Economic Community of West African States

Symposium on the CFA Franc Reform in West Africa: Tales of a (Not So) Great Sea Serpent: The Reform of the West African CFA Franc in Context

On 21 December 2019, the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Ivoirian President Alassane Ouattara announced a “reform” of the monetary cooperation relations between France and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). This reform comes with a transformation of the CFA Franc and takes place in the context of a single currency project of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The CFA Franc zone currently comprises of 14 sub-Saharan African countries belonging to two currency unions. [1] Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA),[2] established in 1994 on the foundations of the West African Monetary Union, itself created in 1973. The other six countries - Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad - are members of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC). These two unions use the same currency, the CFA Franc, which stands for Communauté Financière Africaine (“African Financial Community”) in UEMOA and Coopération financière en Afrique centrale (“Financial Cooperation in Central Africa”) in CEMAC. Apart from Equatorial Guinea (Spanish) and Guinea Bissau (Portuguese), the other 12 countries have been French colonies (de facto or de jure).[3] The CFA Franc is issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) (for West Africa) and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) (for Central Africa). Each of these currencies is legal tender only within its own region, thus not directly interchangeable.

Ambiguities in the AfCFTA Text: Red Herrings or Problems with Bearing on the Implementation of the AfCFTA

Its prudent to address questions having to do with the sequencing of the two Phases of the protocol and whether this sequencing was opted for practical reasons or if the ratification of the first set of the protocols is a precondition for the ratification of the second. The answer to this question will inter alia have implications on which States can participate in phase II negotiations and whether or not leapfrogging of protocols is a possibility for member States. Moreover, in light of the great appetite to realize the objectives of the AfCFTA and fast track trading under this instrument, it might be worth considering what incentives (price of entry) can be set to encourage early adopters.

Insecurity in Nigeria – Whither International Law?

Nigeria continues to play a leadership role in its engagement with international law at the global, continental and regional levels. Having ratified and acceded to numerous international law treaties and instruments, and further domesticating many of them, the question to be asked is whether these instruments continue to have any tangible impact on the development of law in Nigeria? The purpose of this short commentary is not to rehash what has already been written but as indicated already, to comment on the current impact of international law on the Nigerian state and legal system. Against the backdrop of the ongoing war on terrorism, this contribution intends to assess if international law, and the principles emanating therefrom, are of any relevance in the current state of insecurity in Nigeria.

Investment Governance in Africa to Support Climate Resilience and Decarbonization

African nations have only marginally contributed to global warming relative to developed and emerging economies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. However, the African continent will bear a disproportionate burden of the negative impacts of climate change. Climate-related challenges like flooding, drought, and intense heat waves will increasingly confront the continent at a worsening rate. African nations should not be expected to take the lead in addressing a climate emergency they did not create. The priority for Africa is to receive support and investment to build resilience and adapt to climate impacts.

Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change through Marine Renewable Energy Development in Nigeria: Law, Issues and Prospects

This blog focuses on the legal and institutional framework for Marine Renewable Energy development in Nigeria. The blog examines Nigeria’s MRE potentials and how their maximization will assist Nigeria meet her climate change mitigation obligation under international climate regime. It further examines the possible impacts of exploring MRE sources in Nigeria and how this venture may co-exist with already existing uses of the sea and natural oceanic environment so as not to entirely alter the bio-diversity of the marine environment. It also examines emerging issues with MRE development in Nigeria. Finally, it makes suggestions on how Nigeria can develop an MRE legal framework that can balance all the competing interests.

The International Maritime Boundaries of Nigeria - Revisiting Joint Development of Natural Resources

There is renewed interest in the Nigeria- Sao Tome and Principle (STP) Joint Development Zone (JDZ). This is explored in a published chapter in the Nigerian Yearbook of International law (with co-authors). This chapter focused on the Nigeria-STP JDZ as an exemplar of a cooperative approach to maritime boundary delimitation and assesses the suitability of the particular JDZ model chosen. Therefore, this appears to be an excellent opportunity to explore the broader theme of maritime boundary zones of Nigerian vis-à-vis international maritime law. This essay argues that joint development in the spirit of a duty to cooperate within the Gulf of Guinea, will represent a Pan-African and sustainable vision, for the future exploration and exploitation of natural resources, including living resources such as Fisheries.

Domestic Effects of International Law in Nigeria: The Case of Trade Agreements

In this piece, I argue that Nigeria’s non-compliant behaviour is prevalent and entrenched in the field of international trade law, and that this behaviour is largely influenced by Nigeria’s perception of its national economic interests, which are underpinned by the protectionist policy of import-substitution. But Nigeria’s poor adherence to international trade rules should also be seen in the context of its general lack of commitment to the rule of law.

Those Who Serve a Revolution Plough the Sea: Ghanaian Market Traders and their Resistance to the ECOWAS Supranational Order

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Revised Treaty of 1993 is supposed to be the basis of a legal revolution that ended its members’ sovereignty and create a regional order that mirrored the European Union’s (EU) successful supranationalism. Departing from its 1975 Treaty ECOWAS has been reconfigured as a new entity whose rules, under article 9 (4) are of direct and binding effect on its members – the essence of supranationalism.

Delocalized Justice: The Delocalization of Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Violations Originating in Africa

This symposium aims to encourage a more systematic and critical scholarly engagement with the delocalization of justice in BHR cases involving harms suffered in African states, and the Global South more broadly. It is our contention that until now, with some notable exceptions, scholarly debates in the BHR sphere have insufficiently focused on the justification for, effectiveness of, and alternatives to this uprooting strategy. Yet, this delocalization lies at the heart of many legal processes and regulatory mechanisms aimed at delivering justice (or corporate accountability) in the Global North for harms that occurred in the Global South. Interrogating this delocalization, and imagining alternative strategies that would enable local populations to gain greater agency through local political and legal processes, should be at the core of scholarship and activism in the BHR field.