Symposia: Forthcoming Feature Symposium

Symposium: Illicit Financial Flows and Sustainable Development in Africa 

IFFs undermine Africa’s efforts at domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) and sustainable development aspirations. IFFs can arise from tax and commercial practices, illegal markets, theft-related and terrorism financing, and corruption. They are multidimensional and transnational, affecting both Global North and Global South countries. However, the consequences are more dire for Global South countries, particularly African countries. IFFs represent a space where economic resources, in the form of tax revenue owed to these countries, are withheld due to corporate and criminal legal structures facilitating the circumvention of national laws. However, the implications of IFFs and their intersection with sustainable development, sovereign debt, debt management and cost of capital are understudied. Against this backdrop, this symposium brings together scholars, and policy makers to reflect upon various dimensions of IFFs in Africa including potential role of an international anti-corruption court. Contributors to the symposium offer unique perspectives and draw on different theoretical and methodological approaches to the practice and scholarship related to IFFs in African states and beyond. Several themes were addressed by the contributors, including tax justice, technology, corruption, accountability, political will, repatriation, recovery of Assets, migration, whistleblowing, international investment, and real estate.

Convenors: Olabisi D. Akinkugbe and Morris Odeh


Olabisi D. Akinkugbe and Morris Odeh:  Symposium Introduction - Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and Sustainable Development in Africa

Olufunmilola Olabode: Illicit Financial Flows: An Impediment to Africa's Sustainable Development

Fola Adeleke: Piercing the Veil of Secrecy in Illicit Financial Flows

Magalie Masamba: Investigating the Impact of Illicit Financial Flows on Unsustainable Debt Burdens in Africa and the Quest for Tax and Debt Justice

Marie-Louise F. Aren: Perpetual Financial Drain: Assessing the Effect of Abusive Corporate Tax Practices in Exacerbating Africa's Illicit Financial Flows, Debt Burden, and Under-development

Lyla Latif: The Evolving Landscape of Illicit Financial Flows: Transfer Pricing in the Age of Cloud Computing

Oladiwura Eyitayo-Oyesode: Bridging Tax Treaty Gaps for SDG Success: Unraveling the Impact of Illicit Financial Flows

Opeyemi Bello: Global Minimum Tax Without Global Impact: Examining the OECD's Pillar 2 and its Potential Impacts on Illicit Financial Flows

Ashimizo Afamdameh: Recover and Reinvest: Applying Recovered Proceeds of Corruption to Development Financing in Africa

Irene Wanjiru Kariuki: Illicit Financial Flows and the Real Estate Sector in Africa

Dunia P. Zongwe: "Make Noise!" Revolt and the State's Illicit Flows

Luwam Dirar: A Call to Action: Illicit Financial Flows and Migrants' Right to Development

Florence Shako: Strengthening the Financial Integrity of the Climate Transition by Curbing Illicit Financial Flows

Miracle Okoro: Securing the Bag - Towards Realising Just Energy Transition: A Developing Country's Perspective

Najjuko Joanita: Virtual Heists: Illicit Financial Flows Amidst Digitalisation and Economic Liberalisation in Africa

Emmanuel Onyeabor: Third World Approach to Economic Globalisation and Digitalisation of the Economy: Assessing Current Initiatives for Combating Tax and Commercially Related Illicit Financial Flows from Africa

Michelle Gallant: Grey-Listing, Global Anti-Money Laundering Regulation and the Classic Divide

Damilola Awotula: Illicit Financial Flows & FACTI Recommendations: Reforming International Asset Recovery Mechanism

Robert J. Currie: An International Anti-Corruption Court: A Win Against Illicit Financial Flows, A Win for Africa

Symposium: Making the Multilateral Investment Court Beneficial for Sub-Saharan Africa

Convenors: Emmanuel T. Laryea, Martin Jarrett, and, Jonathan Klaaren

This Symposium is the outcome of selected essays from the Workshop held between 24 and 25 November, 2022 at the Mandela Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The treaty that could create the Multilateral Investment Court is currently being negotiated. For states of Sub-Saharan Africa, herein lies an opportunity to give form and content to, and shape, the Multilateral Investment Court. This Symposium addresses the broad question: How can the Multilateral Investment Court be made beneficial for the states of Sub-Saharan Africa? The essays in this Symposium broadly explore this question by focusing on: (1) how the Multilateral Investment Court could (or could not) work as the best reform option for the states of Sub-Saharan Africa and (2) more particularly, put forward ideas on how the Multilateral Investment Court can be made to benefit this region


Rimdolmsom Jonathan Kabré: Making the Multilateral Investment Court Beneficial for African Local Communities

Robert Mutembei Koome: Africa's Perception of International Courts: Lessons for Multilateral Investment Court

Takunda Gumbu: Consistently Inconsistent Awards: An African Perspective on Consistent Awards under a Multilateral Investment Court

Rafia Akram De Gama: Revolutionizing Investment Dispute Resolution in Africa: Towards a Balanced Multilateral Approach

Christoper Y. Nyinevi: Project-Affected Local Communities, Africa and the Multilateral Investment Court

Emmanuel T. Laryea: The Proposed Multilateral Investment Court: A Missing Issue of Importance to Africa

Kathleen Mpofu: Harmonising International Investment Law with International Law through the Framework of the Multilateral Investment Court

Priccilar Vengesai: Towards an Effective and Efficient Multilateral Investment Court in Sub-Saharan Africa: Combating Corruption

Marie-Louise F. Aren: The Proposed Multilateral Investment Court vis-a-vis African Investment Interests for the Settlement of International investment Disputes

Symposium: Green Deals and Justice

Convenors: Ivana Isailović, Adebayo Majekolagbe, and Nona Tamale.

While the concept of a Green New Deal was proposed prior to the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis as a way of revitalizing and rebranding neoliberal capitalism as ‘green’, it was not until a decade later that a more explicitly Keynesian vision of a Green New Deal became an increasingly popular framework for talking about climate, industrial, and social policies in a unified manner attentive to the conjoined crisis of inequality, labor precarity, and ecological degradation. The notion of a Green New Deal has shifted discourse away from how much addressing climate change will cost, and instead opened conversations about the political potential of climate policy to ‘guarantee [among other things] climate-friendly work and no-carbon housing and free public transit’


Julia Dehm and Usha Natarajan: A Planetary Green New Deal

Adebayo Majekolagbe: Global Justice and the Transition: Wellbeing and Differentiation

Gamze Erdem Turkelli and Janet Jebichii Sego: European Green Deal, EU's Global Gateway, and Financing for (un)just Green Transitions

Ivana Isailović: The political economy of the European Green Deal: Neoliberalism and the (re)production of inequalities

Christabel M. Eboso: Green Deals and Reproductive Justice: A Promise of Just Transition

Godwin E. K. Dzah: Africa and the (Mis-)Promise of  Green Finance

Symposium: You're Not Alone - Normative Debates on Digital Solidarity in International Law and Policy

Convenors: Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew, Karin M. Frodé, and Christopher Yaw Nyinevi

Solidarity is an important principle that spans many areas of international law and policy such as human rights, trade, peace and security, criminal justice and environmental protection. In a landmark resolution, the UN Human Rights Council acknowledged that ‘[t]he same rights that people have offline must also be protected online’. This establishes a ‘normative equivalency’ between online and offline rights. Thus, for instance, the right to freedom of expression, safeguarded by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), is equally valid for online expression. This normative equivalency applies to the enjoyment of other human rights, including solidarity rights.


Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew, Karin M. Frodé, and, Christopher Yaw Nyinevi: Symposium Introduction - You're Not Alone - Normative Debates on Digital Solidarity in International Law and Policy

Mariam Shakil and Kebene Wodajo: (Digital) Solidarity as a Collectively Performed Imaginary and its Challenges

Kholofelo Kugler and Neha Mishra: Emerging Community Values and Solidarity in the African Digital Economy

Barrie Sander: An Intersection of Climate Change, AI, and Human Rights Law: Towards a Solidarity-Based Approach (Part 1)

Barrie SanderAn Intersection of Climate Change, AI, and Human Rights Law: Towards a Solidarity-Based Approach (Part 2)

Tanja Bosch and Tony Roberts: Digital Citizenship and Digital Solidarity in Africa

Charles Ho Wang Mak: Digital Solidarity in Action: Paving the Way for Collective Resolution of Sovereign Debt Crises

Anna Moskal and Neerav Srivastava: Digital Solidarity in the Sharing Economy

Hayley Evans and Mahir Hazim: Digital Solidarity in International Criminal Evidence

Obiora O. Okafor: Digital Solidarity and Human Rights - A Conversation with the Outgoing UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity

Symposium: Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade: Unpacking "Inclusivity"

Convenors: Rose Karoro and Brenda K. Kombo

There have been many important developments on the continent since the official start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021. Keen to stimulate discussion of the ambitious development objectives which have animated the AfCFTA project and their potential to be realized by the effort as currently conceived, the Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School,, and the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa (FLIA) at the London School of Economics and Political Science came together in early 2023 to co-sponsor a discussion series entitled “Assessing Developments in the Negotiation and Implementation of the AfCFTA”.


Rose Karoro and Brenda K. Kombo: Symposium Introduction: Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade: Unpacking "Inclusivity"

Luwam Dirar: AfCFTA: Rethinking Women's Inclusivity and Equality

Andrew Karamagi and Sodfa Daaji: Is the Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade a bridge too far?

Nadia Hasham and Marie-Providence Mugangu: Pioneering Inclusivity in Trade: The AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade

Symposium: The WTO's Dispute Settlement Reform and Developing Countries

Convenors: Clair Gammage, Priscilla Vitoh, and Donatella Alessandrini

Dispute settlement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is in urgent need of reform. For nearly two decades, the USA had accused the Appellate Body of judicial overreach and action against the institution escalated under both the Obama and Trump administrations. In November 2022, the quasi-judicial system that has long been referred to as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the WTO lost its appellate function as the term of its final Member, Dr Hong Zhao, expired. With the US refusal to reappoint members to the Appellate Body, the WTO’s dispute settlement system has been slowly asphyxiated. The WTO’s two-tier dispute settlement system was designed to ensure that Members had access to transparent, independent and timely decision-making.

With dispute settlement reform as a focal point for the WTO’s thirteenth Ministerial Conference (known as ‘MC13’) agenda in February 2024, this symposium problematises the existing crisis and articulate possible alternatives in an era of ‘deglobalisation’. Our contributors offer their expert insights into dispute settlement reform with developing countries at the centre of their analysis and evaluate the mechanisms that have been implemented or proposed with a view to imagining alternative possibilities in the lead up to MC13.


Clair Gammage, Priscilla Vitoh, and Donatella Alessandrini: Symposium Introduction: The WTO's Dispute Settlement Reform and Developing Countries

Kholofelo Kugler and Gaone Morgan: The MPIA: A Viable Temporary Alternative

Ohio Omiunu and Suzzie Onyeka Oyakhire: Shifting the Goalposts: US-Led WTO Reforms of the Dispute Settlement System

Clair Gammage and Franziska Sucker: Why Compulsory Jurisdiction Must be Non-Negotiable

Priscilla Vitoh: Embracing Representation and Diversity in the WTO Dispute Settlement Process

Timothy Masiko: Who Owns the Crown, the Wearer or the Bearer?

Enrique Prieto-Rios and Mauricio Salcedo-M: WTO Reform Feasibility in Times of International Crisis: A Position from Below 

Symposium: The 2023 Climate Change Advisory Opinions & The Global South

Convenors: John Nyanje, Rashmi Raman, Humphrey Sipalla,

The Centre for International Legal Studies of Jindal Global Law School and Kabarak University Press, in association with the African Society for International Law (AfSIL) commenced the two-part panel series around the 2023 climate change advisory opinion requests over a virtual conference held on 13 June 2023. The conversation took place between convenors Professor Rashmi Raman and Humphrey Sipalla, moderator Isabelle Rouche, and an expert panel comprising professor of international law at the University of Geneva, Makane Moïse Mbengue, Kenyan lawyer and professor of public international law at Queen Mary University of London, Phoebe Okowa, former member of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (“ITLOS”) and professor at Jindal Global Law School, Gudmundur Eirikkson, and international human rights law Attorney Ms. Patricia Tarre Moser (hereinafter, the “Panel”).


