Regional Economic Communities

Preserving Africa’s Fiscal Sustainability in the Wake of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement

It is trite to mention that the benefits and costs from trade expansion may never be evenly distributed across ACs. However, the estimated revenue loss should not be considered as an absolute loss for ACs as the long-term benefits, facilitated by adjustment support remain significant. It will allow comparative advantage to thrive, thereby granting customers and firms access to cheaper products/raw materials in the continent.

Through Her Lens: Phenomenal Views on Intellectual Property Rights

The International Women’s Day is an opportune time to recognise and celebrate female scholars. This post spotlights five female scholars of African descent, Professor Ruth Okediji, Professor Olufunmilayo Arewa, Professor Caroline Ncube, Dr Amaka Vanni and Dr Chijioke Okorie, for their outstanding contributions to the multifaceted and often esoteric intellectual property rights (IPRs) debates

Harmonisation of Private International Law in the African Union

Harmonisation of private international law in the African Union is currently remarkably underdeveloped. Since harmonisation is indispensable for the planned economic integration, it is essential to pursue further developments. To conclude, harmonisation of private international law in the African Union is an affair to be closely followed.

Fourth African International Economic Law Network Biennial Conference Symposium: Introduction

In July 2019, the African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN), held its Fourth Biennial Conference under the theme “Africa and International Economic Law in the 21st Century” at the Strathmore University Law School (Nairobi, Kenya). This symposium contains some of the papers presented at this conference in their abridged forms. Before introducing the authors’ views on this Conference’s broader theme, we provide the important context under which the Conference took place.

Concurrent Jurisdiction between the World Trade Organization and the AfCFTA Dispute Settlement Systems

In order to address a scenario where a AfCFTA member might resort to the WTO and still want the dispute to be resolved under the AfCFTA’s dispute resolution protocol, then this article proposes that the latter Protocol should be amended to the effect that, matters raised in the WTO context and in AfCFTA’s context should be considered not to be the same.

Devising Most Favored Nation (MFN) Clauses for the implementation of the AfCFTA in Economic Partnership Agreements

The effective implementation of the AfCFTA can only be achieved where state parties are assured of the stability of their local markets. This article notes that one of the key ways to safeguard these markets is through the development of a coordinated response to MFN clauses which can only be effectively attained through the Council of Ministers.

The Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community and the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area: Some Relational Aspects and Concerns

While the establishment of a free trade area is categorically provided for as one of precursor stages to the AEC, it is appears to have been envisioned as being established primarily at the regional level (article 2 (d)), and not necessarily at the continental level. This was very much in line with the strategy to build the AEC through the RECs. The AEC Treaty did not get into the modalities of the establishment of the prospective free trade area, neither did it mention a further protocol in that regard. Whether this omission was deliberate, is subject to speculation, but perhaps it may have been based on the belief that RECs would be the drivers of free trade areas as opposed to a focused continental framework or mechanism.

Remedying the Power Imbalance in Negotiations for Bilateral Tax Treaties

Developing countries are currently disadvantaged in the international tax regime. The control of the developed countries in the tax regime is evidenced in their influence in the creation of the major model tax treaties that are used as the starting point for nearly all bilateral tax treaties today. With the rise of multilateral tax instruments and an awareness of the dubious flow of tax revenue out of already disadvantaged countries, developing countries should consider renegotiating their bilateral tax treaties to ensure a more balanced international tax system that is designed for their benefit.

REVIEW III of Regional Developmentalism through Law: Establishing an African Economic Community, Jonathan Bashi Rudahindwa, Routledge, 2018

The book traces the evolution of regionalism and regional integration on the continent, from the Organization of African Unity through to the African Union but, unlike earlier treatises on regionalism, Bashi Rudahindwa rightly places emphasis on the role of the legal framework. He draws comparisons with other regional economic integration projects: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Common Market of the Southern Cone (MERCOSUR), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the European Union (EU), to argue for greater emphasis in the AU on capacity building, and the need to utilize law to support regulatory and institutional frameworks to facilitate trade and industrialization, and interventionist measures aimed at promoting structural transformation.