Africa's financial sector is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years; with projections, financial technology services, notably digital credit, are expected to expand to a USD 150 billion business by 2022. However, the rapid proliferation of financial services and products, notably micro-finance and digital credit, has led to a worrying trend of predatory lending practices over the past twenty years. This trend may negatively impact Africa's economic development objectives in the long run, while exploiting its most vulnerable.
Although developing countries are very eager to attract FDI through BITs, for most parts, they deliberately water down the environmental concerns. However, recently we have witnessed the incorporation of environmental standards and provisions in BITs. This ambitious effort however is usually frustrated by decisions of international arbitration tribunals.
This symposium includes contributions that analyze state and investor responsibility for wrongful acts, and responsibility for the development of sustainable extractive regimes, in African countries. The contributions are timely interventions at a time when Africa’s regional institutions and states are developing mechanisms for responding to challenges presented by the extractive industries.
This book symposium is about a new era of international investment norms in Africa. The discussion focuses on how to foster cooperation between African states and foreign investors in implementing sustainable development objectives and addressing global challenges. Several traditional investment treaties offer investors broad rights and protections that are backed by strong dispute settlement mechanisms. In the same vein, States have historically committed to non-reciprocal obligations in investment treaties that are seen as significantly limiting the policy space of states.