John Nyanje: Symposium Introduction: The 2023 Climate Change Advisory Opinions & The Global South

Symposium: Remembering Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade and his Legacy: A Joint Symposium

Convenors: Alonso Gurmendi, Salvador Herencia-Carrasco and Juan Camilo Herrera

Judge Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade was a towering figure of contemporary international and public law. An internationally renowned jurist, he was a  judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights between 1995 and 2008 and its President between 1999 and 2004. In February 2009, he was elected as judge of the International Court of Justice, a position he held until his passing in May 2022. A Brazilian jurist with a career expanding more than 40 years, his publications and opinions were geared towards the humanization of International Law and the protection of the individual as the centre of his claims.


Alonso Gurmendi, Salvador Herencia-Carrasco and Juan Camilo Herrera: Symposium Introduction: Remembering Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade and his Legacy: A Joint Symposium

Hélène Tigroudja: Le droit international des droits de l'Homme au service des individus- Prendre le nouveau Jus gentium au serieux

Paula Wojcikiewicz Almeida: The Legacy of Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade: Towards Building a New Jus Gentium

Catalina Fernandez Carter: Speaking to the Future: Judge Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade lasting impact on International Law

Salvador Herencia-Carrasco: The Impact of Cançado Trindade at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: A Jus Gentium for the people

Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant: The Legacy of Antônio Augusto Cançado Trinidade: Interview with Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant

Symposium: The Digitalizing Continent: Challenges and Opportunities of Digital Transformation for Africa 

Convenors: Kebene Wodajo, Michael Asiedu and Somtochukwu Mbelu

The fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is marked by an intensive digitalisation process. Within the process, digital data (physical information converted into digital) and digital technologies restructure how things are done and values are created. Various initiatives and strategies from the very recent AU Data Policy Framework to the Africa Digital Transformation Strategy (ADTS), the Smart Africa Manifesto and the E-Commerce Protocol of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is still under discussion, are intended to galvanize such processes. The regulatory disparity, coupled with the path-dependent asymmetric relationship between actors shapes the degree of leverage they might have over the operation and outcome of such connectivity.


Kebene Wodajo, Michael Asiedu and Somtochukwu Mbelu: Symposium Introduction: The Digitalizing Continent: Challenges and Opportunities of Digital Transformation in Africa

Christopher Yaw Nyinevi and Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew: The Emerging Role of African Sub-regional Courts in Protecting Human Rights on the Internet

Nelson Otieno OkeyoData Protection Impact Assessment as a Human Rights Duty of State?

Michael Asiedu: The Role of Courts in Safeguarding Africa's E-Commerce Environment

Bereket Alemayehu Hagos: Digital Trade in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement: Exploring its Promises and Challenges 

Uchenna Anyamele: Digitalising Trade Finance under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): Lessons from the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR)

Meghan Kathure: Of fissures and Reforms: Tracing Digital Transformation in Africa

Aubin Nzaou-Kongo: The African Union and the Digitized Governance of the Energy Transition: Governance from AU Bodies to Non-State Actors in the Age of the Anthropocene

Kimberley Nyajeka: Safeguarding Sovereignty and Digital Transformation in Africa

Symposium: Critical and Contextual Perspectives on International Economic Law: Amplifying the Voices of African Students and Early-Career Researchers

Convenors: Ohio Omiunu, Nicola Soekoe and Nciko wa Nciko

In African universities, the teaching and scholarship of international economic law (IEL) are dominated by Eurocentric epistemological and methodological frames. Too often, IEL and the broader international law discipline are taught within Africa's westernised 'Ivory Towers' in a manner that fails to interrogate how IEL is both constituted by and constitutive of global inequality and imperialism. This a-historical and a-contextual framing of the IEL discipline presents unequal global economic relations as universal and fixed there by sheltering the discipline of international law from the creative, disruptive energy of young international law scholars. 


Ohio Omiunu, Nicola Soekoe and Nciko wa Nciko: Symposium Introduction: Critical and Contextual Perspectives on International Economic Law: Amplifying the Voices of African Students and Early-Career Researcher

Wayne Rukero: AfCFTA Investment Protocol Negotiations and the Case of Namibia: A Call for Regional Regulatory Harmonization vis-a-vis Investment Policy in Africa

Khalil Badbess: Locating Fragmentation in the 'Africanization' of International Investment Law

Kathleen Mpofu: Investment for Sustainable Development: Opportunity and Challenges for the African Continental Free Trade Area Investment Protocol

Vianney Sebayiga: Environmental Protection under the Ugandan Model Bilateral Investment Treaty: A Call for Reform

Sharon Nyaga: FDI and Gender Equality in Kenya: A Double-Edge Sword?

Yankho Mwandidya: A Review of the Role of Women Leadership in Facilitating Regional Integration in Africa: The Way Forward

Sumaya Nur: Is Morality the Unwritten Law that Could Champion Tax Justice for Africa?

Dominee B. Ndlovu: Readiness for the AfCFTA by Members States' Domestic Tax Policies

Sharlene Kapere and Ali Abdilatif: A Commentary of Titilayo Adebola's 'Mapping Africa's Complex Regimes: Towards an African Centred AfCFTA Intellectual Property Protocol'

Megan Kathure: Heralding Privacy Concerns in AfCFTA's proposed E-Commerce Protocol

Gerald Ndobya: The Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the SPS Agreement: Insights for Africa 

Azminah Jhetam: Hopes for an Anti-Monopoly Agenda in the AfCFTA Competition Protocol

Mpeo Matsipa: Implementation of the AfCFTA in Least Developed Countries (LDCs): Bold or Premature?

Rogers Andagalu: Strengthening East African Community Economy through the Implementation of Division of Competences

Mwendabai Lubinda: Regional Economic Community Synergy in Trade Through a Special-Purpose Vehicle

Olavi A Nangolo: Looking at the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Tribunal through the Eye(s) of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM)

Sharon Raston: Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Bloc and the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): Challenges 

Ester Da Conceicao B. Arouca Antonio: Economic and Environmental Trends Affecting the Participation of SADC Countries in the International Market 

Arnold Nciko wa Nciko and Sidney Tambasi: Problematising Dr. Stewart's 'Competition Regimes in the Caribbean Community and Sub-Saharan Africa' - Thinking not only Race but also Class

Alexander Chibayo: The Unceasing War Against Corruption - A Study on the Financial Resources Plunder During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Malawi

Symposium: Assessing the African Union at 20: Looking Back and Thinking Forward on the Impact of the African Union on deepening Continental Integration in Africa

Convenors: Babatunde Fagbayibo and Nciko wa Nciko Arnold

The idea was to provide a platform to facilitate an opportunity for critical reflection, on its twentieth anniversity in July 2022, on how far the organisation has come in terms of fulfilling its many objectives. To this purpose, we have invited a team of academic and policy experts to engage in a politico-legal evaluation of the organisation, with the objective of dissecting the problems affecting it, the progress made thus far, and what the future holds in terms of expanding continental integration. The contributions provide critical perspectives on issues ranging from the AU's quest for common position on issues, self-financing objectives, migration issues, the AU's right to intervention under Article 4(h), civil society participation in AU affairs, national elections, public health management, AU engagement with external parties, gender equality, and the legal order of the AU.


Babatunde Fagbayibo and Nciko wa Nciko Arnold: Introduction to Symposium: AU@20: Looking Back and Thinking Forward on the Impact of the African Union on Deepening Continental Integration in Africa

Faith Mabera: AU@20: Red Flags of Implementation and Political Will Continue to Stall Much-needed Reform

Faten Aggad: African Union's Quest for 'One Voice': A Mixed Picture

Femi Amao: African Union at 20: The Emergence of African Union Law and its Role in the Integration Effort

Ueli Staeger: The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs in Financing the African Union

Dire Tladi: Intervention in Response to Atrocities: The Contribution of the African Union to International Law

Tariro Sekeramayi: The AU and ECOSOCC: Reflections on Reform and Increased Civil Society Participation

Udoka Ndidiamaka Owie: African Agency, Agenda-setting in public Health: The Africa Centre for Disease Control in Perspective

Ashwanee Budoo-Scholtz: The African Union and Women's Rights since its Inception

Bonolo Makgale: The Role of the African Union in Addressing Election-Related Violence

Aderomola Adeola: Now That We Have Moved in Words, Can We Move in Action? The AU, Member States and African Union Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons in Africa

Masalu N. Masanja: The African Union Agenda 2063 and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM): a Case for Complementarity

Philani Mthembu: The African Union at 20: Building Partnerships for Africa's Strategic Autonomy

Symposium: The Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa

Convenor: Fola Adeleke

With the increase of fintech firms providing instant access to microcredit to millions of Kenya, we are witnessing millions of Kenyans increasingly becoming over-indebted and stuck in a cycle of poverty. As Emma Park puts  Kenya's new experience of debt, ' Kenyans are being driven into circuits of financial capital that are premised not as the marketing would have it - on empowerment, but on the profitability of perpetual debt'. Fintech's primary financial product in Africa, mobile lending, uses algorithms to mine people's devices to assess their creditworthiness. The discriminatory impact of data mining by fintech companies is enormous. As Pascale, the author of The Black Box Society puts it, 'you can get in a death spiral simply by making one wrong move, when algorithms amplify a bad data point and cause cascading effects.'


Fola Adeleke: Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: Introduction

Alexander Beyleveld: Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: Personal Data Protection and Economic Integration: Options for AfCFTA Negotiators

Shanelle Van Der Berg: Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: The Impact of Data Localisation on South Africa's Project of Sustainable Development

Lukman Abdulrauf & Oyeniyi Abe: Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: The Economic Impact of Data Localisation Policies on Nigeria's Regional Trade Obligations

Malcolm Kijirah & Elaine Wangari Thuo: Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: Data Localisation in Kenya: Potential Economic Impact and Effect on Kenya's Commitments in Various Regional Treaty Frameworks

Alexander Betleveld: Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: Mandatory Data Localisation as a Means to Means to Attract FDI? A View from South Africa

Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia

Convenors: Srinivas BurraJulia Emtseva, Barrie Sander, and Ntina Tzouvala

Being an early career scholar in international law is a fun and strange journey: most of us made a conscious choice to hop on a train that is made out of international treaties, court decisions, draft and not-draft articles, case studies, and so forth. Yet, before buying the tickets to this ride by enrolling in PhD and research programs, how long did we think about the caveats intrinsic to ‘going on a world tour’ with international law and not staying in our own jurisdictions? This symposium’s idea was born out of at least four reflections on that question – the experiences of the four editors. While our experiences are unique, we could agree on one thing: there are junior international legal scholars struggling with various challenges that are inherent to the field. The hierarchies of academic institutions, the political economy of modern universities, geographical location, language, race, gender, and mental health struggles are some of the issues of concern to junior legal researchers, and often even to those advanced in their career. Difficulties emerge not only from structures of oppression and exclusion but also from insufficient familiarity with basic aspects of academic life. All four of us agreed that at the beginning of our careers we had/have little understanding of how to prepare a book proposal, an abstract for an interesting conference, a polite rejection email for an attractive offer, a teaching plan, a justification for chosen methods, and much more.

Opinio Juris hosted the first half of this symposium. 


Srinivas BurraJulia Emtseva, Barrie Sander, and Ntina Tzouvala: Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Introduction

Douglas Guilfoyle: Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Mental Health in Academia: Some Hard Truths

Michael Lane: Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Am I an Imposter? Overcoming Doubt and Self-disbelief as an Early Career Researcher

Medes MalaiholloSymposium on Early Career International Law Academia: An Indigenous Concept of Time and Its Impact on Time Management: A Personal Reflection in an Early Academic Career (Part 1)

Medes MalaiholloSymposium on Early Career International Law Academia: An Indigenous Concept of Time and Its Impact on Time Management: A Personal Reflection in an Early Academic Career (Part 2)

Aoife O'DonoghueSymposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Balancing my time or why watching Ru Paul's Drag Race is a better use of your time

Sophie RigneySymposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Your One Wild and Precious Life

Radhika JagtapSymposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Pursuing a PhD in International Law: Some Epistemological and Existential Challenges in the Indian Context

Akhila Basalalli: Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Difficulties of an Early Female International Lawyer from the Global South

Aphiwan Natasha King: Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Gender Disparity in Academic Citations: Tips for Rectifying the Gender Gap among Early Career International Law Academics and Practitioners

Anonymous Blackademic: Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Black in the Ivory: Reflections of Early Career 'Blackademics' in International Law 

Symposium: Reconceptualizing International Economic Law for Migration: Transdisciplinary and Regional Perspectives 

Convenors: Oreva Olakpe & Amaka Vanni

This symposium is focused on reimagining IEL for migration, underscoring the place of migration within the larger IEL discourse and unpacking the complex relationship between IEL rules and norms and international migration. The six essays in this symposium gather original and analytical work from established, mid-career, and young academics and practitioners that focus on critical, trans-disciplinary, and regional perspectives on the intersections on IEL and migration. In addition to theoretical analysis, this symposium also showcases empirical findings on the relationship between IEL and migration. 


