In an essay published in 2002, the late Kenyan scholar, Ali Mazrui, asked the critical question of who killed democracy in Africa. In his archetypal incisive take on African issues, Ali Mazrui delved into history to identify both internal and external forces that have conspired to commit the crime of “democra-cide”. Suffice to say that although the political dynamics of the continent has evolved, many of the culprits mentioned by Ali Mazrui are still busy at the slaughter slab, shredding democracy into bits.
While WIPO’s technical assistance programme has been seen as less biased than much of the bilateral assistance on offer from the EU and the US, the history that Africa has with WIPO concerning cooperation in the provision of IP technical assistance can be said to have led to the introduction of Western-style IP norms across the continent. Our leaders and negotiators, therefore, need to proceed with caution in negotiating the AfCFTA IP protocol and the kind of technical assistance they receive. They must consult broadly and court the services of African scholars and experts on the matter.
African countries are very diverse in terms of their current debt situation, debt management practices and government securities markets. Debt management is, therefore, a vital component of the appropriate fiscal policy for the management of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy of African countries. However, debt management alone cannot solve structural problems and macroeconomic imbalances. Rather, a holistic approach including an appropriate debt level, debt restructuring, and maintenance of healthy domestic and continental forex markets can contribute to preventing sovereign insolvency despite the negative effects of this pandemic to African countries.
There is a new struggle for Africa’s market. The contestants include the European Union (EU), United States (US), Russia, India and China. In this blog, I reflect on the new European Union -Africa Comprehensive Strategy proposals. The blog pushes against the Strategy’s revision of the historical relationship between the two regions which is built on embedded inequality. This is because, to be a true partnership, the unequal nature of the relationship between the EU and Africa must be centered. In the contest for its market, Africa has a unique opportunity to harness the competition tactically.
All in all, what should be kept in mind is that, as the wise Canadian thinker and diplomat Ivan Leigh Head once noted, an element of law (and of accountability), some measure of it, will be needed in the effort to realize the right to development. It is for this reason that the African example of establishing meaningful regional-level accountability mechanisms in the development field, undergirded by hard law, ought to be replicated at the UN level.
What emerges from this case law is a unitary system of sources of law, with the EACJ having the power to police their hierarchical compatibility and invalidate a lower-ranking norm if it contradicts a higher-ranking one. Such an arrangement is typical for federal states; the EACJ positions itself as a guardian of hierarchical compatibility of norms within the federal system, and consequently as a constitutional court within such a system.
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.