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The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs in Financing the African Union

As the AU enters its twenties, understanding and addressing its funding challenges must be embedded in the broader political economy of Africa and the world. Global fiscal justice will go a long way in enabling African agency through more self-funding and leadership in the AU's agenda-setting and programme implementation. The AU can and should balance the shouldering of a steadily increasing burden of funding itself with continued pragmatic partnerships. In so doing, the AU will be able to roll out its reforms without losing access to vital resources in the short-term.

NEWS: 6.16.2022

The News and Events published every week include conferences, major developments in the field of International Economic Law in Africa at the national, sub-regional and regional levels as well as relevant case law.

Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: Personal Data Protection and Economic Integration: Options for AfCFTA Negotiators

Rules on cross-border data flows are no exception to this general trend. Moreover, given that the WTO rulebook was mostly written in the 1990s prior to the rise of the data driven economy, multilateral trade rules by and large do not regulate cross-border data flows, a fact which has contributed to rules on this front – demand for which has only increased as economies have become more data intensive – being set nationally and even sub-nationally, but also regionally, and in PTAs and FTAs. At the same time, trends such as the rise of what is often referred to as ‘surveillance capitalism’ has brought the issue of personal data protection on privacy grounds into sharper focus around the world. With this background context in place, this essay looks at the intersection of economic integration and personal data protection with a view to informing ongoing debates on what AfCFTA rules on cross-border data flows might look like.

Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: Introduction

The limit of cross border flow of personal data is broadly referred to as data localisation and is often justified based on five main concerns. These include the protection of personal data, access to data by local law enforcement, ensuring national security, advancing local economic competitiveness and levelling the regulatory playing field. However, a closer look at these justifications reveal the impact of data localisation on free trade, increase in transaction costs and the efficiency of corporations, stifling of innovation, and hampering of economic growth. With global data flows raising global GDP, it is necessary to ask, what policy trade-offs are necessary to balance the legitimate concerns of countries against the unintended consequences that the impact of data localisation causes? There are four issues relating to the economic impacts of data localisation that emerging regulation in Africa needs to address. These are data ownership and its value, competition, trade, and foreign direct investment.

African Sovereign Debt Justice Network’s Statement on the Occasion of the 2022 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank

On the occasion of their 2022 Spring Meetings, the African Sovereign Debt Justice Network (AfSDJN); the Pan-African Lawyers Union, (PALU); the African Forum for Debt and Development (Afrodad); NAWI Afrifem Macroeconomics; the Jesuit Justice Ecology Network Africa, (JENA); the Okoa Uchumi Campaign; and BudgiT call upon the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to address their unjust governance structures that have roots in the historical subjugation of African countries. African countries did not take part in designing the current international financial architecture.

The TRIPS Waiver Compromise Draft Text: A Preliminary Assessment

It is perhaps too early to predict what a final waiver text may look like. Nevertheless, it is probably not too far-fetched to assume that the outcome of the quadrilateral negotiations between India, South Africa, the EU, and the US, i.e. the compromise waiver text, would constitute the basis of any final waiver decision.

Book Review: Collective Management of Copyright in South Africa: A Review of D. O. Oriakhogba Copyright Collective Management Organizations and Competition in Africa (Juta, 2021)

Dr Desmond Oriakhogba’s work, Copyright Collective Management Organisations and Competition in Africa is poised to become a seminal reference work in the field of collective management, for a number of reasons: first, it is one of only a paucity of dedicated full texts on the subject of collective management in Africa; secondly, it is the first such text to explore in-depth the question of the application of competition law in the area of collective management – a subject-matter that has been fully explored in other mature jurisdictions such as the United States and the European Union, but hardly considered within the African context; thirdly, it explores the law and practices in three key jurisdictions in the South, the East and the West of Africa; and fourthly, it is an expertly written text and a veritable scholarly work, while simultaneously written in a flowing, easy-to-follow style making for a good long-weekend read.

The Emergent African Union Law - Conceptualization, Delimitation and Application. Eds. Olufemi Amao, Michele Olivier, Konstantinos D Magliveras

This edited collection of 24 Africa experts with diverse academic and practice focused backgrounds is divided into 5 parts and 24 chapters. The focus of the book is to establish African Union (AU) law as a focal point for the development of African countries. It provides a rich vein of scholarly literature which might not always be apparent to international researchers and practitioners. The ambition is to use regional integration law as a springboard for legal and socio-economic growth by avoiding national law failures that have undermined the development of the African continent.

Book Review: The Emergent African Union Law: Conceptualisation, Delimitation and Application. Olufemi Amao, Michèle Olivier and Konstantinos D. Magliveras (eds)

This substantial volume sets out to establish the case for recognition of a new field of law. The editors propose a concept of African Union (AU) law – by analogy with the established body of European Union (EU) law – and argue for the need for such a concept in order to create “a platform to examine legal developments in Africa from an Afrocentric perspective”.