Symposium Posts

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

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.

Data Protection Impact Assessment as a Human Rights Duty of State?

This blog examines the relationship between Data Protection and Human Rights. It argues that the State has a duty to respect the privacy rights of its citizens and this duty includes an obligation to conduct Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) in cases of high-risk processing of personal data.

The Emerging role of African Sub-Regional Courts in Protecting Human Rights on the Internet

This blog provides an interesting perspective to the emerging roles of the African Sub-Regional Courts in protecting human rights in the African continent. It argues that Sub-regional courts such as the ECOWAS Court and East Africa Court are assuming crucial roles in protecting human rights on the Internet by expanding the institutional protection of human rights, flagging online human rights violations, fostering digital rights norms and setting the boundaries of acceptable behaviour for states on access to the Internet. It notes, however, that much still needs to be done in terms of enforcing these judgments in the continent.

The Unceasing War Against Corruption - A Study on the Financial Resources Plunder During the Covid-19 Pandemic In Malawi

The article draws attention to the financial resources plundered in Malawi amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic and highlights the pre-existing corruption problems in Malawi and its effects on the country's global and regional economic participation. It argues that domestic systems are insufficient to root out corruption and highlights the role of international systems in addressing corruption, and calls for more investment in international enforcement in the battle against corruption in Malawi.

Problematising Dr Stewart’s ‘Competition Regimes in the Caribbean Community and Sub-Saharan Africa’ - Thinking not only Race but also Class

This blog post invokes the use of works by Mahmood Mamdani in painting a Mamdanian framework as a tool to understand the nature and historical continuities underlining colonial power in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. It proceeds to argue that beyond a 'race' angle to competition issues in the caribbean, there is also a 'class' angle, which may be more frontal than the 'race' angle.

Economic and Environmental Trends affecting the participation of SADC countries in the International Market

This paper reflects on how current economic and environmental trends are impacting the trading capacity and overall economic performance of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. To change the tide, the article argues that countries within the SADC region must invest in structured economic programs to meet the changing demands of the international market.

Southern African Development Community Economic Bloc and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement: Challenges

This article argues that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is not living up to its potentials. It identifies some of the challenges inhibiting the actualization of the SADC objectives and it proffers some solutions necessary to meet these challenges.

Looking at the Southern Africa Development Community Tribunal through the eye(s) of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Mechanism

This article provides interesting insights on the jurisdiction of the Southern African Development Community ("SADC") Tribunal. It also considers the impact of this jurisdiction on the settlement of disputes within the SADC region. The article also considers the extent to which the removal of private access from the Tribunal's jurisdiction affects the settlement of trade disputes within SADC; , and whether the Tribunal is reconcilable with the World Trade Organization ("WTO")'s dispute settlement mechanism, which is regarded as being one of the salient features of the international trading regime.

Regional Economic Community Synergy in Trade through Special-Purpose Vehicles

This article argues that African member states have failed to tap into the massive potentials provided by Regional Economic Communities (RECs) due to factors including, government interferance, lack of invesstment capital, expertise and corruption. The author recommends the establishment of Special Purpose Vehicles at the REC levels, to harness these potentials and scale up the production of natural resources in the continent.

Strengthening East African Community Economy through the Implementation of Division of Competences

This article makes a case for the strengthening of the East African Community (EAC) by member-states in order to harness the immense trade benefits created by the EAC Customs Protocol. The article also advocates for the design of a protocol on 'shared competence' among member-states, as this will be necessary to boost trade relations with third parties.