AfCFTA and International Commercial Dispute Resolution – A Private International Law (Conflict of Laws) Perspective
In this presentation, I have argued that the current national conflict of laws regimes to resolve intra-African private cross-border commercial disputes are not fit for purpose. They must be reformed to enable them to deliver on the goals of the AfCFTA. One can expect an increase in private cross-border commercial disputes arising from increased intra-African trade with the implementation of the AfCFTA. It would be unfortunate if all the efforts of member states and the AfCFTA Secretariate are devoted to developing AfCFTA’s inter-state dispute resolution mechanism, and little or nothing is done about the legal framework for resolving cross-border private commercial disputes. This is because most of the trade transactions under AfCFTA would involve private business entities. Their rights need to be protected to ensure certainty and predictability for them.