This blog reflects on recent efforts for international investment agreements (IIAs) to extend human rights and sustainable development obligations to foreign investors. Prior to the recent adoption of the Nigeria-Morocco BIT in 2016, human rights language and foreign investor obligations were notably absent in Nigeria’s IIAs. This discrepancy - between attempts to attract foreign investment through IIAs and the failure to link these investments to socio-economic priorities in Nigeria – has led to palpable tensions within Nigeria’s dominant economic sector, oil production, but recent international law developments suggest a slow shift is happening.
Millennium Development Goals
Nigeria’s role in shaping international intellectual property law deserves more scholarly attention. That is not to say that Nigeria’s role in this regard has not been acknowledged in the existing literature. For instance, Nigeria’s role as part of the state actors from developing countries that opposed the inclusion of intellectual property into the Uruguay Round that led to the creation of the WTO is well documented. Nevertheless, Nigeria’s role in other fora and venues where issues relating to international intellectual property law are being negotiated and discussed deserves more attention. In this regard, this blog post will focus on Nigeria’s role in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Due to constraints of space, it is not possible to provide an exhaustive examination of Nigeria’s contributions to WIPO’s work. The focus here will solely be on Nigeria’s role within the context of the work of WIPO’s Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP). The CDIP was established in 2008 after the adoption of WIPO’s Development Agenda in 2007 (more about this below). Specifically, this post will highlight the role played by Nigeria in securing the inclusion of an agenda item on ‘Intellectual Property and Development’ at CDIP.
There is a new struggle for Africa’s market. The contestants include the European Union (EU), United States (US), Russia, India and China. In this blog, I reflect on the new European Union -Africa Comprehensive Strategy proposals. The blog pushes against the Strategy’s revision of the historical relationship between the two regions which is built on embedded inequality. This is because, to be a true partnership, the unequal nature of the relationship between the EU and Africa must be centered. In the contest for its market, Africa has a unique opportunity to harness the competition tactically.
Evidence from Nigeria’s 2017 NVR indicates that the strategic framework for operationalising the SDG goals are far from localised. This top-down approach for designing SDG policies in Nigeria does not encourage SNGs to ‘foster actual ownership of the goals and embody their vision of the future in concrete actions and initiatives. Localising the SDGs is not a magic bullet solution to development problems in Nigeria; however, the involvement of SNGs as collaborators and co-designers of rules is crucial to the successful attainment of the SDGs. Especially, as funding is a significant impediment to the actualisation of the SDG goals, the federal government and SNGs must work in tandem to create innovative solutions.
In short, the SDGs and its interesting set of targets are a fertile ground not only to reimagine past UN led decade themed goals and their implications for (sustainable) development, but, to also situate them in contemporary discourse of the activities of nations, transnational corporations and other non-state actors. As part of the 2019 Purdy Crawford Workshop, the contributions to the symposium on “Sustainable Development Goals, Trade, Investment, and Inequality” critically examine these goals from the vantage point of each contributor’s scholarly expertise.
Overtly, debates on the Bill have morphed into a contest between food sovereignty and food security. This comment will highlight the core issues, mostly from the perspective of advocates of food sovereignty, and underscore that food sovereignty and food security are two sides of the same coin. If properly exploited, both can complement government efforts in bridging the hunger and poverty gap in the country.