Oreva Olakpe & Amaka Vanni: Symposium Introduction: Reconceptualizing International Economic Law for Migration: Transdisciplinary and Regional Perspectives 

Tendayi E. Achiume: To Reimagine Must be to Decolonize

Daria Davitti: Sustainable Humanitarianism? Refugee Finance and the Financialization of International Protection

Jean-Pierre Cassarino: Framing Migration in the Post-Cotonou Agreement: Priorities and Challenges

Omolola S. Olarinde & Nnamdi Ikpeze: Labour Market Are Expanding to Global Workspaces, Here Are Some Economic and Institutional Imperatives for Africa 

Amar Bhatia & Joseph Jonathan Simard: Migration and Inter-National Economic Laws that do not Erase Colonialism

Oreva Olakpe: The Elephant in the Room

Symposium: Electricity/Energy Markets in Africa and their Intersections with International Economic Law

Convenor: Louise Mathu

The challenge of electricity access in Africa is a well-discussed topic. This is particularly more so with increased focus on the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 - ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that 75% of the global population without access to electricity live in sub-Saharan Africa. This statistic is a grim one, but considerable progress has been made towards increasing, though this has been concentrated in a few countries such as Kenya, Senegal, Rwanda, Ghana and Ethiopia. The majority of new connections have been to national electricity grids but the deployment of off-grid systems has also made a contribution to increased access. 


Louise Mathu: Symposium Introduction: Electricity/Energy Markets in Africa and their Intersections with International Economic Law

Rita Madeira: From Electricity Market Reform to Contingent Liabilities

Gisele Stephens-Chu: Power Sector Reforms in Africa: Balancing States' Regulatory Powers with their International Legal Commitments

Nduta Njenga & Temwanani Karen Phiri: The Role of Climate Finance in Facilitating Low Carbon Electrification in SSA: Opportunities and Challenges

Louise Mathu: Journeying Towards an African Electricity Market: An International Economic Law Perspective

Jackwell Feris: The Clean Hydrogen Economy: Industrializing Africa at Net-Zero

Symposium: CFA Franc Reform in West Africa 

Convenor: Regis Y. Simo

On 21 December 2019, the French President, Emmanuel Macron and the Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announced a "reform" of the monetary cooperation relations between France and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). This reform comes with a transformation of the CFA Franc and takes place in the context of a single currency project of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The CFA Franc zone currently comprises of 14 sub-Saharan African countries belonging to two currency unions. Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), established in 1994 on the foundations of the West African Monetary Union, itself created in 1973. The other six countries - Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad - are members of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC). These two unions use the same currency, the CFA Franc, which stands for Communaute Financiere Africaine ("African Financial Community") in UEMOA and Cooperation financiere en Afrique centrale ("Financial Cooperation in Central Africa") in CEMAC. Apart from Equatorial Guinea (Spanish) and Guinea Bissau (Portugese), the other 12 countries have been French colonies (de facto or de jure). The CFA Franc is issued by the Central Bank of West Africa States (BCEAO) (for West Africa) and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) (for Central Africa). Each of these currencies is legal tender only within its own region, thus not directly interchangeable.  


Regis Y. Simo: Tales of a (Not So) Great Sea Serpent: The Reform of the West African CFA Franc in Context

Alexandra Esmel: La Reforme du Franc CFA

Lionel Zevounou: Tout Change Pour Que Rien de Change:Lecture Juridique des Reformes en Cours en Afrique de L'Ouest sur le Franc CFA

Lionel Zevounou: Everything Changes so that Nothing Changes: A Legal Reading of the Reforms Underway in West Africa on the CFA Franc

Demba Moussa Dembele: La Lutte Pour la Souverainete Monetaire en Afrique de L'Ouest

Iwa Salami: WAEMU States' Exit from the CFA Franc Zone: Legal and Other Considerations

Kako Nubukpo: What Options for the transition from Franc to the ECO?

Symposium: Nigeria and International Law: Past, Present and the Future

Convenors: Olabisi D. Akinkugbe, Babatunde Fagbayibo & Udoka Ndidiamaka Owie.

Significantly scholarly debate has been dedicated to the interrogation of the role of Nigerian public international law intellectuals and jurists in the origins and development of the discipline of international law. The debate centers on the notion of the substantive contribution, or otherwise, of these public international law intellectuals and Nigerian elites to the development of international law. Despite the critical work of Global South scholars, centers, and institutions to demystify and re-center contemporary international law discourse, international law in Nigeria remains under researched. To address this gap, scholarly interventions, from established, mid-career, young faculty, doctoral candidates and practitioners were invited to analyse Nigeria's engagement with the scholarship and praxis of international law. The blogs in this symposium are a response to the call for papers


Olu Fasan: Domestic Effects of International Law in Nigeria: The Case of Trade Agreements

Adaeze Okoye: The International Maritime Boundaries of Nigeria - Revisiting Joint Development of Natural Resources 

Emmanuel Kolawole Oke: Nigeria and WIPO's Development Agenda

Fola Adeleke: Repurposing International Investment Agreements to Advance Sustainable Development in Nigeria

Justice Ogoroh: The Purpose of Copyright Law in Nigeria: The Need for a Balanced Approach

Chidebe M. Nwankwo & Eghosa O. Ekhator: Pre-colonial Trade in Africa and International Law: Setting a Research Agenda

Kingsley Osinachi N. Onu: Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change through Marine Renewable Energy Development in Nigeria: Law, Issues and Prospects

Uchechukwu Ngwaba: Nigeria's Role in Shaping Pan-African Ideals at the National, Sub-regional, Regional, Continental and Global Levels

Pedi Obani & Eghosa O. Ekhator: Transnational Litigation and Climate Change in Nigeria

Nkechi Azinge: Nigeria and International Financial Crime Regulation: Past, Present and the Future

Funmi Abioye: Insecurity in Nigeria - Whither International Law

Maryam Idris Abdulkadir: Using Law Clinic as a Means to teach and Disseminate International Humanitarian Law in Nigerian Universities

Kalu Kingsley Anele: A Panoramic Definition of Piracy under the SPOMO Act: Matters Arising

Symposium: Delocalised Justice: The Delocalization of Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Violations Originating in Africa

Convenors: Antoine Duval & Misha Plagis

Our ambition with this conference was to nurture the conversation around the opportunities and modalities of delocalizing justice in corporate accountability cases originating on the African continent in particular (for recent blogs dealing with similar concerns, see here and here). It is often assumed that getting such cases heard by courts in the Global North is an unmitigated good or at least better than nothing. This is generally premised on the perceived incapacity or unwillingness, be it due to politicization or corruption, of domestic courts in African States to deal with such cases. There are obvious dangers with this narrative justifying intervention, which is reminiscent of what Mutua called in another context the 'metaphor of the savior'. The risks of fueling a form of rights imperialism and neo-colonialism need to be acknowledged, even if the lack of better alternatives to hold corporations accountable takes precedence. The conference, thus, encouraged the participants to engage with three main themes around the idea of justice processes being delocalized from the Global South to the Global North - the inverse of the more common flows of delocalization associated with the economic processes of globalization. 


Antoine Duval & Misha Plagis: Symposium Introduction: Delocalised Justice: The Delocalization of Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Violations Originating in Africa

Bamidaye Assogba: Le PCN Francais: Un Dispositif de Controle des Territoires d'Afrique Noire Francophone 

Rimdolmsom Jonathan Kabre: Le Participation Pour les Communautes Locales Africaines Dans la 'Justice Delocalisee'

Adaeze Okoye: Corporate Personality under International Law and Justice Gaps: Could Delocalisation Prompt a Potential Role within African Regional Courts Frameworks?

Jindan-Karena Mann & Nicky Touw: Transitional Justice and Foreign Criminal Prosecutions: Delocalizing Justice?

Michael Elliot: Reproducing Violence and Oppression through Law: An analysis of the Trial Judgment in Kalma v African Minerals Ltd

Kebene Wodajo & Isabel Ebert: Reimagining Corporate Responsibility for Structural (In)justice in the Digital Ecosystem: A Perspective from African Ethics of Duty

Nicola Soekoe: 'A Successful Offloading of What Has Been a Difficult Asset': ESG-inspired Disinvestment and the Communities Left Behind

Symposium: Prospects for Deepening Africa-Caribbean Economic Relations

Convenors: Ohio Omiunu & Alicia Nicholls

Given the promising potential for deeper trade and investment relationships between both regions, there is a dearth of scholarly analysis on the Africa-Caribbean economic relationship, which this Afronomicalaw Symposium aims to address partially. The five essays in this Symposium, all authored by well-respected academics and practitioners, explore various themes of the Africa-Caribbean relationship. The essays all refer to the shared bonds of history and the need for more significant action on both sides to actualise a mutually beneficial region-to-region relationship. All of the essays offer innovative recommendations for deepening Africa-Caribbean relations. 


Ohio Omiunu & Alicia Nicholls: Symposium Introduction: Prospects for Deepening Africa-Caribbean Economic Relations

Nand Bardouille: CARICOM - AU Relations: Summitry in the Making

Brandon Sullivan: Demystifying Digital Development: How the Indigenization of Knowledge-led Economic Competencies Mediates Maturational Economic Outcomes for Africa and the Caribbean

Abigail Namasaka & Etale Reagan: Fragmentation and Dilution of ACP Countries' Negotiating Positions During the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements Negotiations

Matthew Wilson: Can We Keep the Solidarity Dream Alive? Caribbean and Africa in the WTO

Ainsley Brown: Building an Economic Engagement Network Between Africa and the Caribbean

Paula Hippolyte-Bauwens: Towards a More Synergetistic Cooperation between the Caribbean and Africa within the OACP

Sandra Ochieng'-Springer: South-South Cooperation: A Case for Greater African and the Caribbean Integration

Symposium: Markets, Competition and Regional Integration in the Global South - New Perspectives 

Convenors: Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru and Professor Jonathan Klaaren, supported by Oraizia Adham

This symposium is jointly hosted by Afronomicslaw, Chair of International Relations, Hochshüle fur Politik Technical University of Munich, Germany, and the Mandela Institute at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. It builds on a paper written by Tim Buthe and Vellah Kedogo Kigwiu in the inaugural issue of African Journal of International Economic Law, titled 'The Spread of Competition Law and Policy in Africa: A Research Agenda'. The journal article set out a research agenda for better understanding the reality, promise, and limitations of competition law and policy in Africa at the national and regional level. Consequently, this Symposium brings together competition law scholars, practitioners, and competition agencies' bureaucrats across the world to critically and comparatively discuss the reality, promises, and challenges facing the enforcement of specifically regional level competition policies in the Global South. 


Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru and Professor Jonathan Klaaren, supported by Oraizia Adham: Symposium Introduction: Markets, Competition and Regional Integration in the Global South - New Perspectives

Toussaint Nabonswende WOBRAOGOCompetition Regimes in Developing Countries: The Prospect of a New Approach to Achieving Development Goals 

Enyinnaya Uwadi: Benefits of Supranational and one-stop-shop approach to Competition Regulation in Africa

Ado Olivier Angaman: The Experience of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) in the Field of Competition

Rommell Hippolyte & Nievia Ramsundar: The CARICOM Competition Commission as a Regional Institution 

Prof Eleanor Fox: Competition Law, Developing Countries, and Regional Agreements: Tearing Down Silos and Building Up Scaffolds

Mor Bakhoum: Regional Integration and Competition Policy in West Africa: Interfacing Regional and Continental Competition Policies 

Burton Ong: Developing a Regional Competition Law Regime in the ASEAN Economic Community: A Button-Up Policies

Elizabeth Gachuiri: Regional Integration and the Role of National Competition Agencies in Competition Law Enforcement: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic

Nelly SakataSouthern African Regional Competition Regimes - Where are we Today?

Willard Mwemba & Molly Askin: The Role of Regional Competition Regimes in Supporting International Enforcement Cooperation

Zlatina Georgieva: How (Not) to Regulate Digital Markets in Africa: Lesson from the EU

Willard Mwemba & Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru: The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC), Earlier Experiences and Lessons for Regional Competition Regimes in Developing Countries

Symposium: Central Banking and Neoliberalism

Convenor: Dunia P. Zongwe

To tackle questions surrounding central banking, neoliberalism, and development, this symposium has assembled a stellar cast, representing a cross-section of legal professionals from academia, the bar, the private sector, and the regulatory state. The contributors to this symposium demonstrate that neoliberalism still reigns over African central banking, but it displays different complexions. 


