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. 

Book Review: Intellectual Property Law in Nigeria: Emerging Trends, Theories and Practice, D.O. Oriahkogha and A.I. Olubiyi (Benin City: Paclerd Press, 2023)

This is the second collaboration by experts in the field of IP law, Dr. Desmond Oriakhogba and Dr Ifeoluwa Olubiyi, who have come together again to make substantial changes to the first edition of their text which assessed the theories, practices, and emerging trends of IP law in Nigeria. In their resourceful second edition, the authors have taken upon themselves the responsibility of analyzing the dynamic realm of IP law, and how it continues to shape and protect IP property rights in an increasingly multifaceted and interrelated world. They recognize that the Nigerian IP law landscape will need to keep up with technological advancements in the space even as technology continues to develop.

The Effect of Recent Coups in Africa on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

There has been a wave of incessant coups in Africa, starting in Mali in 2020. Since then, it has unprecedentedly spread to 6 countries in 3 years. Other countries include Guinea (2021), Chad (2021), Sudan (2021), Burkina Faso (2022), Niger (2023), and most recently, Gabon in August 2023 have experienced coups. The coup leaders deposed elected leaders, forestalled elections, or even overthrew leaders who held on to powers for over 50 years. It has also caused the rise of a faction among African leaders. Countries with military regimes declare support for one another and daring regional bodies like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to take any disciplinary action. This post examines the effect of the rising political instability in African countries on the African Union’s (AU) effort to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Symposium Introduction: The 2023 Climate Change Advisory Opinions & the Global South

The Centre for International Legal Studies of Jindal Global Law School and Kabarak University Press, in association with the African Society for International Law (AfSIL) commenced the two-part panel series around the 2023 climate change advisory opinion requests over a virtual conference held on 13 June 2023. The conversation took place between convenors Professor Rashmi Raman and Humphrey Sipalla, moderator Isabelle Rouche, and an expert panel comprising professor of international law at the University of Geneva, Makane Moïse Mbengue, Kenyan lawyer and professor of public international law at Queen Mary University of London, Phoebe Okowa, former member of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (“ITLOS”) and professor at Jindal Global Law School, Gudmundur Eirikkson, and international human rights law Attorney Ms. Patricia Tarre Moser (hereinafter, the “Panel”).

A New Era for Arbitration in Nigeria: The Arbitration and Mediation Act 2023

Established national laws and a reliable judicial system are two features considered crucial by investors when seeking potential investment destinations. Investors often prioritize these factors to guarantee a profitable and risk-free investment. This also holds true for arbitration, as the 2015 Queen Mary International Arbitration Survey Respondents confirmed that the established formal legal infrastructure: the neutrality and impartiality of the legal system, the national arbitration law, and its track record for enforcing agreements to arbitrate and arbitral awards; plays a vital role in the selection of an arbitral seat. For more than thirty years, the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1988 Chapter A.18, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (ACA) was Nigeria’s primary legislation governing arbitration. However, new legislation was required to address the complexities and evolving needs of arbitration in the country and align Nigeria’s arbitration practices with international standards. On 26th May 2023, the Arbitration and Mediation Act 2023 (AMA) was signed into law by the President of Nigeria, signifying a significant milestone for arbitration and mediation proceedings in Nigeria. This blog reviews the AMA by focusing on the innovative developments and their importance to the attractiveness of arbitration in Nigeria. Some praiseworthy innovations in the AMA include new provisions on (a) mediation and enforcement of international settlement agreements; (b) recognition and enforcement of interim measures issued by arbitral tribunals, (c) award review tribunal, (d) consolidation of arbitrations and joinder of parties, and (e) third-party funding. Other provisions relate to emergency arbitration, the limitation period for enforcement of an award, and the definition of an arbitration agreement.

Book Review Symposium: Adopting a human-rights-based approach to Resource Governance

Dr. Oyeniyi Abe’s book, Implementing Business and Human Rights Norms in Africa: Law and Policy Intervention, is a timely intervention in the field of business and human rights. The book focuses on interpreting and implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in Africa through legal and policy frameworks.

Book Review: Implementing Business and Human Rights Norms in Africa (Routledge 2022) by Oyeniyi Abe

Abe’s book discusses the challenges associated with the utilisation of business and human rights principles in development projects in Africa using South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria as case studies. The author uses the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) as a benchmark in making a case for human rights approach in the implementation of development projects in Africa. The author highlights the legal challenges of business and human rights in the extractive industry while underscoring the increasing significance of the implementation of a human rights approach in corporate governance regimes in the spotlighted nations. Many economies in Africa are heavily dependent on telecommunication, energy, extractives and the financial industries. Corporations in these industries often undertake activities with significant social, environmental and human rights implications.

Book Review: Challenges and Prospects of Corporate Responsibility in Africa: Conversation with Oyeniyi Abe’s book on Business and Human Rights in Africa

The recently released book by Oyeniyi Abe: Implementing Business and Human Rights Norms in Africa (Routledge 2022) is a comprehensive analysis of human and environmental rights impact of business activities in Africa. The book discusses conceptual and practical issues arising in the Business and Human Rights (BHRs) landscape in Africa. Furthermore, the book contains instructive developments on competing theories on corporate international human rights obligations and the range of remedies available to rights holders and 'victims' of corporate misconduct. Even more, commanding is the author's choice to present in accessible manner case studies of Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

Book Review Symposium: What future for the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in Africa?

The discourse on corporate accountability for human rights violations has been shaped to a great extent by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) (UNGPs), resulting from the work of John Ruggie, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights. The UNGPs were endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011 and rest on three pillars: the State duty to protect against human rights violations; the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in their operations; and greater access by victims to effective remedy, both judicial and non-judicial, for human rights violations. While the focus on the second pillar i.e. the corporate responsibility to respect human rights is increasingly scrutinized, it has mostly been done in Western academic contexts. A long overdue African perspective on what this second pillar means and entails, is starting to take shape given that the African continent continues to be the breeding ground for many human rights atrocities attributed to corporations. In this respect, Abe’s book is a meaningful welcome contribution from the legal perspective on these issues.

Book Review Symposium: BHRs and CSR: Connecting the Dots

This remarkable book on business and human rights norms in Africa, is written in three parts. Part one, examines the key contexts and principles which underpin the nature and scope of business and human rights in Africa, and the relevant corporate governance theories and regulations. Part two, proposes human rights-based approach (es) to business and human rights in Africa and examines the human rights corporate duty to respect, the integration of such a rights-based approach in development and the question of access for effective remedies. Finally, part three, examines the implementation of the protect, respect, and remedy framework in Africa’s energy and extractive sectors, with particular focus given to three focal jurisdictions in Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.