Trade Facilitation

The Role of Trade Facilitation in Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers in the African Continental Free Trade Area

This article discusses the significant role of the role of trade facilitation in addressing NTBs in the AfCFTA. The article is divided into six parts. The first part outlines the various types of NTBs. The second part discusses trade facilitation. The third part discusses the trade facilitation and elimination of NTBs at the African regional level. The fourth provides an account of trade facilitation and removal of NTBs under the AfCFTA. Part five provides the concluding remarks. The sixth and last part offers some recommendations for the implementation of trade facilitation commitments under the AfCFTA Agreement with a view of effectively curbing NTBs in intra-Africa trade.

In Pursuit of Transparency for Trade Facilitation in Southern Africa

The Southern African States are encouraged to continue with their laudable efforts of implementing transparency measures. They should strive to meet the implementation deadlines that they have set for themselves. They should seek assistance to mitigate any capacity constraints that are preventing them from making necessary reforms. Fortunately both the TFA and the AfCFTA recognise the importance of special and differential treatment (S&DT) and technical assistance to improve prospects of compliance. This gives some assurance that members will continue to achieve greater success in improving transparency going forward.

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

This article will briefly examine this dynamic across three interconnected dimensions:  (1) flexibility and innovation in IEL agreement models, with a focus on trade agreements, that better integrate economic and social development goals and allow parties to adapt to new circumstances or phase in commitments on a more incremental basis; (2) flexibility in implementation of trade disciplines and agreements; and (3) legal and regulatory innovation that can both define and flow from IEL agreements.  These three dimensions take into account both treaties themselves and how they relate to changes in law and regulation in practice, drawing a link between international agreements and their operation that is particularly important in times of change or uncertainty.  In assessing dimension three, legal and regulatory innovation, which has been a focus of my work over the past decade,

Women in International Economic Law

To finalise our International Women’s Day symposium on scholarship by women, this post highlights some women working on International Economic Law (IEL) that the editorial team put together in the last couple of days. This post is therefore by no means intended to be exhaustive. We encourage our readers to add to our list. Next year with more time, we hope to have an even more extensive list of women working in IEL.

Leveraging Natural Resources for Sustainable Development in Africa

The huge investments in the extractive sector should, in principle, be a catalyst for economic growth, job opportunities, and development. Often, these investments have been a source of environmental degradation, socio-economic malaise and despair. Equatorial Guinea, for instance, is a classic example of the ‘resource curse mystery in Africa. To leverage extractive resources for development, African countries are faced with legal, fiscal, implementation, infrastructure, regulatory and institutional challenges. This contribution addresses state and investor responsibility in the sustainable development of Africa’s extractive sector. It highlights four responsibility indices that will guide states and investors in fostering a shared value approach to an inclusive and sustainable development of Africa’s extractive sector.

Trade Facilitation Measures: Avoiding a 'one size fits all' approach

Noting the different levels of economic development amongst AfCFTA State Parties, this post intends to shed light on implementation of Annex 4 to the benefit of all. This is in part due to the fact that the TFA steers away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach and instead introduces new, unique and innovative features to facilitate Members’ integration into the global value networks. Furthermore, I contend that the features discussed could serve as a model to further elaborate on Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) as a guiding principle within the context of trade facilitation measures.

Why AfCFTA may not be a credible forerunner of single African market

The first seeming obstacle to the emergence of a single African market is the contradictions between the stated aims of AfCFTA and some of the principles set out in the AfCFTA Agreement. As noted earlier, AfCFTA’s objectives include creating “a single market” and laying “the foundations for the establishment of a Continental Customs Union”. Yet, one of the principles under Article 5 is “variable geometry”, that is, differentiated integration. Of course, variable geometry was designed to recognise the heterogeneity and diversity in Africa’s economies. However, a single market is not consistent with an a la carte approach, where members integrate at different speeds.