Dunia P. Zongwe: Symposium Introduction: What Makes the Central Bank So Central?

Chantal Thomas & James Rowe: International Economic Law and Central Banks in Africa: Towards a Progressive Pro-Development Approach

Issabella Anane-Fasuhene: Central Bank of Ghana: A Timorous Soul or a Bold Spirit

Bryan Eiseb: The Bare Bones of the Bank of Namibia Act of 2020

Gerda Van Niekerk: The Central Bank's Financial Stability Mandate: Sizing up Twin Peaks in South Africa

Andrea S. Mparadzi: Payment and Settlement Principles for Africa's Market

Caesar Cheelo, Marja Hinfelaar & Dunia P. Zongwe: Central Bank Independence and Institution Building During the Neo-Liberal Era: The Case of Bank of Zambia

Symposium: Symposium on Trade Facilitation and the AfCFTA

Convenor: Dennis Ndonga

The commencement of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) heralds a new chapter for Africa's integration agenda. The agreement aims to create a single continental market for goods and services and promises to increase the intra-African trade and achieve several socioeconomic benefits for the continent. However, the projected benefits can only be achieved through proper implementation of the AfCFTA's provisions on elimination of tariffs as well as addressing non-tariff barriers through implementation of appropriate trade facilitation measures. This symposium evaluates some of the key trade facilitation issues that member countries need to effectively address in order to ensure the AfCFTA's success.


Dennis Ndonga: Introduction to the Symposium on Trade Facilitation and the AfCFTA

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

Tsotang Tsietsi: In Pursuit of Transparency for Trade Facilitation in Southern Africa

Sendra Chihaka: Low Levels of Customs Officials' Awareness, A Recipe for Underutilisation of AfCFTA

Ferdinand Everest Ntuli: Trade Security Role of Customs Administrations within the AfCFTA

Adam Willie: Border Posts Infrastructure Concessioning Regime and Trade Efficiency under the AfCFTA

Symposium: Symposium on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

Convenor: Md. Rizwanul Islam

The contributions to the symposium on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) feature essays from across the world. The topics are diverse too: some dwell on the geopolitical implications of the RCEP, some dwell on its dispute settlement chapter, while some others on issues which the text of the Agreement either ignores or deals with only perfunctorily. Despite the divergence of the views of the contributors, on some points, they broadly tend to agree. They clearly perceive the RCEP as the beginning of a growing trend where economies in the Asia-Pacific region could play a much more pivotal rule in global trade rulemaking. They also tend to agree that compared to the other mega-regional trade agreements, the RCEP is less ambitious in its scope in that it has scant provisions on matters such as labour rights or environmental standards. And broadly, the contributions predict that the signing of the RCEP may give an impetus to the US joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which though may somehow be jolted by the pressing domestic challenges of the new US administration.


Md. Rizwanul Islam: Introduction to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Symposium

Bryan Mercurio: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Separating Fact from Fiction

Henry Gao and Gregory Shaffer: The RCEP - Great Power Competition and Cooperation over Trade

Meredith Kolsky Lewis: Geopolitical Implications of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Maria Adele Carrai: The RCEP and a Geopolitical Pivot to the Asia-Pacific

Jane Kelsey: RCEP: Nothing to See and Everything to See

Makane Moïse Mbengue and Stefanie Schacherer: Systemic Implications of the RCEP for the International Economic Law Governance

Farhaan Uddin Ahmed: Special and Differential Treatment of LDC Parties in RCEP's Dispute Settlement Mechanism: Mere Words or Effective Safeguards

Alicia Nicholls: RCEP Investment Rules: Help or Hindrances to Asia's COVID-19 Recovery?

Anastasia Telesetsky: The Status Quo of RCEP: A Squandered Opportunity for Regional Social and Environmental Cooperation

Rumana Islam: The Geopolitical Impact of RCEP - Another Feather to the Chinese Crown?

Naimul Muquim: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): A Dilemma for People and Human Rights in the Global South?

Thomas Streinz: RCEP'S Contribution to Global Data Governance

Symposium: Taxation and the Digital Economy – Latin American and the Caribbean Regional Perspectives

ConvenorMonica Victor and AfronomicsLaw

There is a global consensus that the existing international tax rules and standards are not adequate to fairly allocate taxing rights and income among countries, prevent tax base-eroding transactions carried by multinationals, and fight harmful tax competition among countries. The digitalization of the economy has exacerbated these problems, and even developed countries are not able to collect taxes on the profits of some multinationals anymore. Thus, countries are seeking to reform the international legal tax system focusing on the corporate taxation standards and the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy. Notwithstanding the efforts at the international level, States are increasingly resorting to domestic measures to ascertain taxing rights on digital companies such as the imposition of Digital Services Tax (DST). Paradoxically, digital companies are also improving tax compliance, providing for innovative tools for the combat of tax evasion and stimulating economic inclusion of informal activities. Digital services like cloud computing, blockchain, big data analysis, and electronic payments are playing a relevant role in the modernization of tax administrations, the simplification of taxing procedures, and the development of Domestic Resources Mobilization (DRM) strategies, for example.

This symposium organized by the AfronomicsLaw with the assistance of Monica Victor focuses on the synergies between taxation and the digital economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Critical reflections based on theoretical arguments, empirical analysis and the actual steps that the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Region countries are taking to tax the digital economy appropriately while also modernizing tax administration and procedures are welcome.


Country  Perspectives

Steven DeanDigital Taxes, Transactions Costs and Heterogeneity

Natalia Saporito MagriñaTaxation of Digital Services in Argentina

Luis Ignacio Vergara:  New Chilean Tax Measures as to Digital Economy: Analysis from the OECD’s Recommendations Perspective

Gabriel M. BatistiThe Proposal of a Digital Services Tax amid the Tax Reform Debates in Brazil

Fernando Tello PuertaTaxation of Digital Economy in Peru

Ruth MosotiA commentary on the proposed digital services tax in Kenya: a case of premature legislation?

Rashad AbbasovAzerbaijani practice of taxing cross-border digital supplies: Needs for Improvement

Tax Administration, Tax Payers’ Rights & Tax Incentives

Alfredo CollosaTax Evasion in Latin America and the Caribbean:  An Urgent Call for Attention in the Most Unequal Region in the World

Héctor Castro ZapataNew World, New Technologies: The Modernization of Tax Administrations in Latin America the Caribbean

Irma Mosquera ValderramaExchange of Information and the Rule of Law: Confidentiality and safeguards for the automatic processing of data in a world of big data

Luisa ScarcellaAdopting a Central Banking Digital Currency: A Tax Policy Perspective

Monica VictorCarrotestein: Tax Incentives for Digital Companies,  WTO Agreements, and Harmful Tax Competition

Dalton L. DallazemBrazilian Tax Incentives to Startups

Teaching and Learning, Digital Taxation and Tax Treaties

Denise Lucena CavalcanteRethinking Taxation and the Teaching of Tax Law in the Digital Society Era

Isaac Rodrigues CunhaThe Brazilian Tax system Post-Covid Pandemic Challenges

Monica VictorTwo Moments and Some Reflections on Teaching and Learning Tax Law in the Digital Society 

Ngumi, W. D.Khaoya, S. N.Arita, S., & Tambasi, S.The Imposition of DST as a Means of Exercising Taxing Rights in the Digital Economy: Policy and Economic Analysis of Kenya

Fabián Esteban Jofré AmayaDigital Services Taxation in Chile: the “Digital VAT” Solution, Income Taxation, and Digital Permanent Establishment

Lisset López MirandaDigital Taxation in Peru and Tax Treaties

Symposium: International Negotiations

Andrea Laura Riccardi SacchiTaxing the digital economy in Latin America and the Caribbean: what can be done

Alfredo CollosaDigital Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean: What Can Tax Administrations Do?

Yariv BraunerBreaking Bad or Breaking Safely

Sebastian DueñasRoadmap to the digital tax debate for developing countries

Symposium: Global Value Chains, Trade and Development

ConvenorsDonatella AlessandriniClair Gammage and Jeremmy Okonjo

This online symposium is the outcome of a workshop on ‘GVCs, Trade and Development’ hosted by the Kent Law School and IEL collective in July 2020 and supported by the British Academy (Grant no. MD19\190020). The workshop engaged with the policy research literature produced by the World Trade Organisation and World Bank since 2013, in particular their Global Value Chain Development (GVCD) reports of 2017 and 2019.

This symposium opens up a space where multilateral trade law can be re-imagined in ways that are more supportive of the well-being of actors involved in value chain trade. Our contributors centre their analysis of IEL and GVCs around concepts of precarity, equality and social justice. This is especially important at a time when responses to labour, social and environmental inequalities and wealth concentration oscillate between the defense of the global economic order that has contributed to them and the withdrawal from the multilateral trade system, and multilateralism altogether, with the pursuit of competitive interests along nationalistic lines. If, as Azevedo has put it in the context of the international response to the COVID-19 crisis, we want to ‘lay the foundations for a strong, sustained and socially inclusive recovery [where t]rade [is]  an important ingredient … along with fiscal and monetary policy’ this rethinking is urgently needed.


Donatella AlessandriniClair Gammage and Jeremmy OkonjoSymposium Introduction – Global Value Chains, Trade and Development

Theme 1: GVCs as the Next Development Frontier?

Donatella AlessandriniGlobal Value Chains (GVCs), Trade and Inequalities

Jeremmy OkonjoLegal Constitution of Global Value Chains in the Digital Economy

Fiona MacmillanWhat happens as technology travels on the global value chain?

Theme 2: GVCs as Enablers of Inequalities and Dependencies

Celine TanThe Law of Global Value Chains as Transmission Nodes for Global Inequality

Alessandra MezzadriThe Time and Gender of GVCs: 3 Critical Points on the GVC & Development Report 2019

Susan NewmanCommodity Dependency, GVC development and Industrial Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Theme 3: Power, Accountability and the Constitutive Role of Law in GVCs

Kinda MohamadiehAccountability within GVCs as part of post COVID-19 transformative agenda

Tomaso Ferrando & Nicolás M. PerroneBeyond GVCs as clockworks: The constitutive role of law, power and the way(s) ahead

James HarrisonFree Trade Agreements and Global Labour Governance – The European Union’s Trade-Labour Linkage in a Value Chain World

Vicente Paolo B. Yu IIIDevelopment, Climate and Economic Policy: The Need for Narrative Shift

Symposium: Did Decolonisation Stall in the Global South? A Conversation with Ian Taylor

ConvenorsAmaka Vanni and James Thuo Gathii

This symposium is around the theme of an article published by Ian Taylor (Taylor, I. (2020). Sixty Years Later: Africa’s Stalled DecolonizationVestnik RUDN. International Relations, 19 (4), 39—53. DOI: 10.22363/2313-0660-2020-20-1-39-53). The basic premise of Taylor’s article is that sixty years after decolonization, most African countries continue to be entrenched in a set of connections that fit well with Kwame Nkrumah’s description of neo-colonialism. In other words, sustainable growth and development in Africa continues to be blocked by the domination of external economies. As a result, African countries remain constrained from accumulating the necessary capital for auto-centric growth since the surplus is transferred overseas. The essays in this symposium react to Prof Taylor’s paper by interrogating embedded structures of knowledge generation and creation, economic development in Latin America, international law, investment agreements, and continental integration in 60th anniversary of Year of Africa. This symposium ends with a response from Prof. Ian Taylor.


Amaka Vanni and James GathiiDid Decolonisation Stall in the Global South? A Conversation with Ian Taylor: Symposium Introduction

Lily MburuKnowledge Creation: An Imperative for Africa’s Decolonization

Foluke I. AdebisiDecolonisation of Knowledge Production and Knowledge Transmission in the Global South: Stalled, Stagnated or Full Steam Ahead?

Jimena Sierra- CarmargoDiscussing ‘Africa’s Stalled Decolonization’ among “Cepalistas”, “Dependentistas” and “Decolonial Thinking

German SandovalNiños Neoliberales: Un Diálogo Silencioso Con Ian Taylor;  Neoliberal Children: A Silent Dialogue with Ian Taylor

Ntina TzouvalaInternational Law and Decolonisation in Africa: 60 Years Later

Kimani GoddardThe Importance of Intellectual Property and International Investment Agreements for Overcoming the “Peripheral Economy Trap”: A Response to Ian Taylor’s “Sixty Years Later: Africa’s Stalled Decolonization

Babatunde FagbayiboOf Integracidaires and the Contemporary Publics of Continental Integration in Africa

Ian TaylorRevisiting Africa’s Stalled Decolonization

Symposium: Intellectual Property Rights: Global Rules, Regional and National Realities

Convenors: Titilayo Adebola and Amaka Vanni

This Symposium is one of the follow-up publications to the Webinar III  ‘Intellectual Property Rights: Global Rules, Regional and National Realities.’


