The brief discussions in this blog post highlight critical aspects of the contemporary dynamics of commodity dependence that challenge the optimism of the GVCD approach as espoused by multilateral development agencies and the WTO. Moreover, it raises further questions on the political economy of commodity dependency and industrial policy in SSA that deserve attention.
This blog post examined how legal and institutional barriers have affected FDI in Nigeria’s RE sector and proffered strategies to resolve the identified issues. It was established that though Nigeria has considerable potential for generating solar, small and large hydro, biomass, biogas and wind energy to bridge her huge energy gap, the current RE production from these sources is abysmally low. Meanwhile, the FDI inflow in the sector is declining despite the government’s renewed favourable disposition. The situation is further exacerbated by some legal and institutional impediments that include policy inconsistency, inadequate legal framework, corruption, ineffective administrative processes, poor adherence to the rule of law, lack of awareness and insecurity.
This commentary considers the access to food component of the draft UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts (Guide) and voices its silence on intellectual property rights (IPRs). In the past decade, foreign investors have increased the number of investments in the long-term lease of arable land, especially in Africa, and in the Global South, generally. The reasons for the choice of these locations include the availability of large portions of inexpensive agricultural land, inexpensive local labour and favourable climatic conditions for crop production. The Guide proposes more responsible investments in agriculture from public and private sector investors as a way to achieve, inter alia ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Zero Hunger’ (Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2).
In the specific context of the AfCFTA, (international economic) law is supposed to focus on producing rules designed to promote trade liberalisation by eliminating any constraints that are likely to prevent the flow of capital across the continent and to restrict the growth of business activities well as their expansion across national borders.