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. 

The Emergent African Union Law - Conceptualization, Delimitation and Application. Eds. Olufemi Amao, Michele Olivier, Konstantinos D Magliveras

This edited collection of 24 Africa experts with diverse academic and practice focused backgrounds is divided into 5 parts and 24 chapters. The focus of the book is to establish African Union (AU) law as a focal point for the development of African countries. It provides a rich vein of scholarly literature which might not always be apparent to international researchers and practitioners. The ambition is to use regional integration law as a springboard for legal and socio-economic growth by avoiding national law failures that have undermined the development of the African continent.

Book Review: Olufemi Amao, Michèle Olivier, and Konstantinos D. Magliveras (Eds), The Emergent African Union Law: Conceptualization, Delimitation, and Application, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.

What is particularly fascinating is that the contributors have used different theoretical perspectives and methodologies to assess this evolving body of regional legal regime. No doubt, this pioneering 24-chapter book on the novel concept of AU Law is worth the effort and invaluable to academicians and policymakers alike. This view derives from the fact that the edited volume investigates the domestication of AU Law by African States, particularly in the areas of constitutional law, human rights, democratic governance, and economic law.

Book Review: The Emergent African Union Law: Conceptualisation, Delimitation and Application. Olufemi Amao, Michèle Olivier and Konstantinos D. Magliveras (eds)

This substantial volume sets out to establish the case for recognition of a new field of law. The editors propose a concept of African Union (AU) law – by analogy with the established body of European Union (EU) law – and argue for the need for such a concept in order to create “a platform to examine legal developments in Africa from an Afrocentric perspective”.

Symposium on Reconceptualizing IEL for Migration: The Elephant in the Room

Migrants and migrant workers from the Global South carried the economies of the Global North on their backs during the Covid-19 pandemic. On the one hand, millions of migrant workers in agriculture, trans-portation, care, food processing, construction, and other essential sectors continued working while the world shut down. On the other hand, migrant workers faced some of the harshest and most punitive treatment due to their status or lack thereof; many migrant workers were detained, deported or subjected to severe and inhumane treatment coupled with the physical, emotional and psychological impact of the pandemic. The pandemic unveiled high levels of nationalism, racism and xenophobia that impacted mi-grants globally and states have used the momentum to justify heavy handed measures and increased migration restrictions and the monitoring of migrants.

Symposium on Reconceptualizing IEL for Migration: Migration and Inter-National Economic Laws that do not Erase Colonialism

Apart from important recent examples that will be formative, we believe it is long past time for international economic law to take stock of its hidden heritage (including settler colonialism) and how this ongoing legacy invariably intersects with IEL’s impoverished notions of economy, as well as its impoverishing approach to migration.

Labour Markets Are Expanding to Global Workspaces, Here Are Some Economic and Institutional Imperatives for Africa

A welcome discussion has emerged around ameliorating labour supply and demand mismatches across the globe by expanding labour markets. South Africa and Nigeria are among several African countries with a structural unemployment problem, characterised by labour market inefficiencies, such as slow pace of job growth and low productivity. It has long been suggested that structural unemployment problems could be eased through reducing barriers to geographical labour mobility, so combined with labour shortages at industrialised countries, the idea of expanding labour markets is mature. Yet, the returns to such labour mobility are not evenly distributed; increased labour mobility could redistribute skilled workers away from African to more productive industrial countries. Formal labour migration agreements should position themselves to address such human capital redistribution accordingly maximising the returns to contractual parties. Destination countries can mitigate the impacts of redistribution of skilled workers by committing to skill formation at source and to migrant selection practices that are inclusive of mid and lower-level skill sets. Countries of origin can improve their labour market conditions, to create, and retain skilled workers, including through adjustments of professional regulatory practices.

Symposium on Reconceptualizing IEL for Migration: Framing Migration in the Post-Cotonou Agreement: Priorities and Challenges

Initiated in September 2018, the negotiations of the new Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU) and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific (OACP) States, on the other (henceforth the Post-Cotonou Agreement), ended in April 2021. This essay examines the strong focus on mobility and circular migration. It also shows that the emphasis on readmission (extensively detailed in Chapter 4 of the Post-Cotonou agreement) is tantamount to the EU’s attempt to consolidate legal mechanisms aimed at ensuring the temporariness of international migration. Such developments raise, however, a host of challenges.

Symposium on Reconceptualizing IEL for Migration: Sustainable Humanitarianism? Refugee Finance and the Financialization of International Protection

Much has been written about how international law generally, and international economic law more specifically, have enabled, facilitated and contributed to the continued racial ordering, discrimination, exploitation, and treatment of people on the move as ‘surplus’ population. The current COVID-19 pandemic, if anything, has laid bare how current economic structures entrench precarity and inequality, in a world in which borders may be seamless for goods and services, yet fortress-like and unwelcoming for those fleeing persecution, climate breakdown, armed conflict or abject poverty.

Symposium on Reconceptualizing International Economic Law for Migration: To Reimagine Must be to Decolonize

International economic law (IEL) seems largely to ignore the governance of international migration. Yet most international migration is conditioned by economic conditions. Historically, the coerced migration of enslaved Africans, and other regimes of territorial relocation were instrumental to the imperial advancement and economic profiteering that served as the precursor to contemporary global economic and political interconnection. But even today, the global economy depends on international migration. The International Labor Organization estimates that “migrant workers constitute 4.7% of all workers” globally. First World economies (at least according to reported data) rely on international migration even more than those of the Third World—“[a]s a proportion of all workers, migrant workers constitute 18.5 percent of the workforce of high-income countries, but only 1.4 to 2.2 percent of the labour force of law income countries.”