Titilayo Adebola and Amaka VanniSymposium Introduction: Intellectual Property Rights: Global Rules, Regional and National Realities

Susan Isiko ŠtrbaTechnological Innovation and COVID-19:  Lessons for the AfCFTA

Emmanuel Kolawole OkeCan States Invoke the National Security Exception in the TRIPS Agreement in Response to COVID-19?

Daniel AcquahAfCFTA, Technical Assistance and the Reproduction of Western-Style IP Norms in Africa

David Enrique Betancourt Cruz: Beyond Intellectual Property? “Open science” to overcome COVID-19

Symposium: Teaching and Researching International Law – Global Perspectives
Jointly hosted by Afronomicslaw and NUS Centre for International Law

Convenors: Antony AnghieJames Thuo GathiiOlabisi D. Akinkugbe and Titilayo Adebola

The NUS Centre for International Law recently released its report on ‘Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia’ (TRILA) on the back of its inaugural conference in 2018. The TRILA Report presents a comprehensive empirical survey of the state of international law teaching and research in Asia. While the Report is focused on Asia, it is intended to contribute to the growing global discussion on teaching and researching international law around the world.

In this online Symposium, Afronomicslaw and NUS Centre for International Law bring together junior and senior scholars and researchers from across the world to critically and comparatively reflect on important issues that we, as academics, face daily, such as teaching approaches and the challenges and opportunities the teaching of international law that technology presents. This rich set of essays also helpfully reflect on ways that we could consider collectively reassessing the international law canon currently centered on the experiences of the Global North. Needless to point out, the essays also take into account the drastic changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated both in our teaching of international law and in the remaking of institutional priorities.

Symposium Introduction: Teaching and Researching International Law – Global Perspectives


Week One: Country or Regional Studies

Sergey SayapinThe Post-Soviet Central Asia and International Law: Practice, Research and Teaching

Tran Viet DungTeaching and Researching International Law: An Assessment Based on Ho Chi Minh City University of Law’s Experience

Yin Yin WinTeaching and Researching International Law in Myanmar

Balraj K Sidhu: TRILA and India: A Plea for its Restoration

Nciko ArnoldThe Hutians – Decolonising the Teaching of Public International Law in African Law Schools to Address a Real Problem

Amaya Álvez MarínLaura Betancur-RestrepoEnrique Prieto-RiosDaniel Rivas-Ramírez, and Fabia VeçosoRethinking International Law Education in Latin America

Antarnihita Mishra and Aman KumarSouth Asian University: Towards a ‘South-Asian’ Approach to International Law – Part I

South Asian University: Towards a ‘South-Asian’ Approach to International Law – Part II

Andreas R ZieglerDon’t Let International Law Become an Exotic Field Irrelevant for Lawyers…Seven Demands

George Rodrigo Bandeira GalindoSome (Short) Reflections on (My) International Law Teaching Experience in Brazil

Aristyo DarmawanIndonesia and the Development of the Law of the Sea: Reflections on History, Scholarship, and Teachings

Tom KabauTheoretical Perspectives to the Teaching and Researching of International Law in Africa

Week Two: Institutional Frameworks and Reflections

Md. Rizwanul IslamTeaching and Researching International Law by Resource-Constrained Academics

Vellah Kedogo KigwiruTo Blog or not to Blog? Technology, Blogging from a Pedagogical Consideration and Teaching International Economic Law: Taking Blogging Seriously from the Lens of AfronomicsLaw Blog

Eugenio Gomez-ChicoTeaching and Learning From Where You Stand: a Reflection

Danushka S. MedawatteBetween a Rock and a Hard Place: Teaching International Law in Sri Lanka

Afshin Akhtar-KhavariThe Dangerous Road Ahead for Universities and the Teaching-Research Nexus 

S Pandiaraj: Teaching and Researching International Law at Private Law Schools: A Personal Reflection

Kinnari BhattWhere Are All the T-Shaped International Lawyers? Thoughts on Critical Teaching from a Practitioner’s Perspective

Amritha V ShenoyTeaching PIL in Nepal: A Personal Experience

Rohini SenTeaching International Law in Asia: The Predicated Pedagogue

Miguel Rábago DorbeckerReproduction of the Hierarchy and the Training of Internationalist Lawyers: an Auto-ethnography of a Latin American Professor

Mohammad ShahabuddinTeaching and Researching International Law: Some Personal Reflections Via Bangladesh and the UK

Week Three: What Needs to be Done

Seokwoo LeeAsian State Practice of Domestic Implementation of International Law (ASP-DIIL)

Alexandr SvetliciniiTeaching “BRICS Law”: Application of Team Teaching and Learning Technologies

KoesriantiTeaching International Law: Indonesian Practical Experience

Arman AnwarManaging Legal Issues at Local Level to be Appealing for Students to Learn International Law

Pawat SatayanurugAdaptability with Inclusivity: Teaching International Law during the Pandemic

Irawati HandayaniProblem-Based Learning as an Alternative Approach for Teaching International Law

Gunjan ChawlaTRILA in the Shadow of ‘National Security’: Towards Developing TWAIL Approaches to the International Law of Cyberspace

Florence ShakoTeaching and Researching International Law – a Kenyan Perspective

Mohsen Al Attar“I Can’t Breathe”: Confronting the Racism of International Law

Ntando Sindane and Babatunde FagbayiboSome Thoughts on the Ideational Underpinnings of a Decolonised Pedagogical Approach to International Law in South Africa

SymposiumCentering Voices From the Global South on Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform: A Debate 

ConvenorsJames Thuo Gathii and Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

The various asymmetries of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime are well known. For example, only investors can bring cases against States. States are disabled from commencing cases against investors for any violations investors commit, except through the rare and difficult counterclaim route. The overwhelming number of arbitrators who sit on ISDS panels are white and very likely male even though an overwhelming number of ISDS suits involve non-White Global South countries as respondents. The substantive legal regime upon which the ISDS system is predicated excludes the protection of values such as the environment and human rights as integral guarantees alongside investor protections such as the anti-expropriation norm. In addition, the overwhelming policy and scholarly debates about the reform of the ISDS system are largely defined and dominated by western voices.

This symposium is intentionally designed to center voices from the Global South in the veritable tradition of of amplifying, centering and making visible voices from the Global South in discussions and debates, whether scholarly, policy or otherwise on international economic law. For the purpose of this symposium, we categorize these debates under two broad rubrics – contributions that defend the ISDS regime as it is, and contributions that are critical of the system and seek its reform.


James Thuo Gathii and Olabisi D. AkinkugbeSymposium Introduction: Centering Voices From the Global South on Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform: A Debate 

Nyanje JohnHegemony in Investor State Dispute Settlement: How African States Need to Approach Reforms

Dominic Npoanlari DagbanjaHegemony in Investor State Dispute Settlement: How African States Need to Approach Reforms – A Response

Jean HoHegemony 101 in International Investment Law

Harrison O. MboriExit is the Only Way Out: A Polemic Response to John Nyanje’s “Hegemony in Investor State Dispute Settlement: How African states need to Approach Reforms”

Dilini PathiranaSovereign Rights to Natural Resources as a Basis for Denouncing International Adjudication of Investment Disputes: A Reflection on the Tanzanian Approach  

Sannoy DasISDS Reform and the Problems of Imagining Our Future

Symposium: Vulnerabilities in the Trade and Investment Regimes in the Age of COVID-19

Convenors: Olabisi D. Akinkugbe and Clair Gammage

This Symposium is one of the follow-up publications to the Webinar III on “Vulnerability in the Trade and Investment Regime in the Age of COVID-19”. ‘Vulnerability’ in trade and investment regimes is not a new phenomenon. Nor, is the concept of ‘crisis’. While International Economic Law (IEL) scholarship has acknowledged some of the way(s) in which the formalisation of international legal rules in trade and investment can act like a ‘straightjacket’ on global south states, sustaining and creating forms of dependencies that are difficult to escape, there is a notable lack of meaningful engagement with the contours and manifestations of concepts like precarities, inequalities, and crisis that the narrative of vulnerabilities encompasses.

As Clair Gammage and Olabisi D. Akinkugbe argue in their forthcoming paper, “the analysis of the vulnerability status of the marginalized groups in international economic law is not a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. While those issues and the vocabulary of the vulnerable have been subjected to the periphery of IEL analysis, the pandemic has only brought to the fore and made more realistic, and quite unfortunately, the plight of the marginalized in our largely unequal multilateral trading regime.”

We hope the essays in this symposium shed some light on the modest steps that could be taken to untangle the complexity that has come with this crisis.


Olabisi D. Akinkugbe and Clair GammageSymposium Introduction: Vulnerabilities in the Trade and Investment Regimes in the Age of COVID-19

Jan Yves Remy and Jason CottonOur Trade Vulnerability Index Explained: Why, What, How and What’s Next?

Alicia NichollsVulnerability and Resilience in the Investment Context in the Age of COVID-19: A Caribbean Perspective

Nicolás M. PerroneVulnerability and the Speed of the Global Economy: Searching a new vocabulary for international economic law

Magdalena Bas VilizzioSolución de controversias inversor-Estado en tiempos de covid-19: un acercamiento desde la teoría de la vulnerabilidad

Kholofelo Kugler and Faith PittetCompulsory Licensing: The Key to Accessing the Future COVID-19 Vaccine?

Ohio OmiunuAsymmetries in trade and investment regimes in the Age of COVID-19 and beyond: A reflection on subnational government marginalisation and resistance within the trade and investment governance structures

Katrin KuhlmannFlexibility and Innovation in International Economic Law:  Enhancing Rule of Law, Inclusivity, and Resilience in the Time of COVID-19

Symposium: Sovereign Debt Under Domestic and Foreign Law: Lessons from the Mozambique Constitutional Council Decision of May 8, 2020

Convenor: James Thuo Gathii

On May 8, 2020, the Mozambique Constitutional Council decided that non-concessional loans totaling 622 million USD borrowed from two London-based banks – Credit Suisse and Russian VTB – was illegal, null and void. The Mozambican borrowers were three State Owned Enterprises that at the time did not been formally constituted. The basis of the Constitutional Council’s decision was that this loan was obtained without approval of Parliament. Further, the Council held that amount was in excess of the borrowing limit permissible under the Constitution and laws of Mozambique. On June 8th, 2020 convened a panel of experts to discuss that case in webinar titled: Overturning Sovereign Debt for Violating National Law: Lessons from a recent Mozambique Constitutional Council Decision. This written symposium carries forward the conversation from that webinar.


James Thuo GathiiIntroduction – Sovereign Debt Under Domestic and Foreign Law: Lessons from the Mozambique Constitutional Council Decision of May 8, 2020

Denise NambureteHow Public Interest Litigation Led to Invalidation of Illegal Mozambican Debt

Daniel BradlowPrudent Debt Management and Lessons from the Mozambique Constitutional Council

Stephen ConnellyCeline TanKarina Patricio Ferreira Lima and Chris TassisStaying Claims: Debt Moratoria Beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative

James Mabuti MutuaHell Breaks Loose in Mozambique: Is this the beginning of the end of irresponsible Sovereign Borrowing? Or a wakeup call to address Benignity of the International Capital Markets?

Richard MessickNo More Hidden Debts!

Symposium: Taxation and the Social Contract in a Post-Pandemic Era: Domestic and International Dimensions

Jointly hosted by Afronomicslaw, the United Nations Development Programme (Africa) and the Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa

Convenor: Alexander Ezenagu

In responding to the coronavirus pandemic, countries have dug deep into their “war chest” through fiscal and monetary policies to protect their industries, ensure liquidity in the economy and safeguard the most vulnerable from the adverse effects of the pandemic. In some instances, countries have transferred cash to workers whose incomes have been affected by the changes that have had to be made by governments. These palliative measures introduced by governments have meant that the economies of many countries will dip into recession. In their bid to avert a full-blown recession or depression, the palliative measures some countries have taken have been limited, in comparison to their peers in advanced economies. Many African countries, like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have by contrast borne the short end of the stick. More importantly, the pandemic raises additional questions. First, should governments be blamed solely for the limited nature of palliative measures they have undertaken? Second, has the social contract between the state and the governed in many states been broken? Finally, can the broken social contract be repaired and what role can the law play in repairing the broken social contract?

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. 


