I am delighted to present this symposium for my textbook entitled: International Investment Law: National, Regional and Global Perspectives (Wolf Legal Publishers, Nijmegen, the Netherlands: 2020). The textbook could not have come at a better time given the compelling need for scholars from the Global South, particularly Africa, to contribute to international investment law scholarship to help reshape and redefine international investment law for the mutual advantages of foreign investors/enterprises and the host States.
Global Value Chains (GVCs) are the main form of contemporary transnational capitalism. They are complex legal and financial structures that challenge traditional international-national and public-private dichotomies. They shape and define the speed of work and extraction, build bridges, raise walls, and transform lives and nature in each place where they touch base around the globe. Covid-19, a biological shock that has triggered a legal and economic reconsideration of global markets, has revealed the ecological backbone of value chains and highlighted the need to rethink the premises of competitiveness and cheapness around which they are imagined.
The role of the international community in achieving adequate access to energy and reducing energy poverty, particularly at the regional level, is the central theme of Dr Victoria R Nalule’s book under this review.
Access to energy is an important part of the everyday survival of modern humankind. However, not all energy forms are healthy for humans and the environment. Given that different countries have various degrees of endowment in energy resources and varied energy needs, cooperation is important for addressing the individual challenges of nations. An interesting contribution of the book is the in-depth review of the renewable energy potential in SSA while highlighting the basic requirements for tapping the full potential of these sources
The Mozambican case of odious debt is an illustration of several similar cases around the world whereby consultants from multinational corporations identify development countries with something of value, such as minerals, and persuade the authorities of these countries to secretly take on huge development loans with banks. In most cases, the money never reaches the countries. Rather, the money is transferred directly from the banks to contractors and the countries are then left with massive debts. Resources and companies from developing countries are given as collaterals for these loans. Therefore, the resources that countries should use to invest in development are transferred to service these odious debts. In summary, this is what happened in Mozambique.
For decades, humans have been drawn to space exploration for scientific, security and commercial purposes. Private companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have undertaken daring projects to commercialize outer space, including tourism, mining space resources and establishing installations and even extra-terrestrial habitats. The allocation of the benefits from outer space is a highly disputed issue, from the early days of space exploration to date. We believe that the issue of taxation, hardly discussed so far, is vital when considering the proper distribution of space benefits
From a human rights perspective, ‘a new normal’ like COVID-19 should generate tremendous change. It is important that, in the midst of this crisis, we keep an eye on the future and begin to forge a better Nigeria that works for our vulnerable and marginalised citizens. Although we are uncertain of how the post- COVID-19 world will look like, our aim is to come out of it stronger and united.
This symposium addresses issues such as the low tax to GDP ratio in developing states, the broken social contract in these countries and the reforms needed to repair the social contract. The convener, in accepting the invitation of Afronomicslaw to host the tax symposium, called upon tax practitioners, academics, policy experts, philosophers, administrators, to offer insights on the relationship between taxation and the social contract
This essay highlights the traditional, hybrid and private regulation-inspired approaches through which the private sector arguably facilitates the achievement of the SDGs. Private regulation is not a silver bullet in the global quest for sustainable development, considering the inherent legal, administrative, institutional and political concerns. However, seeing the private sector as a partner in rule making and enforcement opens a realm of possibility in terms of possible collaborative models among stakeholders towards achieving the SDGs.
There is a need for the international community to be circumspect in eliciting commitments for greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of climate change adaptation and mitigation targets from African countries, without a holistic assessment of how the process of achieving these commitments will affect the development trajectory of the continent. In addition to galvanising greater international support for FDI in renewables for country’s such as Nigeria with significant potential for renewable energy generation for domestic consumption, it is imperative that the proposed energy mix is affordable and suited to the local development needs.