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. 

Investor Responsibility towards Local Communities in Extractive Industry Projects in African Countries

Local communities, for their part, consider investor responsibility a necessary part of the fabric of international law and politics. While the AU works towards framing business and human rights in Africa along with global developments regarding a treaty on business and human rights and treaties such as the Morocco/Nigeria BIT, African peoples and communities continue to adopt available mechanisms as avenues for communicating their positions on these important issues and exercising agency on a subject that is of utmost importance to their wellbeing.

Primary Human Rights Responsibility in Africa’s Extractive Industries

This short piece argues that while these arguments may hold sway, host African states continue to have primary responsibility and should rise to their obligation to protect human rights of impacted communities against the harmful effects of TNCs’ activities. Moreover, the controversies surrounding the extraterritorial jurisdiction of states and the silence of international law regarding enforceable obligation on TNCs demonstrate the difficulty in embracing the newer approaches regarding the roles of home states and TNCs.

Unequal Terms in Africa’s Mining Contracts: What to Do, and Whose Responsibility?

Over the last decade, and especially in the mining sector, African state actors have begun to denounce unequal mining contracts, and are increasingly reviewing mining contracts accordingly. While African host states are seemingly taking it upon themselves to remedy real and perceived imbalances vis-à-vis investors in their mining contracts, a key question remains what structural reasons have led to such imbalances in the first place, and whose responsibility it is to address these structural issues: host states, investors, home states, international financial institutions, or all the above? This brief discussion contextualizes how responsibilities to redress unequal mining contracts may be shared.

Leveraging Natural Resources for Sustainable Development in Africa

The huge investments in the extractive sector should, in principle, be a catalyst for economic growth, job opportunities, and development. Often, these investments have been a source of environmental degradation, socio-economic malaise and despair. Equatorial Guinea, for instance, is a classic example of the ‘resource curse mystery in Africa. To leverage extractive resources for development, African countries are faced with legal, fiscal, implementation, infrastructure, regulatory and institutional challenges. This contribution addresses state and investor responsibility in the sustainable development of Africa’s extractive sector. It highlights four responsibility indices that will guide states and investors in fostering a shared value approach to an inclusive and sustainable development of Africa’s extractive sector.

Why the African Monetary Fund is a good idea and what can be done to get it going?

Africa has tried valiantly for decades to overcome the substantial challenges hindering the development of robust intra-regional trade. The free trade area agreement is the most recent of these efforts. The credibility of the continent’s leaders and institutions will be influenced by its success or failure. The establishment of the African Monetary Fund would demonstrate the continent’s determination to promote intra-regional trade and development.

The Fourth AfIELN Biennial Conference – Addressing Africa’s Voice in Global Economic Governance

With the purpose to bring together scholars and scholarship that highlights original and innovative thinking in IEL as it pertains to the African continent, the idea was to follow up with the existing tradition that consists in engaging with new scholarship and research on the continent’s contributions to, and involvement with IEL. This task proved at the same time challenging and quite rewarding. The call attracted responses of high calibres as reflected by the quality and quantity of abstracts received, as well as the global representation of the submissions.

The AfIELN Biennial Conference - Diversity of Scholarship and Representation

As the AfIELN celebrates 11 years and its 4th conference, there is a good reason for optimism that the coming years will see the network play a critical role in shaping the implementation of the AfCFTA. The AfIELN is well positioned to provide a support system for the AfCFTA and the broader African economic system. The  AfIELN is in this enviable position for several reasons most notably because it has become an incubator for the growth and development of early career researchers working in the area of International Economic Law both within and outside the African continent through strategic partnerships with relevant organisations and the organisation of research and networking events.

The African International Economic Law Network at 11 – Reflecting on the Past and the Future

The objective of the African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN) is “to serve as a forum for the research, study and exchange of ideas in the field of international economic law in Africa and beyond”. Established in 2008, the AfIELN (initially AfSIEL) is now in its 11th year, although it was not until 2011 when it had its first conference in South Africa. It was then that the name AfIELN was formally adopted.

International Investment Law and Policy in Africa in the Context of the Pan-African Investment Code

While international trade has undergone significant structural changes recently, particularly with the proliferation of new generation of free trade agreements (FTAs), the debate on the consequences of IIAs for sustainable development continues to widen and intensify. In effect, while there has been fundamental changes in the international investment landscape in terms of players (now comprising state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds) and FDI direction (with emerging economies now being, not only recipients, but increasingly home states), governments are also now adopting industrial policies and development strategies that contrast with their erstwhile hands-off approach to economic development.