In order to decide whether to include IF in the AfCFTA and how, African policymakers should be aware of all these different approaches and dynamics around Investment Facilitation to be able to set their own priorities in this relatively “new” area in international investment law, crafting an innovative and holistic approach for their future investment protocol. To date, international and regional approaches in IF are still in the making – making it easier for policymakers to identify what works best for Africa. In the process, policymakers can also leverage their own cutting-edge reform efforts on investment protection and regulation, and set a regional standard as a rule-maker – which could, in turn, influence ongoing or other future global processes on this topic.
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.
In July 2019, the African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN), held its Fourth Biennial Conference under the theme “Africa and International Economic Law in the 21st Century” at the Strathmore University Law School (Nairobi, Kenya). This symposium contains some of the papers presented at this conference in their abridged forms. Before introducing the authors’ views on this Conference’s broader theme, we provide the important context under which the Conference took place.
The lack of participation of African states in the WTO dispute settlement system is indicative to a certain extent of the discomfort that most African states feel vis-à-vis the said system. A future reform of the DSU must necessarily include procedural and substantive aspects to render dispute settlement more flexible for African countries.