Alexander EzenaguSymposium Introduction: Taxation and the Social Contract in a Post-Pandemic Era: Domestic and International Dimensions

Douglas BamfordThe Social Contract, Tacit Consent, and International Taxation

Edem AndahTaxation and the Social Contract in a Post-Pandemic Era: Domestic and International Dimensions

Allison ChristiansThree principles for a new global contract on tax

Sol PicciottoTaxation of Transnational Corporations and the Social Contract

Osarugue C. ObayuwanaThe Fiscal Social Contract – Looking Beyond the Theory

Monica VictorTaxing for Vulnerabilities

Fernando C. Saldivar, S.J.Integral Ecology and Taxation: Catholic Social Teaching Pushing the Frontiers of Social Contract Theory in the Post-Pandemic Era

Ivan OzaiThe Shift Toward a Distribution-Based Tax Framework in a Post-Pandemic World

Mustapha NdajiwoWhy African Countries need to rethink tax incentives in the post-pandemic Era

Chidiebere Eze-Ajoku: Tax Expenditures: A post-pandemic bond in social contracts

Tarcisio Diniz MagalhaesA Global Excess Profits Tax for a Post-Pandemic World

Abdul Muheet ChowdharySignificant Economic Presence laws key to fulfilling the post-pandemic social contract

Kenneth Njuguna and Jade MakoryAn Analysis of Unilateral Digital Tax Measures vis-à-vis Redefined Fiscal Social Contracts and Inertia towards Global Consensus: A focus on the Post-COVID-19 Era

Nana Ama SarfoSustainable Finance and Investment in the Age of COVID-19

Oluwabusayo AderojuDeparting from the OECD’s Conversation: Post-Pandemic Tax Policy Options for African Countries

Emmanuel EzeFiscal Social Contract and Taxation in a Post COVID-19 Pandemic Africa

Olumide K. Obayemi: Digitalization of Nigerian Businesses: Tax Challenges Post COVID-19

Osasenaro Ese Omo-OsagiePost-pandemic Opportunities for Strengthening The Fiscal Social Contract In Nigeria

Chike Jude EmedosiGlobal Digital Taxation in the Era of Covid-19: An African Perspective

Alexander Ezenagu & Eytan TepperAdopting a Universal Tax Regime for Outer Space Exploration

Symposium: Due Diligence in the Business & Human Rights regime: A Latin American view

Convenor: Salvador Herencia Carrasco

On May 21, members of the Latin American Branch of the Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association organized the webinar “Due Diligence in the Business & Human Rights regime: A Latin American view”. The purpose was to analyze the potential impact that the implementation of due diligence norms and policies may have in advancing the business and human rights field in the region.

The motivation to carry this activity, which will hopefully trigger a series of discussions, had another goal: the need to foster a debate in our languages as well as a discussion that takes into account our socio-legal contexts. We do not intend to undermine or ignore what is being discussed in Europe or North America. Those are insightful debates and as academics, we don’t and can’t ignore them. But we also believe that we need to think the business and human rights field from our realities, both within a national context and within the Inter-American Human Rights System.


Salvador Herencia CarrascoIntroduction: Due Diligence in the Business & Human Rights regime: A Latin American view and 

Simposio Introducción: La Debida Diligencia en el régimen de Empresas & Derechos Humanos: Una Visión desde América Latina

Nicolás Carrillo Santarelli¿Qué luces nos puede brindar el análisis general del estándar de debida diligencia en el derecho internacional en el campo de los derechos humanos y las empresas?

What light can the general standards of due diligence in International Law shed upon the Business and Human Rights field?

Danielle Anne PamplonaA devida diligência nos instrumentos da OCDE e alguns desafios para sua implementação na América Latina

Due Diligence on OECD documents and challenges for its implementation in Latin America

Florencia Wegher OsciApuntes sobre debida diligencia en materia de empresas y derechos humanos desde la perspectiva del derecho internacional privado

A commentary on business and human rights’ notion of due diligence under the lens of Private International Law

Salvador Herencia CarrascoLa Debida Diligencia en el régimen de Empresas y derechos y sus implicancias en los mecanismos de reparación

Due diligence in the business and human rights regime and its implications in reparation mechanisms

Judith SchönsteinerLa debida diligencia en el nuevo Informe sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Due diligence in the new report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Business and Human Rights

Humberto Cantú RiveraRefinar y reforzar: sobre la misión del proyecto de tratado en materia de empresas y derechos humanos

To refine and to reinforce: The goal of the draft treaty on Business and Human Rights

The IEL Collective Symposium III: Reimagining International Economic Law for Sustainable Development

Conveners: Amaka Vanni & Clair Gammage (For and on behalf of The IEL Collective)

This is the third and final instalment of the IEL Collective’s online symposia, which showcases some of the ideas presented at the inaugural conference, held on 6-7 November 2019. The focus of the Conference was on ‘Disrupting Narratives and Pluralising Engagement in International Economic Law Scholarship, Teaching and Practice’. To date, we have published some of the Conference presentations through two symposia, the first of which focused on ‘Global South Perspectives for Pluralising and Decolonising IEL’ and was hosted by AfronomicsLaw. Our second symposium on ‘Disrupting Narratives on International Economic Law: Theory, Pedagogy and Practice’ was hosted by the University of Bristol Law School Blog. Our symposia have explored the critical approaches to IEL (broadly conceived) with a view to pluralising narratives on this field of scholarly inquiry.


Amaka Vanni & Clair GammageSymposium Introduction: Reimagining International Economic Law for Sustainable Development

Professor Donatella AlessandriniValue chain Trade: a new dawn for ‘development’?

Regis SimoAfrican Continental Economic Integration and the Multilateral Trading System: Questioning the Reliance on Differential Treatment

Lyla LatifInternational Economic Law and The Challenges in Imposing the Digital Tax in Developing African Countries

Andria Naudé FourieDevelopment Projects as Delivery Vehicles for Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals: A Need for Developing Deeper Insights

Alexander StinglA lawyer’s game, a biologist’s game, a governance game: How to conduct research on the emerging Bioeconomy in international and transnational law?

Feja Lesniewska & Katrien SteenmansCircular economy: a concept to eliminate ‘rubbish law’?

Afronomicslaw COVID-19 Symposium on International Economic Law in the Global South

Welcome to this symposium on COVID-19 and International Economic Law in the Global South. The essays in this symposium came from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, North America and Latin America. This symposium will last for a full four weeks because of the large number of good quality submissions we accepted.

While many of the essays address cross cutting themes, the essays have been grouped into four major themes: International Trade and International Investment Law and PolicyIntellectual Property, Technology and AgricultureSovereign Debt, Finance and Competition; and Governance Rights and Institutions. Readers can also access the video introducing the symposium here.

James T. GathiiOlabisi D. AkinkugbeTitilayo Adebola and Nthope MapefaneIntroduction to the COVID-19 Symposium on International Economic Law in the Global South


COVID-19 Symposium I: International Trade & International Investment Law & Policy

Prof. Ben OramahAfreximBankOn COVID-19, AfCFTA and the Role of the Afrexim Bank as Pan-African Multilateral Trade Finance Institution

Daniel Omoro Achach and Patrick Wasonga Anam – Of the Global Rush for Personal Protective Equipment, Regional Value Chains and Lessons for Africa

Chibole Wakoli: COVID-19 in Africa: A time for Despair or an Opportunity to Change the Direction of Travel?

David A. Gantz and Bashar H. MalkawiShort and Fast or Long and Slow? The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus

Nojeem AmoduFree Zones, COVID-19 Lockdown, and ‘the Morning After’

Sendra ChihakaCOVID-19: Africa’s Chance to take Advantage of Regional Production

Marie Valerie UppiahThe COVID-19 Pandemic: An Opportunity for African States to Review their Shipping Industry Strategy

Francis Kofi Korankye-SakyiFighting the COVID-19 Today: A Reflection on Positioning the AfCFTA for the Future

Timothy MasikoGlobalisation and COVID-19: What can African International Economic Law Learn?

Franziska SuckerCOVID-19 pushes digital solutions and deepens digital divides: What role for African digital trade law?

Tinyiko NgobeniState Responsibility for COVID-19 Regulatory Measures under International Economic Law

Nanjira AnnabelJustifying COVID-19 Exportation-Related Quantitative Restrictions within the framework of the World Trade Organization Law

Jason CottonJan Yves Remy and Alicia NichollsCOVID-19 Makes the Case for Our Trade Vulnerability Index

Clair Gammage and Olabisi D. AkinkugbeCOVID-19 and South-South Trade & Investment Cooperation: Three Emerging Narratives

Ocholla AkothInternational Economic Law in the Shadow of COVID-19: Perspectives from Least Developed Countries

Matiangai SirleafAfrica, COVID-19 and Responsibility

COVID-19 Symposium II: Intellectual Property, Technology and Agriculture

Caroline NcubeThe Musings of a Copyright Scholar working in South Africa: is Copyright Law Supportive of Emergency Remote Teaching?

Rafia De GamaCOVID-19, Clinical Trials Regulations: Making Sure Africa is Not an Unregulated Testing Ground

Arunender SinghhProtection of ‘Digital Rights’ Amid Fight Against COVID-19: The Missing Responsibility of ICTs Platforms

David Enrique Betancourt CruzAn Exceptional International Intellectual Property Law Solution for COVID-19: Spurring Innovation to Facilitate Access to Affordable Medicines

Nciko Wa Nciko ArnoldEvacuated from Africa but Present in Africa’s Economy through Telework: Who gets to Tax them?

Jacquelene MwangiCOVID-19 and the ‘Unlocking’ of Innovation: Reflections on Law and Innovation in sub-Saharan Africa

Alex Kiragu and Patricia Ahawo GwamboProposed Solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa for Food and Agriculture in the Context of COVID-19

COVID-19 Symposium III: Sovereign Debt, Finance and Competition Law

Damola AdedijiCoronavirus and Competition Law – A Commentary on the Nigerian Intervention and Lessons from around the World

Vellah Kigwiru KedogoCOVID-19, Trade and Competition Law in Africa

Maria Adele CarraiAfrican Sovereign Debt at a time of Pandemic: Legal Justifications for Suspension or Cancellation

Maria Elisa Vera MadrigalOn Pandemics and Other Demons: Coronavirus-related Corruption and How to Prevent it

Samuel Mwangi MuchoriGlobal South International Financial Institutions and COVID-19 Response: Utilising Innovative Financing Solutions now and after the Pandemic

Rushmi MateteAn African Perspective of Fiscal Policies and Debt management in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Danny BradlowDoves, Vultures and African Debt in the Time of COVID-19

Jason Rosario BraganzaPanDEBTmic – Potential Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

Tafadzwa H C KwarambaSovereign Debt and the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Symposium IV: Governance, Rights, and Institutions

Gwinyai Regis TaruvingaCOVID-19 and Governance in Zimbabwe

Kethi D. KilonzoPlaying tag with the Rule of Law: Balancing Fundamental Rights and Public Health in Kenya in the shadow of COVID-19

Tomasz MilejPandemic, Solidarity and the Foundations of International Law

Emmaqulate K. Morang’aCOVID-19 and the State of Socio-economic Rights in Kenya: Why we must take these Rights Seriously

Dunia Prince ZongweCOVID-19 – The Great (Un)Equalizer

Pedi ObaniHuman Rights Compatibility of Trade in WASH Services in the African Continental Free Trade Area

Douglas de Castro and James Oliveira dos SantosSecuritization of the Health and Economy in the COVID Times

Symposium: Learning and Teaching International Economic Law through Moot Courts

Convenor: Harisson Mbori Otieno

This symposium seeks to encourage and stimulate a discussion and showcase the benefits of how moot courts can be used an important pedagogical tool for the teaching and learning of international economic law. Many a student learning international economic law in Africa will not have experienced the thrill and adrenaline involved in preparing memorials and presenting oral arguments before simulated panels in a class setting or as part of a national, regional, or international competition such as the John H. Jackson Moot Court on WTO law or the simulated tribunals in the Foreign Direct Investment moot court competition on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The evidence that the participation in these moots is beneficial for learning and teaching of international economic law for both faculty and students is the focus on the symposium.


Harisson Mbori OtienoPractice meeting theory: Introducing the Symposium on Learning and Teaching International Economic Law through moot courts

Purity MaritimReflections of a Moot Court Participant

Mishael WambuaMemoir: Moot Court Through my Lens

Mr Christian CampbellSolid footing for Africa’s Next Leap: sustainable investment, good governance and … mooting?

