Regional Economic Communities

Ambiguities in the AfCFTA Text: Red Herrings or Problems with Bearing on the Implementation of the AfCFTA

Its prudent to address questions having to do with the sequencing of the two Phases of the protocol and whether this sequencing was opted for practical reasons or if the ratification of the first set of the protocols is a precondition for the ratification of the second. The answer to this question will inter alia have implications on which States can participate in phase II negotiations and whether or not leapfrogging of protocols is a possibility for member States. Moreover, in light of the great appetite to realize the objectives of the AfCFTA and fast track trading under this instrument, it might be worth considering what incentives (price of entry) can be set to encourage early adopters.

Africa’s Digital Sovereignty: Elusive or a Stark Possibility through the AfCFTA?

In this essay I reflect on the question: What do we make of Africa’s States’ sovereignty whose economies have been reordered/structured around imperial relations of domination, whose larger reigns of social coexistence reeks of neoliberalism and whose citizens are always served the short end of the stick in the access or provision of social welfare services? Not to belabour the point, our increasingly datafied lives promising ‘enormous’ economic value require renewed governance, effort and thinking most pertinently from African States lest what we have as statehood is annihilated on the altar of technological imperialism.

Eighteenth Sovereign Debt News Update: African Internal and External Sovereign Debt Policies

The African Sovereign Debt Justice Network brings to you an update of African sovereign debt news and updates on events and happenings on and about Africa that reveal how sovereign debt issues are engaged by the various stakeholders.

Rules of Origin as a Key to the AfCFTA's Success: Lessons that can be Drawn from the Regional Experience

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) holds great promise for the continent with the agreement expected to increase intra-African trade and secure socio-economic benefits for member States. Despite trade under the new agreement commencing on 1 January 2020, members are yet to conclude negotiations on the issue of Rules of Origin (RoO). RoO are mechanisms used to determine the economic nationality of a product. Preferential RoO constitute an essential part of preferential trade arrangements, such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Annex 2 of the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Goods makes provision for RoO that will provide for a single set of criteria to be applied across the continent. However, discussions on the substantive RoO, which are to be articulated in Appendix IV of Annex 2, are yet to be finalised. In the meantime, member States are expected to apply the preferential RoO covered by their relevant Regional Economic Communities (RECs) until harmonisation is achieved through the AfCFTA’s rules.

The Kenya-US Trade Negotiations: An Opportunity to Comprehensively Rethink Treaty Making in Africa

A focus on the ongoing Kenya-U.S trade negotiations is pertinent as a lens to rethink the trade and investment treaty making reform at the continental level in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”) (section 3). The authors conclude with concrete suggestions aiming to improve the drafting of the prospective Kenya-U.S FTA provisions.