Economic Integration

Book Review of Fox and Bakhoum, Markets, Development, and Competition Law in Sub-Sub-Saharan Africa

The book provides illuminating insights on the contrasting historical and economic imperatives that drove the development of competition law and policy in the US, post World War II Europe and in selected countries on the African continent.  The authors explain that in the US, the development of antitrust law was a response to the industrial revolution and in its wake, large enterprises.  For almost a century, the US courts, interpreted antitrust law “to protect the weak from the strong.”  There was a significant shift in US antitrust law under the Reagan administration “away from economic democracy and towards efficiency” as the US focused on global competitiveness and economic power.

Selection of Ghana to Host the AfCFTA Secretariat is a Befitting tribute to Kwame Nkrumah

Ghana and its founding father, Kwame Nkrumah, have played a pivotal role in the Africa’s revolution, integration and the evolution of Pan Africanism in general.  Besides his prolific writings, which cemented his place as a foremost proponent of Pan Africanism, Nkrumah was not only a freedom fighter, but also one of the recognisable organisers of the 1945 Manchester Pan Africa congress which primarily advocated for decolonisation of the continent and the supplanting of colonialism with African socialism.

International Investment Law and Policy in Africa in the Context of the Pan-African Investment Code

While international trade has undergone significant structural changes recently, particularly with the proliferation of new generation of free trade agreements (FTAs), the debate on the consequences of IIAs for sustainable development continues to widen and intensify. In effect, while there has been fundamental changes in the international investment landscape in terms of players (now comprising state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds) and FDI direction (with emerging economies now being, not only recipients, but increasingly home states), governments are also now adopting industrial policies and development strategies that contrast with their erstwhile hands-off approach to economic development.

REVIEW I of Regional Developmentalism through International Law – Establishing an African Economic Community, Jonathan Bashi Rudahindwa, Routledge, 2018

Rudahindwa’s contribution lies in his articulation of the need for institutions and legal frameworks to reflect these multiple objectives of African RECs. In this regard, he ably demonstrates how the specific objectives of NAFTA, ASEAN, MERCOSUR and the EU have informed the nature of the institutions that manage their respective organisations and their legal frameworks, including how they address issues such as the relationship between the laws of the organisations and their member states, the bindingness of agreed commitments and laws, and dispute settlement.

Teaching International Economic Law in an open distance learning Education Environment

With regards to the Southern African Trade Law subject, works of African scholars constitute the majority of the prescribed reading materials. The examination questions are also reflective of developments around regionalism in Southern Africa, with hypotheticals on how member states can navigate trade rules and obligations. In going forward, I intend to implement a number of approaches in enhancing the pedagogy of international economic law.

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.

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

The provisions regarding the movement of people as services suppliers in the AfCFTA are a welcome development in the agenda of boosting intra-African trade in services. The next phases of trade in services are currently under negotiations at the end of which State Parties are expected to take specific commitments in sectors and modes of supply. It is only upon completion of that phase that the breadth and depth of service liberalization in the AfCFTA will be appreciated and possibly quantified.

The African Continental Free Trade Area: Trade Liberalization & Social Protection

In this essay, I argue that the AfCFTA needs to rethink its relationship with the continental emancipatory movements. Its focus on economic integration without social-emancipatory movements undermines its central aim of creating “the Africa we want.” Its top-down approach fails to capture labor movements in Africa. Additionally, by creating yet another integration organization in Africa despite the existence of several regional and continental integration projects it cashes organizational costs that could have been spent in creating a labor-friendly integration project.