The African Sovereign Debt Justice Network brings to you an update of African sovereign debt news and updates on events and happenings on and about Africa that reveal how sovereign debt issues are engaged by the various stakeholders.
Equitable access to medicines and vaccines are key determinants of a country’s resilience to emerging health threats. As the world tries to figure out how to live alongside the SARS-CoV2 virus with the constant threats of emerging variants and new waves, several challenges remain globally for the supply of and access to medicines. For example, the AIDS drugs access crisis, which highlighted the challenges in accessing lifesaving medicines and vaccines. People all over the world are affected by the crisis which is a result of either unavailability or unaffordability.
Oke’s book Patents, Human Rights and Access to Medicines, is a timely and valuable contribution to the literature in this area. Its timeliness is due to the global context of the COVID-19 pandemic since 2019. The discussion of the import of patents to access to medicines, from a human rights lens is a critical endeavour which has been undertaken by several scholars. The seminal Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Access to Medicines-A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, now in its 3rd edition (Velásquez, Correa and Ido, 2020) curates the majority of this literature.
I credit this book with providing an extremely thorough analysis of the relationship between pharmaceutical patents and human rights and moving us forward to an understanding that will undoubtedly improve access to medicines if applied. It will no doubt prove invaluable to policy makers, judges, legislators, activists, governments, students, and the general public.
The lack of international cooperation and coordination during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of African efforts to enhance resilience and agency in international relations. While the African Union (AU) continues to face challenges in achieving greater continental integration, it has embarked on several important measures, including efforts to reform the AU to make it fitter for purpose and more efficient. Some of these efforts include reforms aimed at reducing the AU's dependence on external donors and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), a flagship project of the AU's Agenda 2063.
When, in 1963, Kwame Nkrumah emphasised that Africans need to unite, he was vigorously reinforcing the pertinence of motioning the continent on the ideation of pan-Africanism, unity, and continental solidarity. There were evident implications of his rhetoric. The first is that the arbitrary borders of the continent could not continue to subsist. In his invocations, he insisted on the fact that it was pertinent to render 'existing boundaries obsolete and superfluous.' At the time this viewpoint was articulated, it met with wide agreement. Although certain leaders were persuaded that it was important to do away with the borders, others who had just gained independence from colonial powers emerged as nationalists and were determined to consolidate their victories at a national level, given that their people had fought hard to win independence from imperialism and colonial structures.
The African Union (AU) has reached its twentieth year, and this milestone offers an opportunity to reflect upon African agency and agenda-setting regarding the development of continental norms and practices within the AU's public health sphere of competence. This is particularly relevant in view of the current global pandemic. This paper argues that the establishment of the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) under the Statute of the Africa CDC, its mechanisms and processes, especially in the AU's continental response to COVID-19, advances African agency and agenda-setting in public health. Importantly, some of the actions of the AU, as part of its continental response to COVID-19, require attention not only because they form the central argument of this paper but also because of the scant attention paid to the AU's continental response to the pandemic by scholars and others, in this regard.
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.
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.
The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) in partnership with African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) and Afronomicslaw invites you to the virtual book launch of COVID-19 and Sovereign Debt, edited by Daniel D. Bradlow and Magalie L. Masamba (2022).