Tsotang TsietsiTeaching International Economic Law Through Moot Court Competitions

Sara BakshKara John and Matthew Chin Barnes – A Caribbean Perspective About Participating in the 2020 John H. Jackson Moot Court North American Round in the Middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Symposium: The Commercial Law Reform Network Nigeria (CLRNN) Inaugural Conference Proceedings

Convenor: Bolanle Adebola

The Commercial Law Research Network Nigeria (CLRNN) was established in 2019 to create a platform through which the suitability of reforms to the commercial law in Nigeria can be critically discussed. CLRNN creates a collaborative environment in which researchers with expert knowledge of Nigeria’s domestic and international contexts can engage on various commercial law subjects germane to Nigeria’s economy. It achieves this goal through two main mediums. The first is its conference, through which scholars and commentators meet to critically review reforms. The second is through its workshops, through which methods and methodologies suitable to the understanding of Nigeria’s realities are considered.

The inaugural CLRNN conference, funded by an Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC) grant, was hosted by the University of Reading. The conference theme, ‘effective commercial law reform: the next steps’, invited delegates to reflect on facets of the Nigerian commercial law that interest them, and to consider the actions that should be taken towards reform. Researchers and commentators discussed across 10 streams of commercial law including: New Technologies, Business and Development, Secured Transactions, Corporate Governance, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Competition Law, Financial Regulation, Insurance Law, Energy Law, Dispute Resolution and International Trade Law. Afronomicslaw in collaboration with CLRNN presents some of the engaging debates at the conference. Each piece describes the challenge facing an aspect of commercial law in Nigeria, reviews the reform responses proposed or taken by the government, and concludes with insights for future reforms.


Bolanle AdebolaIntroduction to the CLRNN Inaugural Conference Symposium

Chidi OguamanamCommercial Law Reform in the Age of Integration: Of Stakeholders, Futility of Boundary-Marking and Strategies

Bolanle Adebola and Anthony Idigbe SAN: ‘The Debtor’s Trident: The Prospective Business Rescue Proceedings in the Nigerian Insolvency Framework

Ibukun Iyiola-OmisoreAssessing the Relationship between the Nigerian Companies Act and Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria

Oludara Akanmidu and Chris RileyShould Parent Companies be held responsible for their subsidiaries wrongs? The case of Shell in Nigeria

Pontian OkoliBridging Gaps to Facilitate International Commerce – Implications for Nigeria

Theona ElizeeSupplementary Protection Certificate’s in EU Legislation: The Access Challenge for Developing Countries

Valerie AzingeStrained Marriage? Linkage Between Development and Combating Economic Crime

Adekemi AdebowaleVoluntary Disclosure: An Appraisal of the Insured’s Precontractual Duty of Utmost Good Faith under the Nigerian Insurance Law

Nwanneka EzechukwuRe-visiting Nigeria’s approach to Regulating Mobile Payments

Omotolani SomoyeThe Doctrine of Subrogation in Insurance Law: An Appraisal of the Nigerian and English Perspectives

Anthony Idigbe SANAn Overview of the Regulatory Framework for Secured Transaction in Moveable Assets in Nigeria

Titilayo AdebolaCan the Subaltern Speak? Nigeria’s Untoward Path to UPOV

James Thuo GathiiLessons From the Transplantation of Kenya’s 2015 Companies Act From the U.K.’s Companies Act of 2006

Olabisi D. AkinkugbeDeveloping Robust and Coherent Regional Trade Policy could quell chaos surrounding Land Border Closures in Nigeria

Jorge GuiraThe Call and Practice of Reform

Symposium: In Honour of International Women’s Day

Convenor: Afronomicslaw

Outline:“#Each for Equal. An Equal World is an Enabled World.” To mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), we recognise and celebrate the invaluable contributions of women to international economic law scholarship. We are proud to point out that 50 per cent of our editors/contributing editors are women, and we are committed to promoting equality. Our IWD collection comprises four contributions.


AfronomicslawIn Conversation with an International Commercial Law Expert: Dr Bolanle Adebola on her Choices and the Complexities of Corporate Insolvency Law

Purity Maritim: Tracing the scholarly map on Gender, Culture and Property: A focus on African female scholars

Titilayo AdebolaThrough Her Lens: Phenomenal Views on Intellectual Property Rights

Afronomicslaw: Women in International Economic Law Scholarship

The IEL Collective Symposium I: Global South Perspectives for Pluralising and Decolonising International Economic Law

Conveners: Amaka Vanni & Clair Gammage (For and on behalf of The IEL Collective)

This symposium offers diverse perspectives and timely contributions to the ongoing debate on the need to decolonise and pluralize IEL research and scholarship as a counterpoint to Western-centric IEL imagination and teaching. Within this symposium are contributions on the history of IEL and origins of IEL theory alongside context specific examples marking out the intersections between IEL, business and human rights.


Amaka Vanni & Clair GammageSymposium Introduction: Global South Perspectives for Pluralising and Decolonising International Economic Law

Michael FakhriInternational Law Started with the Haitian Revolution

Jean HoHustling in International Economic Law

Claiton FyockInternational Investment Law and Constraining Narratives of ‘Development’: ‘Economic Development’ in the Definition of Investment

Flávia do Amaral VieiraCorporations in Latin America: human rights in dispute

Federico Suárez RicaurtePublic interest captured by foreign investment: the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia

Jimena SierraColombia before the ISDS and the disputes over natural resources in a coloniality context

Maria Jose Luque MaciasUsing the duty to regulate paradigm as a normative instrument to foster inter-disciplinarity in the international investment law and human rights debate

Symposium: Reforming Private International Law in Africa

Convener: Prof. Richard Frimpong Oppong 


Chukwuma OkoliPrivate International Law in Africa: Comparative Lessons

Pontian OkoliThe Place of Africa on the Global Stage of Foreign Judgments Enforcement

Lise ThennissenHarmonisation of Private International Law in the African Union

Elsabe SchoemanCross-Border Commercial Dispute Agreements: Developments in South Africa

Richard Frimpong OppongReforming Private International Law in African Countries: Looking Inward and Outward

Symposium: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches for the Study of International Economic Law in Africa

Convener: Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

In May 2019, Afronomicslaw hosted an important Symposium on Teaching International Economic Law in Africa. What was evident from the contributions to the symposium is the need for a more critical approach to the teaching of International Economic Law (IEL) in Africa. The teaching of IEL in Africa cannot and must not be separated from the scholarly research of the field.

This Symposium, and the contributions carry on the conversation by examining the ways in which the contributors have harnessed theory and method in their critical scholarship on IEL in Africa. How theoretical and methodological approaches deployed in the study of IEL in Africa offer alternative, but, critical narratives of the historical and contemporary practices of the field is an important aspect of the mission of decolonizing IEL. Reflecting on the role of theory and method for the study of IEL in Africa in ways that do not simply reify or reproduce the dominant discourses of IEL is critical to understanding the past and constructing the present and future generation of development of the field in Africa.


Olabisi D. AkinkugbeSymposium introduction: Assessing the Roles of Theory and Methodology in the Study of IEL in Africa

Clair GammageCritical Perspectives of International Economic Law

Amaka VanniThrough A Glass Darkly: Some Thoughts on International Economic Law Research and Scholarship from a Non-Legal Background

Ohio OmiunuReflections on my methodological approach researching on International Economic Law

Titilayo AdebolaIntellectual Property Rights for Plant Varieties in Nigeria: Critical Reflections on TWAIL, Empirical and Comparative Methodologies

Vellah KedogoComparative Legal Research

Symposium: Sustainable Development Goals, Trade, Investment, and Inequality

Convener: Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

This Symposium, co-hosted by Afronomicslaw and the Dalhousie Law Journal Blog is an outcome of one of the streams at the 2019 Annual Purdy Crawford Workshop at the Schulich School of Law. The theme of the Workshop which took place from Sept. 26–28 was “The Role of Business Regulation in Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.” Co-organized by three Schulich School of Law Professors, the Workshop featured three inter-disciplinary simultaneous streams and cross-over plenaries that focused on: “SDGs and Revenue Mobilization” – convened by Kim Brooks, the Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law; “SDGs, Trade, Investment, and Inequality” convened by Olabisi D. Akinkugbe; and “Business Responsibilities for Human Rights and Environmental/Climate Justice – convened by Sara Seck.” The contributions to the symposium on “Sustainable Development Goals, Trade, Investment, and Inequality” critically examine these goals (and it overlaps with others in some cases) from the vantage point of each contributor’s scholarly expertise.


Olabisi D. AkinkugbeSymposium on Sustainable Development Goals, Trade, Investment, and Inequality: Introduction

Ibironke T. Odumosu-AyanuSustainable Development and Community Content in the Oil and Gas Industry

Ohio OmiunuThe role of sub-national governments in ‘localising’ the UN SDGs in Nigeria

Eghosa Osa EkhatorBarriers to implementation of SDGs in Africa: the need for effective business and government collaboration

Salvador Herencia CarrascoThe Inter-American Human Rights System and social justice: What role for the SDGs to enforce human rights in the Americas?

Tamar MeshelInternational Business and Human Rights Dispute Settlement Before Domestic Courts: The Draft UN Treaty for Business and Human Rights

Penelope Simons and Anthony VanduzerUsing International Investment Agreements to Address Access to Justice for Victims of Human Rights Violations Associated with Transnational Resource Extraction

Akinwumi OgunrantiTowards Access to Justice for Local Communities in Investor-state Arbitration

Mariam MomoduCan Transnational Private Regulation Facilitate Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?

Michael MarinOfficer and Director Liability in Transnational Human Rights Litigation

Obiora OkaforInternational Accountability in the Implementation of the Right to Development

Symposium on Law and Policy, and the Promotion of Investment in the Renewable-Energy Sector

ConvenersAvidan Kent (Associate Professor, University of East Anglia) & Pedi Obani (Research Fellow Environmental Policy, United Nations Institute for Natural Resources in Africa; Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Benin)

This online symposium (co-hosted by Afronomicslaw and International Law@UEA) will discuss some of the many layers that states must address in the process of attracting FDI in the renewable energy sector. Most authors will focus on one case-study – Nigeria. Nigeria relies today mostly on non-renewable energy sources. The natural conditions that are necessary for the production of renewable energy in Nigeria are exceptional but under-developed. Despite its vast energy resources, access to energy remains a problem. Only about 10% in rural areas and 40% of the overall population in Nigeria have access to electricity. Nigeria’s goal is to increase electricity access to 90% of its population by 2030, and to reach a 30% renewables share by the same year. Substantial investment in renewable energy is therefore required.


Pedi Obani and Avidan KentSymposium Introduction: Law, Policy, and the Promotion of Investment in the Renewable-Energy Sector

Eghosa Osa EkhatorInternational Environmental Governance: A Case for Sub-Regional Judiciaries in Africa

Erimma Gloria OriePromoting sustainable renewable energy-related Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria: Identifying the Gaps in Nigeria’s Domestic Law and Institutions

Hakeem Seriki & Nimisore AkanoThe Role of Arbitration in Renewable Energy in Nigeria

Ohio OmiunuDiversification of the Nigerian economy as a de-carbonisation pathway: opportunities and challenges

Omole IyayiDiffusing Potential Conflicts on the Road to Decarbonisation in Nigeria: Trade Unions as Forces for Continuity

Pedi ObaniRedefining the role for international environmental law in addressing climate change

Tola AmoduFostering Effective Public Participation when Navigating Infrastructure Projects

Wale OlawoyinDecarbonisation pathways for Nigeria: Promoting sustainable renewable energy-related Foreign Direct Investment and the role of alternative dispute resolution in promoting RE-related Foreign Direct Investment

Youseph Farah & Mr. Valentine KunujiNew wine in old bottles: the renewable energy sector, climate justice and Pillar III of the United Nations Guiding Principles

Pedi Obani and Avidan KentPromoting Investment in the Renewable Energy Sector: Concluding Remarks and Future Legal Research Agenda

Symposium Issue from the Fourth African International Economic Law Network Biennial Conference

Conveners: Regis SimoLuwam DirarOhio Omiunu & Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

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.


Regis SimoLuwam DirarOhio Omiunu & Olabisi D. AkinkugbeFourth African International Economic Law Network Biennial Conference Symposium: Introduction

Jonathan KlaarenIncreasing the Benefits, Reducing the Costs:  Adding Competitiveness to the Theory and Practice of Free Trade Agreements and Regional Integration in Africa

Vellah KigwiruThe AfCFTA Competition Policy: Model, Dispute Resolution Mechanism, Institutional Framework and AfCFTA Relationship with Existing Regional Competition Regimes

Juliet OgbodoAfCFTA Phase II: Towards active participation of ECOWAS in the Intellectual Property Rights Negotiations

Gudrun ZagelInternational Investment Agreements (IIAs) and Sustainable Development: Are the African Reform Approaches a Possible Way out of the Global IIA Crisis?

