The importance of law in development discourse, especially in times of global crises as captured under Sustainable Development Goal 16 is a critical factor in establishing and maintaining the rule of law by empowering the most vulnerable persons and groups in society to exercise their fundamental human rights against unfettered legal regimes and political leadership.
The circular economy concept is receiving an increasing amount of attention by academics, law-and policy-makers, and private stakeholders as an alternative economic model to realise a transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future. Drivers behind the circular economy concept’s popularity include growing public awareness of plastics waste and biodiversity impacts, increasing competitiveness for natural resources globally especially amongst the G20, and innovations in bio and digital technologies.
Digitalisation is changing the way we understand IEL. New streams of revenue generation resulting from online or digital economic activities remains untapped and unapplied towards steering economic growth. Despite the fact that these new digital models have been met with novel regulatory and tax approaches globally, they are proving problematic in terms of identifying the activity upon which tax should be based. This is because traditional tax rules do not contemplate digital aspects as sources of taxable income. The role of IEL in the digitalisation of the economy therefore, merits consideration, specifically in the area of domestic resource mobilisation as a factor for economic growth especially in Africa.
Currently, the world finds itself at a crisis point. The global health pandemic caused by COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we live, how we run our economies and even, how we teach and research IEL. In the post-COVID world, old rules and games may not apply any more. The scholarly interventions presented in the IEL Collective symposia offers tools for a new, pragmatic internationalism – one based on critical reflection, methodological diversity and contributes towards the development of a more holistic landscape of scholarship on law and the governance of the global economy.
The Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA is far more than just a trade agreement. It embodies long-held aspirations for an integrated Africa which, in the words of Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, would be better equipped to “tackle hopefully every emergency, every enemy and every complexity.” As one of the flagship projects of the AU’s Agenda 2063, the free trade initiative is envisioned as a pathway to an African renaissance in both economic and cultural terms. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the AfCFTA could integrate 55 African Union (AU) member states in a market of about 1.2 billion people with an estimated gross domestic product of US $ 2.5 trillion. Moreover, the area is expected to reflect the continent’s “common identity by celebrating our history and our vibrant culture.”
African countries are very diverse in terms of their current debt situation, debt management practices and government securities markets. Debt management is, therefore, a vital component of the appropriate fiscal policy for the management of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy of African countries. However, debt management alone cannot solve structural problems and macroeconomic imbalances. Rather, a holistic approach including an appropriate debt level, debt restructuring, and maintenance of healthy domestic and continental forex markets can contribute to preventing sovereign insolvency despite the negative effects of this pandemic to African countries.
In this post, I will reflect on the logics that have obscured innovation namely, international intellectual property law and formal organization of innovation through ‘national innovation systems’. These two combine under the banner of legal modernization and economic growth, and have collectively undermined innovation that does not fit into their premises.
The opening quote taken from the G20 Ministerial Statement is a welcome acknowledgment by the most powerful that some countries and citizens lay greater claim to the title of “vulnerable” than others. However, it is not enough. Prime Minister Mottley’s clarion call for global leadership in this area and application of the vulnerability index is one we have wholeheartedly embraced. Through our TVI, we are proposing tangible and effective ways to cater to the patent vulnerabilities of countries in regions like the Caribbean and Africa.
Many governments, including those in Africa, have adopted travel restrictions and physical-distancing policies to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). These are most important for urban areas where population is dense. As a result, consumers, companies, organisations and individuals are increasingly exploring digital solutions to continue at least some economic and social activity remotely, but which, due to a gap in digital readiness, cannot be used by all, in particular not by those in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This state of affairs raises the questions of how to bridge the divide and facilitate physically-distant work and what significant and constructive role could digital trade law play in Africa?
The current attention to sustainability challenges in Nigeria presents a good opportunity for policy makers to review the extant company legislation in Nigeria and incorporate CSR provisions suitable to the nation’s cultural and economic context. The aim of CSR regulation is to use the market economy to finance and achieve sustainable development. The purpose of the company should be redefined to serve all the constituents, not only the community, but also employees, customers and investors.