Given the promising potential for deeper trade and investment relationships between both regions, there is a dearth of scholarly analysis on the Africa-Caribbean economic relationship, which this AfronomicsLaw Symposium aims to address partially. The five essays in this symposium, all authored by well-respected academics and practitioners, explore various themes of the Africa-Caribbean relationship. The essays all refer to the shared bonds of history and the need for more significant action on both sides to actualise a mutually beneficial region-to-region relationship. All of the essays offer innovative recommendations for deepening Africa-Caribbean relations.
The best ways to tackle any disease are often scientific, whether based on modern, Western-style medicine, or the traditional methods of our forefathers. In both cases, an ailment was observed, a treatment proposed, and if successful, adopted, with the less effective ones being relegated to the realm of pseudoscience at best. The African continent-wide economic integration project has been in motion in one form or other since the 1950s (some might argue earlier). Now, more than ever, is the time to take an honest look at our history and consider whether, based on the depth of integration of our economies, we are on the right track, or whether we need to consider a different approach. We should use the postponed operationalisation of the AfCFTA to consider how best to implement the ideals that have been negotiated the last couple of years, and not serve as a harbinger of another shelved idea.
The last two decades has seen Intellectual Property, (IP), increasingly regulated by bilateral and regional free trade agreements, (FTAs), rather than through multilateral forums like the WTO. This trend is evidenced in trade between China and African countries, which is dominated by bilateral trade agreements.
The AfCFTA has a broad objective of creating “a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments” and a potential to significantly impact international trade relations simultaneously at the continental and global levels. Yet, situated in the context of a challenging and protracted history of non-implementation of regional trade agreements, and a complex international and regional trade wars with divisive implications in contemporary multilateral trading system, there are reasons to be modest about the impact of the AfCFTA.