Foreign Direct Investments

Book Review of International Investment Law: National, Regional and Global Perspectives, Collins C Ajibo, (Wolf Legal Publishers 2020)

As the author explains in the foreword, this book intends to explore the principles, policies and practice in international investment law across the world and to foster greater study interests of students in the field. Unlike other textbooks that focus solely on investment protection in international law, this book brings an under-explored perspective from developing countries, in particular from Nigeria.

Introduction to the Book: ‘The Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) Standard in International Investment Arbitration: Developing Countries in Context’ (Springer, 2018)

The overarching argument made in the book is that there is a pressing need to reconceptualize the interpretation of the FET standard, taking into account the particular developmental circumstances of the developing countries in investor-State disputes. The book explores these challenges and issues that the developing countries face arising from overly broad interpretations of the FET standard.

RCEP Investment Rules: Help or Hindrances to Asia's COVID-19 Recovery?

Without doubt, once in force, RCEP could stimulate COVID-19 recovery in the region by fostering greater investment among the fifteen Asia-Pacific countries. However, as the Agreement will be co-existing with other IIAs among the countries, it adds another noodle to the already growing spaghetti bowl of IIAs among the Asia-Pacific States.

The Importance of Intellectual Property and International Investment Agreements for Overcoming the “Peripheral Economy Trap”: A Response to Ian Taylor’s “Sixty Years Later: Africa’s Stalled Decolonization

Systematizing the threat of land contracts to transform them into an opportunity

Unfortunately, the Guide appears to be blind to the way in which conceiving land and tenure rights in the context of global vale chains can multiply the relevant spaces of engagement and challenges the traditional notion of jurisdictional spaces and fragmentation. Luckily, communities, activists and lawyers acting on the ground have come to this realization long ago, and I  believe that they will find the best way to use a document that aims to normalize large-scale investments but can also open new interesting spaces for political and legal resistance.

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.

International Economic Law Teachers in Africa Need to Beat Their Own Drums

“Not acceptable at this level”, a professor commented on one of my exam questions that asked students to “[d]escribe the salient features of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).” This happened in 2017 at the University of Namibia (UNAM) where, until last year, I taught the International Economic Law module, a module pitched at the level of a bachelor honors degree. The professor – an academic from a leading South African university hired to moderate examination papers from UNAM’s Faculty of Law – recommended that I tweak my question as follows: “Discuss the validity of the Southern African Customs Union in the WTO framework”.

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.