The Agreement establishes a Dispute Settlement Mechanism that seeks to settle state-level disputes. Such mechanism is to be administered in tandem with the provisions of the Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes (the Protocol). The Protocol aims at providing a ‘transparent, accountable, fair, predictable, and consistent dispute settlement process.’ Article 8 of the Protocol permits disputing state parties to voluntarily undertake conciliatory measures in a bid to amicably resolve the dispute in the event consultations, which are not strictly compulsory according to the language of Article 6(6), fail.
The AfCFTA can be used as a booster for the advancement of maritime trading activities and the shipping industry in Africa. Since the main aim of the AfCFTA is to create a single market where goods, services, people and capital will move freely, all 55 countries have to improve their road as well as maritime networks to allow easy access and transportation of goods and people across the region. The AfCFTA along with the African Union’s 2050 Integrated Maritime Strategy can bring a panoply of opportunities and benefits for maritime sector.