Emmanuel LaryeaWhy African Countries should enable Host State Citizen-Investor Arbitration, and How they Can Do It

Simon BurgerTransnational Supply-Chain Regulation – Between the Fight against Corporate Impunity and the Risk of Interference in States’ Regulatory Sovereignty

Kingsley OnuThe Legal Status of the Right to Development in Nigeria

Dunia ZongweThree Painful Lessons the African Union Should Learn from the Southern African Customs Union

Symposium: UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Draft Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts 

Convener: James Thuo Gathii

Welcome to the Symposium on the Zero Draft of the UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts (ALIC) (hereinafter Legal Guide or Zero Draft). The Legal Guide, is being developed by a UNIDROIT Working Group in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It provides detailed guidance to support the preparation, negotiation and implementation of agricultural land investment contracts that are fully consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security (VGGT), the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Foods Systems (CFS-RAI Principles) and other international instruments.

This online symposium is an integral part of an effort to raise awareness about the Legal Guide and to seek input from stakeholders, in order to ensure that it responds to the actual needs and reflects the best practices. An excellent line-up of 9 experts have studied the Legal Guide and put to paper their reactions, critical and otherwise, as well as very insightful suggestions on how to improve it. In the interests of full disclosure, I served as an expert in the three-year consultative process during which the Legal Guide was crafted. I am therefore delighted to see this high level engagement on the draft from some of the thought leaders in this field.


James Thuo GathiiIntroduction: Symposium on UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Draft Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts

Michael FakhriHuman Rights and Agricultural Land Investment Contracts – Part One

Tomaso FerrandoSystematizing the threat of land contracts to transform them into an opportunity

Titilayo AdebolaAccess to Food and Intellectual Property Rights: Commentary on the Draft UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts

Chidi Oguamanam Re-thinking Large Scale Agricultural Land Acquisition through a Contract Model

Nicolás M. PerroneThe Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts: Moving foreign investment governance in the right direction

Sam Szoke-BurkeMulti-actor contracts: A strategy for advancing community rights to free, prior and informed consent?

Philip SeufertLand Deals, Contracts and Human Rights: Some Reflections

Sara L. SeckClimate Change, Land, and the UNIDROIT Legal Guide on Agricultural Investments

Adebayo MajekolagbeThe Environment, Climate Change, and the Draft Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts

Michael FakhriHuman Rights and Agricultural Land Investment Contracts – Part Two

The WTO Reform – Views from the Global South

Convener: Jan Yves Remy

As WTO Members struggle to find solutions to the impasse in the selection process for appointing Appellate Body Members, and as concerns abound about the ability of the WTO to successfully navigate new issues confronting the multilateral trading system, I approached the editors of Afronomicslaw with the idea of dedicating a symposium to views of developing countries on the topic of WTO reform.  Thankfully, they were receptive, and I am proud to count among this week’s contributors: a former Appellate Body Member, WTO law academics, and practitioners hailing from Africa, India and the Caribbean.


Jan Yves Remy: Introduction to the Symposium on WTO Reform – Views from the Global South

Justice David UnterhalterMy Views on WTO Reform

Makane Moïse MbengueAn African Response to WTO Reform Proposals

James J NedumparaDoes Article 25 Arbitration Need Serious Consideration?

Jan Yves RemyThe Missing Voice of Caribbean States in the Ongoing Debate on WTO Dispute Settlement Reform

State and Investor Responsibility in Africa’s Extractive industries

Convener: Ibironke Odumosu-Ayanu

Ibironke Odumosu-AyanuIntroduction to the Symposium on State and Investor Responsibility in Africa’s Extractive Industries

Oyeniyi AbeLeveraging Natural Resources for Sustainable Development in Africa

Nadège CompaoréUnequal Terms in Africa’s Mining Contracts: What to Do, and Whose Responsibility?

Chukwunonso Cherechi EkeolisaPrimary Human Rights Responsibility in Africa’s Extractive Industries

Ibironke Odumosu-AyanuInvestor Responsibility towards Local Communities in Extractive Industry Projects in African Countries

ACP-EU Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities for the Post-2020 Relationship

Convenor: Clair Gammage

ACP-EU relations are at a crossroads. As the expiry of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) approaches, the question remains what the future relationship between the ACP countries and EU Member States will look like beyond February 2020. The contributions to this symposium offer insights on the opportunities and challenges facing the parties as they continue to negotiate toward a renewed partnership.


Clair Gammage: Introduction to the Symposium: ACP-EU Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities for the Post-2020 Relationship

Ahmed JelleWith AfCFTA in Mind: New Dawn for Afro-EU Relations?

Kai-Ann SkeeteThe Future ACP-EU Relationship: Whither CARIFORUM?

Patricia Achieng OumaThe EU – EAC Economic Partnership Agreement Standoff: The Variable Geometry Question

Yentyl WilliamsPost-Cotonou and Innovation? Lessons Learned from Intellectual Property provisions on Geographical Indications in the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements

Teaching International Economic Law In Africa

Convenor: James Thuo Gathii invited submissions on the teaching of international economic law, (IEL), in Africa to reflect on a number of questions. We asked the contributors to reflect on these questions: What materials did you use to teach? What teaching style did you adopt? Did you center Africa or make the materials relevant to an African context in the materials you used and if so how? For example, did you use of African case studies; or use African-specific materials (e.g. books, articles, cases, treaties)? Was the class required? How many enrolled in the class? How did you determine grades in the class? Did class participation count towards the grade? Did you have prior background in the area when you first taught the course e.g. in your graduate school education, in your research and scholarship, in practice? How would you say the students received the course? Did they find it interesting, relevant, or indifferent?


James Thuo Gathii: Introduction: Symposium on Teaching International Economic Law in Africa

Tsotang Tsietsi: Teaching of International Economic Law in Africa: Experience from the Faculty of Law, University of Lesotho

Markus WagnerRethinking International Economic Law Curriculum in African Law Schools

Luwam DirarTeaching IEL in Africa: My Experience at the Trade Policy Training Center in Africa (TRAPCA)

Babatunde FagbayiboTeaching International Economic Law in an open distance learning (ODL) Education Environment

Caroline Omari LichumaTWAILing the International Economic Law Classroom: (Dis)locating the “International” in International Law

Dunia P. Zongwe:  International Economic Law Teachers in Africa Need to Beat Their Own Drums

Dispute Settlement in the African Continental Free trade Agreement

Convenor: James Thuo Gathii

With 22 ratifications now guaranteed, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, (AfCFTA), will soon enter into force. Once in force, its efficacy will depend on the political will to implement it as well as its enforcement mechanisms. The AfCFTA’s Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes establishes a WTO-like Dispute Settlement Mechanism with Panels and an Appellate Body. This symposium evaluates the prospects of this Dispute Settlement Mechanism. The contributors are James Thuo Gathii, Dr. Mihreteab Tsighe, and Olabisi D. Akinkugbe.


James Thuo GathiiIntroduction to the Symposium on Dispute Settlement in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

Mihreteab TsigheCan the Dispute Settlement Mechanism be a Crown Jewel of the African Continental free Trade Area

Olabisi D. AkinkugbeWhat the African Continental Free Trade Agreement Protocol on Dispute Settlement says about the culture of African States to Dispute Resolution

James Thuo GathiiEvaluating the Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

Traditional Knowledge and Plant Varieties in Africa

Convenor: Titilayo Adebola

This Symposium brings together African scholars interested in research around plant variety protection. Plant variety protection came to the fore in Africa following the entry into force of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 1995. In addition to TRIPS, other international treaties relevant to plant variety protection include the Convention on Biological Diversity (and its Nagoya Protocol), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. Africa’s response to these overlapping treaties on the subject are a variety of conflicting instruments at the continental and sub-regional levels, such as (i) the African Model Legislation for the Protection of the Rights of Local Communities, Farmers and Breeders, and for the Regulation of Access to Biological Resources (ii) the African Union Practical Guidelines for the Coordinated Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Africa (iii) the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (iv) the Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore, and (v) Annex X of the Bangui Agreement. Employing selected case studies from across Africa, the articles in this Symposium will offer insights into the complexities of law-making on the subject and provide information on topical developments.


Titilayo AdebolaIntroduction to the Symposium on Plant Variety Protection and Traditional Knowledge in Africa

Susan Isiko ŠtrbaIn Conversation with Dr Susan Isiko Štrba

Peter MunyiLayering Protection of the Rights of Plant Breeders in Kenya: A Contrast of Law and Practice

Daniel AcquahThe Proposed Plant Breeders Bill of Ghana and the Food Sovereignty Conundrum

Titilayo AdebolaBreaking the Silence on Plant Variety Protection in Nigeria

Emmanuel Kolawole OkeThe Harmonisation of IP Law in Africa: The AfCFTA, PVP Laws, and the Right to Food

Oluwatobiloba MoodyTraditional Knowledge Protection: An African Perspective


Convenor: James Thuo Gathii 

The signing of the consolidated text of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in March 2018 by 47 African Union member States was a significant milestone. It was the first time since the Abuja Treaty of 1994 that a continental trade agreement had been negotiated.  

The March 2018 milestone coincided with the substantial completion of Phase One negotiations on trade in goods and services. Phase Two negotiations on Intellectual Property Rights, Investment and Competition Rules was formally launched in March 2018 when 49 African Union member states signed the Kigali Declaration. As of January 10th 2018 there are 16 ratifications of the AfCFTA. Six more ratifications are required before it comes into force. This symposium critically appraises the agenda of the AfCFTA. It kicks off with a post that boldly makes the case why this agreement promises to redress the comparatively low levels of intra-regional trade as well as the dearth of high value exports from Africa. There is perhaps no one better than David Luke to make the case for the AfCFTA. He heads the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa that at the request of the African Union Summit provides the necessary support such as research, policy advisory services, and other technical assistance to ensure the timely conclusion of AfCFTA negotiations.

The other contributors to this symposium ask what the AfCFTA means for the African Union. They wonder whether it has been negotiated in an inclusive and transparent manner? How well is it being designed to deal with the issues that have led to low volumes of trade among African countries? How well it takes into account impacts on all stakeholders such as women and informal cross border trade? Whether as part of the package of other reforms that accompany it, it addresses the issues that adversely affect African trade such as transfer mis-pricing? How it will be characterized for purposes of notification under Article XXIV of GATT? How its trade facilitation mandates fit alongside those contained in existing RECs? These and other important and consequential questions make this symposium very timely. In addition to David Luke’s inaugural essay to launch the symposium, today we are publishing two other essays. One by Dr. Lawrence Tinyiko Ngobeni raising questions on the relationship between the AfCFTA and its proposed Protocol on Investment, on the one hand, and the African Union’s recently concluded Pan African Investment Code, on the other, particularly in the context of the existing investment obligations amongst SADC States. On her part, Mariam Olafuyi examines the extent to which the AfCFTA grapples with the large volume of informal cross border trade and its gendered nature.

Every weekday, a new essay will be published in the order that appears below. We thank all the contributors for accepting the invitation to be part of the inaugural symposium of and for their thought-provoking essays.


David LukeMaking the Case for the AfCFTA

Tinyiko NgobeniThe Relevance of the Draft Pan African Investment Code in View of the Formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area

Mariam OlafuyiThe Informal Economy and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement: Making Trade Work for the Often Overlooked

Babatunde FagbayiboA Case for Democratic Legitimacy of the AfCFTA Process

Tsotang TsietsiTrade Facilitation Efforts of the SADC States: Prospects of Advancement by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

Luwam DirarThe African Continental Free Trade Area: Trade Liberalization and Social Protection

Olabisi D. AkinkugbeNegotiating the AfCFTA in the Shadow of International and Regional Struggle for Power: A Caution

Amaka Vanni and Dr. Titilayo AdebolaIntellectual Property Rights and the AfCFTA: A Balanced Approach

Regis SimoThe Movement of People to Provide Services in the AfCFTA: Taking Stock of the Progress and Tackling Some Challenges Ahead

Ohio OmiunuMainstreaming Social Concerns into the AfCFTA Negotiation Process

Alexander EzenaguTransfer Mispricing as an Non-Tariff Barrier to the AfCFTA

Harrison MboriExisting in the Eternal Twilight Zone of WTO Consistency: The case of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

Fredrick KamusiimeHow to Implement the AfCFTA

Oyeniyi AbeGender Mainstreaming and Empowerment under Agreement for the Establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).