This edited collection of 24 Africa experts with diverse academic and practice focused backgrounds is divided into 5 parts and 24 chapters. The focus of the book is to establish African Union (AU) law as a focal point for the development of African countries. It provides a rich vein of scholarly literature which might not always be apparent to international researchers and practitioners. The ambition is to use regional integration law as a springboard for legal and socio-economic growth by avoiding national law failures that have undermined the development of the African continent.
International Financial Institutions
The overarching ambition of the book is to advance the conversation on the norm generating aspects of the work of the AU, its organs and its institutions. The broad proposition presented collectively by the contributions is that the AU has become a standards generating regional institution, and that this capacity is rapidly evolving.
Much has been written about how international law generally, and international economic law more specifically, have enabled, facilitated and contributed to the continued racial ordering, discrimination, exploitation, and treatment of people on the move as ‘surplus’ population. The current COVID-19 pandemic, if anything, has laid bare how current economic structures entrench precarity and inequality, in a world in which borders may be seamless for goods and services, yet fortress-like and unwelcoming for those fleeing persecution, climate breakdown, armed conflict or abject poverty.
COP26 ended with a palpable sense of despair as industrialised states failed once again to deliver on long-standing commitments to finance adaptation and mitigation efforts in the Global South. As attempts to reach accord floundered, private capital materialised as the most likely source of this vital funding. Whilst their dire situation may leave post-colonial states with no option but to accept this investment, its continued entrenchment in the economies and polities of the Global South can only serve to perpetuate the centuries-long cycle of subordination, dependence, and debt.
I propose that it is our current and future battles that will determine the meaning and impact of decolonisation in Africa and beyond. As things stand now, the dead are certainly not safe. Let me elaborate on this claim drawing from Professor Taylor’s work: his piece draws from the classics of Third Worldist Marxism and dependency theory to provide a sober account of Africa’s nominally post-colonial present.
The question of whether decolonisation stalled in the Global South has been addressed in some form for as long as the concept of decolonisation has been present in our world. As many educational institutions across the world, and especially in the Global North, begin to include ‘decolonising’ in their knowledge transmission agendas, connecting this question with the past, present and future of all aspects of the colonial project has never been more important. This short essay argues firstly that the question itself relies on certain presumptions that should be revisited. Secondly, the essay argues that the answer itself is complex and depends on where our gaze primarily lies – state or people.
The Mozambique scandal shows how much damage irresponsible lending can cause. A citizen or a class of citizens injured by an irresponsible loan should be able to pursue a civil suit for damages against the responsible government officials and lender or lenders: i) in the country where one or more of the lenders is headquartered, ii) the country where one or more of the branches or subsidiaries that extended or approved the loan is located, or iii) in any country where the lender or lenders have a substantial presence.
We recognise that the current proposal is limited in resolving the longer-term debt burden of developing countries. The stay of enforcement does not introduce any changes in the substantive obligations contracted by the parties. Thus, the standstill will only temporarily suspend the execution and enforcement of eligible financial obligations during the designated period. Meanwhile, interest on the principal will continue to accrue. The proposal is also meant to be used as a ‘shield’ rather than a ‘sword’, i.e. the stay will only be triggered as a defence by the sovereign debtor in the event of a claim against it by a private creditor.