indeed, the global pandemic, 18 months later, is proving that walking and chewing gum is a sticky situation for those who believe in the orthodoxy. This blog is a follow-up to a piece I wrote slightly over a year ago that focussed on the Kenya, and with the benefit of hindsight these reflections do ring true for several corners of the continent. As we begin to consider a world post pandemic, I present my 4Rs of Covid-19 of ‘Reflect’; ‘Repair’; ‘Reboot’; and ‘Revolutionise’ as we aim to build forward together.

Reflections on Day 2 of the AfIELN Biennial Conference: Covid-19 and International Economic Law: Africa’s Experiences and Responses

It is apparent that the issue of private creditors in relation to African sovereign debt is a ticking timing bomb in Africa. Africa, though rich in minerals, has slow economic growth and a serious debt problem. There is thus a need for a harmonised legal framework that deals with the issue of sovereign debt, set a limit on debt levels, and outlines how debt restructuring should occur. Africa cannot afford to wait for the active buy-in of other multilateral players in order to develop this legal framework; Africa needs to drive this initiative. In addition, both players—being African countries and private creditors—must take responsibility to avoid reckless lending. This can also be addressed in a much-needed comprehensive legal framework.

Reflections on Day 1 of the AfIELN Biennial Conference: COVID-19 and International Economic Law: Africa’s Experiences and Responses

This blog piece is a reflection on the core arguments from this conference. Notably, Prof. Arewa explored the broader relationship between Africa and international law governance. Within this general theme, Prof. Arewa discussed the link between copy-and-paste laws, the relationship between internal and external legal perspectives, the importance of measurement systems, the lack of understanding of our legal systems, and Africa's place in the COVID-19 vaccine struggle. This piece will evaluate Prof. Arewa and other speakers' thoughts on how COVID-19 brought Africa's broader problems into light, as well as the measures that could be taken to pivot for effective African solutions. This piece will specifically outline the speakers' views on the place and benefits of regional integration and the emerging digital economy's benefits to Africa. Finally, the piece will conclude by drawing the recommendations made as a way forward for Africa.

The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC), Earlier Experiences and Lessons for Regional Competition Regimes in the Global South

The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) has been recognized as the most established regional competition authority so far in Africa. However, the CCC’s enforcement of the 2004 COMESA Competition Regulations (the “Regulations”) has not been easy. It has been marred with challenges. For instance, the launch of CCC –although established in 2004–faced backlash from some of the COMESA Member States, COMESA national competition agencies (NCAs), lawyers, and the business community even before it became operational. That is why it took almost a decade, in 2013, for CCC to commence enforcement of the Regulations. Despite these challenges, on 14th January 2023, CCC will be celebrating a decade of existence. If so, how has CCC enhanced the enforcement of the regional competition laws and what lessons can young and emerging regional competition regimes (RCRs) learn from CCC? In this blog article, we discuss the strategies that CCC has adopted in building its authority and strengthening cooperation with NCAs and other stakeholders in the enforcement of the COMESA regional competition law.

How(Not) to Regulate Digital Markets: Lessons from the EU

The EU is often touted as providing an exemplary model for regional integration in the field of competition policy. It has indeed been successful in many ways – integrating diverse markets through strict anti-cartel laws, introducing an effective one-stop-shop merger regime in the 1990s, and tackling dominance steadfastly albeit less prolifically.However, given its experimentalist and ever-evolving nature, the EU competition regime is also bound to sometimes 'get it wrong'. In the author’s view, this statement holds true regarding the digital markets domain that was recently earmarked for regulation in the EU.