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. 

Symposium Introduction: Reconceptualizing International Economic Law for Migration: Transdisciplinary and Regional Perspectives

This symposium is focused on reimagining IEL for migration, underscoring the place of migration within the larger IEL discourse and unpacking the complex relationship between IEL rules and norms and international migration. The six essays in this symposium gather original and analytical work from established, mid-career, and young academics and practitioners that focus on critical, trans-disciplinary, and regional perspectives on the intersections of IEL and migration. In addition to theoretical analysis, this symposium also showcases empirical findings on the relationship between IEL and migration

A Review of Commentaries and Analysis on Nigeria’s Trade Marks Act By Mark Mordi

The author has carefully identified a vacuum in trademark law and practice in Nigeria and has admirably undertaken the herculean task of filling that gap by bringing to bear a solid 25-years of active and diligent practice in the field. Whilst the availability of local texts on the subject are few and far between, none has attempted to provide a practical guide to trademark law as practiced either before the registry or before the federal high courts. Mark Mordi’s book is likely to be well-received and appreciated by practitioners, the lawyers employed at the Trade Marks registry, scholars, researchers, and judges alike both for the comprehensive treatment of the subject and the erudite rendering of the issues. A review of the intimidating 526 page tome will readily impress on the reader the remarkable industry and intellectual exertion expended in putting it together.

Book Review: Commentaries and Analysis on Nigeria's Trade Marks Act by Mark Mordi

The book on commentaries and analysis on Nigeria’s Trade Marks Act is refreshing. There are limited literatures on trade marks law in comparison to other areas of intellectual property law in Nigeria. The approach adopted and the structure of the book is reader friendly and simple enough for those in the field and those new to the field to comprehend. Indeed, one of the issues in all areas of intellectual property law is clear understanding of what they entail. The passion or interest the author has for the area is thoroughly reflected in the book. Issues were teased out as commentaries; providing further knowledge on intricate areas of the Trade Marks Act in Nigeria.

F. Pigeaud, N. S. Sylla, L’arme invisible de la Françafrique. Une histoire du franc CFA, Paris, La Découverte, 2018, coll.

Voilà bientôt trois ans que ce livre a été publié. Il a même été récemment traduit en italien et en anglais, preuve de l’actualité et de l’intérêt du sujet dont[1] la pertinence n’est plus à démontrer. Parce qu’il pose de manière claire et pédagogique les termes d’un débat fondamental jusque-là largement escamoté, le livre de F. Pigeaud et N. S. Sylla mérite d’être lu et relu. Nous insistons sur l’emploi du qualificatif « fondamental », car la zone franc constitue quasiment le dernier archétype d’un dispositif monétaire néocolonial : d’où le titre de l’ouvrage publié chez Pluto Press qui nous apparaît davantage correspondre à la démonstration de l’ouvrage: Africa’s last colonial Currency. The CFA Franc Story.

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Book Review: Africa's Last Colonial Currency: The CFA Franc Story

In “Africa’s Last Colonial Currency: The CFA Franc Story,” Fanny Pigeaud and Ndongo Samba Sylla highlight the monetary side of French neo-colonialism in Africa, while emphasizing that “There is nothing more ‘political’ than money.” Sylla and Pigeaud provide an overview of the history of the CFA franc, its colonial origins, how it operates both technically and politically, and proposals for more democratic and development-oriented alternatives. They do so in a clear and accessible way that explains basic concepts like foreign exchange rate markets and regimes. This book both reflects and contributes to the growing opposition to the CFA franc. The CFA’s functioning is obscure even in France and the CFA zone member countries; therefore, this newly translated edition is valuable and timely. It helps expand the number of Africans that can meaningfully participate in these crucial debates about the future course of the continent’s development.

Monetary Sovereignty and Doublespeak

In reading Pigeaud and Sylla’s Africa’s Last Colonial Currency: The CFA Franc Story I could not help but think of the word doublespeak which refers to a kind of “language used to deceive usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth.” Deployed by the American linguistic scholar William Lutz and others doublethink is the kind of manipulation of language and thought, so eloquently deployed by George Orwell in his dystopian novel1984, as a way of maintaining political control. As Orwell argued in his essay “Politics and the English Language” political language and the exercise of power consist “largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness,” while providing “largely the defence of the indefensible.” Orwell’s insight is very applicable to the ways in which political control undergirds economic arrangements as Pigeaud and Sylla’s book discusses.

Introduction to the Book Symposium: Africa's Last Colonial Currency: The CFA Franc Story

In our book, we tried to explain the circumstances in which this politico-monetary arrangement was created, how it works, what changes it has undergone, what purposes it serves, what benefits France derives from it, and how it handicaps the development of African countries that use it. While tracing the long history of repression against African political leaders and intellectuals who strove for the monetary liberation of French-speaking Africa, we have not forgotten to mention the recent movements on the continent and in its diaspora that are calling for the end of the CFA franc. Faced with the criticism that the opponents of the CFA franc have no serious alternative to propose, we show that African economists such as the Franco-Egyptian Samir Amin, the Senegalese Mamadou Diarra and the Cameroonian Joseph Tchundjang Pouemi, among others, had outlined different options for leaving this colonial device from the end of the 1960s, that is to say, well before the formulation from 1983 of a single currency project for West Africa.

The Competition Authority of Kenya Retail Trade Code of Practice

Generally, the objective of the RTCP is to enhance market participants' compliance with Section 24A of the Competition Act that prohibits any conduct that amounts to abuse of buyer power in the Kenyan market. Therefore, the objective of this piece is to briefly summarize the RTCP, unraveling the obligations of the retailer and supplier to enhance compliance with the RTCP in particular.

A Reflection on African Trade and Investment Wars in Context

In this essay, we center some of the intra-African trade wars in context. First, these trade and investment wars reveal the ways in which investors maneuver and respond to the hostile regulatory actions of a hegemon state by moving their investments to a friendlier economy. Our first example between Uganda falls into this category. In response to the actions of the Kenyan government, the investors secured market access in Zambia. Zambia thus became a beneficiary of the trade war between Uganda and Kenya. Second, the trade and investment wars bode well for the future of trade liberalization in Africa under the AfCFTA because this probably points to rising trade volumes between African states. Third, as we show in the context of the examples we discuss, the citizens of States that have taken the more hardline posture on the regulatory measure at the heart of the trade and investment war appear to be worse off in their capacity to generate sustained economic development. Fourth, in some cases, African trade and investment wars are caused by socio-economic conflicts. The xenophobic attacks in South-Africa are illustrative of this example. The xenophobic attacks often escalate to trade wars and retaliatory economic backlashes. Fifth and finally, we loop in the AfCFTA and arguethat the trade wars remain a threat to the realization of the promise of the AfCFTA.

Japan: An Ardent Ally of ISDS, What Lies Beneath?

In an era of interconnectedness, it appears that Japan’s approach towards investment liberalization is rather detrimental. Its stance hinders important causes such as safeguarding the environment and related policies that are being pursued by, both, developed and developing countries. Furthermore, while Japan’s approach towards trade and investment may not pose an immediate and significant threat to the entirety of global rules-based systems, it may cast a serious doubt on Japan’s ability to take an active role on the global stage and to foster global rules-based system.