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Democracy

The Effect of Recent Coups in Africa on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

There has been a wave of incessant coups in Africa, starting in Mali in 2020. Since then, it has unprecedentedly spread to 6 countries in 3 years. Other countries include Guinea (2021), Chad (2021), Sudan (2021), Burkina Faso (2022), Niger (2023), and most recently, Gabon in August 2023 have experienced coups. The coup leaders deposed elected leaders, forestalled elections, or even overthrew leaders who held on to powers for over 50 years. It has also caused the rise of a faction among African leaders. Countries with military regimes declare support for one another and daring regional bodies like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to take any disciplinary action. This post examines the effect of the rising political instability in African countries on the African Union’s (AU) effort to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

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

The African Union (AU) commemorates its second decade this year. This milestone presents a moment to reflect on the founding aspirations of the body, assess the current progress in achieving these, and provide suggestions of what the continent should do to achieve these aspirations. This piece assesses the AU's role in peace and security on the continent as far as election-related violence (ERV) is concerned and the linkages between various organs of the AU to achieve this, particularly the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC). Timothy Sisk defines ERV as 'acts of verbal assault, intimidation, coercion and physical harm used to sabotage an electoral process (at any given point) or eliminate electoral competition.' The United Nations recognises ERV as a 'form of political violence which is often designed to influence an electoral outcome and, therefore, political power distribution.'

EACJ First Instance Court Decides Martha Karua v Republic of Kenya: The Litmus Test for EACJ Jurisdiction and Supremacy

The intervener in her classical procedural technicalities attack strategy at the domestic level, argued that the court lacked jurisdiction over a decision of the apex court of a partner State. She argued that the EACJ could not exercise appellate jurisdiction over a decision by the Kenyan Supreme Court. The court ruled that this argument would fail as the Court had jurisdiction over States for the State’ internationally wrongful acts of any of its State organs including the judiciary.

Conference Report: The African Society of International Law 9th Annual Conference on Africa and Covid-19

The African Society of International Law (AfSIL) held its 9th Annual Conference on Africa and COVID-19 virtually, on 30 October 2020. AfSIL aims inter alia to promote international law on the continent and to contribute to the development of an international law that expresses the point of view of African States and specialists. The Conference was sponsored by law firms Foley Hoag LLP, Shikana Law Group and Asafo & Co.

Of Integracidaires and the Contemporary Publics of Continental Integration in Africa

In an essay published in 2002, the late Kenyan scholar, Ali Mazrui, asked the critical question of who killed democracy in Africa. In his archetypal incisive take on African issues, Ali Mazrui delved into history to identify both internal and external forces that have conspired to commit the crime of “democra-cide”. Suffice to say that although the political dynamics of the continent has evolved, many of the culprits mentioned by Ali Mazrui are still busy at the slaughter slab, shredding democracy into bits.

Comment by Dr. C. Elaiyaraya on Antarnihita Mishra & Aman Kumar's Essay - South Asian University: Towards a ‘South-Asian’ Approach to International Law

It is my humble opinion that the current syllabus does not represent either the vision of South Asian University nor the Universal human welfare oriented understanding of Jurisprudence. Kindly do not treat it as a complaint it is an opportunity exercised by a fellow academician in discharging the human cum intellectual social responsibility. Especially, for the benefit of present and future generations of student fraternity.

Judicial Nullification of Presidential Elections in Africa: Peter Mutharika v Lazarus Chakera and Saulos Chilima in Context

In contemporary Africa, the judicialization of presidential elections between incumbents and challengers in courts is becoming increasingly visible. In at least two instances within the last three years, courts have overturned presidential elections. In addition, an increasing number of non-gubernatorial electoral disputes are being judicialized in national and international courts. There are examples from Malawi, Zambia, Nigeria and Kenya.

Towards an African Approach to Free Trade in the Post-COVID-19 Era

The Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA is far more than just a trade agreement. It embodies long-held aspirations for an integrated Africa which, in the words of Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, would be better equipped to “tackle hopefully every emergency, every enemy and every complexity.” As one of the flagship projects of the AU’s Agenda 2063, the free trade initiative is envisioned as a pathway to an African renaissance in both economic and cultural terms. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the AfCFTA could integrate 55 African Union (AU) member states in a market of about 1.2 billion people with an estimated gross domestic product of US $ 2.5 trillion. Moreover, the area is expected to reflect the continent’s “common identity by celebrating our history and our vibrant culture.”

The Rotten Core of International Investment Law

In this brief post, I want to make sense of Prabhash Ranjan’s brief critique of TWAIL perspectives on international investment law. My main aim is not to mount a defense of TWAIL project(s) on investment law because that might be done more eloquently by others. Instead, I want to make some brief comments about the political valence of, and the assumptions behind, the reservations that Professor Ranjan articulated in this post, and which also appear in his recent book on India and Bilateral Investment Treaties.