Regional Integration

African Continental Economic Integration and the Multilateral Trading System: Questioning the Reliance on Differential Treatment

The aim of this piece is to contribute to the evolving debate around the AfCFTA and its relationship with the WTO. It considers whether the practice of African RTAs to rely on the Enabling Clause since 1979 should be replicated. Considering the ambition of the AfCFTA for a deep integration, aiming at liberalising trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property, competition, etc, the Enabling Clause appears as a second-best option.

COVID-19 – The Great (Un)Equalizer

The coronavirus reminds us of our shared humanity, but at the same time its fallout has increased our economic inequalities. It affects and infects people, regardless of class, socio-economic status, gender, and race. At the same time, however, it reinforces inequalities among people and nations by forcing developing countries into the arms of richer nations in the West.

COVID-19: Africa’s Chance to take Advantage of Regional Production

Although COVID-19 is currently making IAT difficult due to restrictions placed on the movement of people and goods, the pandemic justifies enhanced IAT. The situation helps Africa realize the benefits of IAT due to the trade restrictions put in place by our major trading partners who are mainly outside Africa. Most of all, it will help Africa appreciate the good in initiatives put in place to enhance IAT.

Increasing the Benefits, Reducing the Costs: Adding Competitiveness to the Theory and Practice of Free Trade Agreements and Regional Integration in Africa

With an increase in the spread and impact of independent regulatory agencies, Africa now has a nascent but significant network of competition authorities and other economic regulators. This growth in African regulatory practice and influence contribute to the value of adding competitiveness to the theory and practice of African regional integration. To add competitiveness may well increase the total benefits and speed of these developments of multinational agreements and regional integration. A competition policy for Africa consistent with developmental integration should attend to enforcement institutions (courts and authorities) and be flexible regarding its national/supranational balance.

Review of Making Markets Work for Africa (Fox & Bakhoum, OUP 2019)

The book provides helpful examples of the challenges faced in terms of the financial and human capital needs for effective competition law enforcement as well as challenges of corruption and political pressure. Having set out these challenges, the authors document how some countries have very admirably dealt with them, showing how some competition authorities have risen to find effective solutions, making competition law worth much more than the paper it is written on.

Book Review of Fox and Bakhoum: Making Markets Work for Africa (OUP, 2019)

Arguably, Fox and Bakhoum’s Making Markets Work for Africa does more than take part in this literature, it helps bring it into focus, crystallizing its insights and articulating a number of its internal debates.  Perhaps this assessment should be nuanced a bit.  Despite their extensive footnotes and their admirable collaborative scholarship and drive to work from and with African sources (for instance with the Quarterly Competition Review produced by CCRED), the book is focused more on the policy problem than on the existing literature about the problem.  This is not a book about books; it is a book about identifying a complex economic situation with challenges and opportunities and charting and driving a particular line in favour of a better life for Africa’s population.

Devising Most Favored Nation (MFN) Clauses for the implementation of the AfCFTA in Economic Partnership Agreements

The effective implementation of the AfCFTA can only be achieved where state parties are assured of the stability of their local markets. This article notes that one of the key ways to safeguard these markets is through the development of a coordinated response to MFN clauses which can only be effectively attained through the Council of Ministers.

COMESA Call for Applications for Two Professional Positions: Directors - Trade & Customs; Industry & Agriculture

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a regional grouping of 21 African States which have agreed to promote regional integration through trade development and transport facilitation. More information can be obtained from the COMESA website www.comesa.int. Applications are invited from suitably qualified and experienced professionals for the following position.