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. 

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.

Journeying Towards an African Electricity Market: An International Economic Law Perspective

Electricity security is in today’s world a critical component for a well-functioning economy. Many African countries rely heavily on fossil fuels for electricity generation, while others have successfully harnessed renewable energy sources – Kenya being an example, with over 80% of its power generation being from renewable energy sources. With the global push to de-carbonise national economies, particularly the power sector, the interdependence of countries through electricity trade will become increasingly important. Countries are now only looking to develop their own clean energy capacity, but will in future, also seek to harness that of neighouring countries through cross-border power trade.

Symposium on Electricity/Energy Markets in Africa and their Intersections with International Economic Law: From Electricity Market Reform to Contingent Liabilities

Electricity market structures come in different shapes and forms. Many have given rise to new players, particularly in power generation. Private participation brings advantages but also challenges to a sector that cannot be looked upon in isolation from the broader macroeconomic perspective. What are those advantages and challenges? How do they play out in Sub-Saharan Africa? Contingent liabilities have become a buzz word around infrastructure project development, but what exactly are they and how concerned should governments be? And most importantly, what can be done to tackle them?

The Role of Climate Finance in Facilitating Low Carbon Electrification in SSA: Opportunities and Challenges

The incremental change in the level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere has led to climate change characterised by rising global temperatures. This has resulted in extreme and often devastating weather across the globe with subsequent negative impact on the world’s economies and societies. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) in July and October 2021 respectively issued projections to the effect that there is no peak in sight for carbon emissions and fossil fuels consumption. According to their data, the projections indicate that by 2050: - a) based on the current policy positions, there will likely be a 50% increase in energy consumption, b) carbon emissions will hit record high levels in the coming years as global economies recover from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, c) even though renewables will continue to be the fastest-growing new source of energy, hydrocarbon-based fuels will still meet the bulk of the projected demand and finally, d) that despite increased climate ambitions, the levels of funding that governments are allocating to sustainable climate-friendly recoveries is inadequate.

Power Sector Reforms in Africa: Balancing States’ Regulatory Powers with their International Legal Commitments

As observed by the International Energy Agency’s most recent World Energy Outlook, the Covid-19 crisis has underlined the importance of a reliable, affordable and secure electricity supply that is able to accommodate sudden changes in behaviour and economic activity, while continuing to support vital services. The electricity sector will play a key role in supporting economic recovery, and an increasingly important long-term role in providing the energy that the world needs, as it evolves into a system with lower CO2 emissions and enhanced flexibility.

Inaugural World Arbitration Update: Africa and MENA Reasserting A Protagonist Role in the Arbitration Scene

These recent procedural and substantive trends encompassed in the WAU conference demonstrate a renewed and welcomed interest for arbitration of mega disputes in the African continent and the MENA region, both international arbitration hubs that are gaining prominence. Whilst challenges remain, biases against arbitrating disputes in these regions are being debunked by the experience of Africa and MENA with dispute resolution, the advent of institutions and “arbitration friendly” jurisprudence.

Symposium on the CFA Franc Reform in West Africa: What Options for the Transition from the CFA Franc to the Eco?

The newfound freedom of speech vis-à-vis currency in the African franc zone, following the announcement on 21st December 2019 in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) of the imminent end of the CFA franc and its replacement by the Eco, brings to mind the “resurgence of repressed instincts” in psychoanalysis, in other words it is giving rise to every possible or imaginable excess, especially from the “25th hour” combatants, who are only now discovering that the CFA franc is not compatible with the emergence of French-speaking Africa.

Symposium on the CFA Franc Reform in West Africa: WAEMU States’ Exit from the CFA Franc Zone: Legal and Other Considerations

Here are some thoughts around these developments which could have both positive and negative implications for the region moving forward. West African leaders should consider these as they make their decisions about which approach to adopt.

Colloque sur la réforme du franc CFA en Afrique de l'Ouest: La Lutte Pour la Souverainete Monetaire en Afrique de L'ouest

L’Afrique de l’Ouest est composée de 16 pays divisés en ex-colonies britanniques, françaises et portugaises. Dans le cadre des efforts d’intégration économique, ces pays fondèrent en juillet 1978, la Communauté des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO). Depuis cette date, il y a eu des progrès pour intégrer ces différents pays, tant au niveau des échanges économiques qu’au niveau des systèmes de paiements. C’est dans ce dernier domaine que la CEDEAO peine toujours à trouver une solution consensuelle pour adopter une monnaie commune ou unique. Depuis le milieu des années 1980, le chantier de la monnaie unique a été lancé mais il reste confronté à plusieurs obstacles d’ordre monétaire et politique, comme on le verra plus loin. Il y a actuellement huit (8) monnaies en circulation dans la CEDEAO, dont le franc CFA hérité de la colonisation française et sept (7) monnaies nationales