This article will briefly examine this dynamic across three interconnected dimensions: (1) flexibility and innovation in IEL agreement models, with a focus on trade agreements, that better integrate economic and social development goals and allow parties to adapt to new circumstances or phase in commitments on a more incremental basis; (2) flexibility in implementation of trade disciplines and agreements; and (3) legal and regulatory innovation that can both define and flow from IEL agreements. These three dimensions take into account both treaties themselves and how they relate to changes in law and regulation in practice, drawing a link between international agreements and their operation that is particularly important in times of change or uncertainty. In assessing dimension three, legal and regulatory innovation, which has been a focus of my work over the past decade,
The interconnectedness of commercial and other mundane human transactions has never been more reified than it is since the advent of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). However, it bears observing that ICTs have helped in harnessing virtually every human and non-human endeavour into their commercial ramifications
A competition policy at the continental level is not only important to meet the objectives of the AfCFTA, but it will provide a forum to strengthen and develop existing competition regimes. The AfCFTA, creates a wide continental market and a competition policy will provide African countries with the power to police international anti-competitive conduct by pulling resources that will enhance global trade. However, for a competition policy to be effective, the AfCFTA must continue to build on the efforts made at the national and regional levels. Member States should take this opportunity and negotiate on the future continental competition policy taking into consideration the African markets and its role in global markets.
The SADC-EAC-COMESA Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) negotiations on developing a Protocol on Competition Policy as directed by Article 45 of the TFTA have been ongoing at the same time as this symposium. Though, still at draft stage, the negotiating member states have agreed to adopt a cooperation model framework that will foster cooperation among competition authorities and consumer protection institutions with the aim of encouraging convergence of laws and policies, analysis, common understandings and common competition culture.
Making Markets Work for Africa is a courageous attempt to bring order to the sparse and often chaotic studies of competition law and policy in Africa. The reader is immediately struck by the logical style of the authors followed by the skilful presentation of the often-esoteric issues of competition law across the different chapters of the book. The text also serves as a well-timed primer on African competition law which may be useful for the reform of existing competition regimes or the introduction of new ones.
The provisions regarding the movement of people as services suppliers in the AfCFTA are a welcome development in the agenda of boosting intra-African trade in services. The next phases of trade in services are currently under negotiations at the end of which State Parties are expected to take specific commitments in sectors and modes of supply. It is only upon completion of that phase that the breadth and depth of service liberalization in the AfCFTA will be appreciated and possibly quantified.