Here are some thoughts around these developments which could have both positive and negative implications for the region moving forward. West African leaders should consider these as they make their decisions about which approach to adopt.
It is difficult in just a few lines to deal with a subject as complex as the monetary cooperation agreement that is supposed to govern the transition from the CFA franc to the ECO. The “franc zone” in Africa comprises two types of CFA Franc, each with a specific denomination: that of the countries of West Africa and that of Central Africa, to which is added the franc of the Union of the Comoros. The focus here is on the West African zone.
There is the potential to create regional or sub-regional frameworks, which through agreements can handle claims against companies within their territories. This may strengthen local regional capacity, alleviate the allegations of complicity of the state and exemplify the cooperative spirit embodied in more recent collaborative African action. It would demonstrate an attempt at African solutions which are not dependent on home states. Nevertheless, it may not be enough to counter the lack of legally binding responsibility grounded in international law, as it would not be able to bring parent companies, who reside outside the African jurisdiction, within its scope.
Gray and Gills (2016) view South-south cooperation (SSC) as an organising concept and a set of practices in pursuit of historical changes through a vision of mutual benefit and solidarity among the disadvantaged of the world system. From this perspective, SSC has become increasingly important as a means for countries within the global south axis to share knowledge, experience, know-how and solutions. In forging these interactions between South-South countries, "horizontality" is pivotal for conveying ideas of trust, mutual benefit and equity among cooperating countries. There has been a longstanding relationship between Africa and the Caribbean, with the two regions historically collaborating in areas of mutual interest at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. This partnership has been renewed over time in keeping with changes in the global political economy. However, while these states continue to cooperate in multiple fora in relation to different issues, economic activity and trade between them remain negligible. This paper argues that there is potential to enhance integration between these two regions by mainstreaming trade relations through a deliberate effort by related governments via SSC.
This article examines the EPAs negotiating process in select ACP countries to highlight the fragmentation and dilution of ACP countries' negotiating positions. It outlines how the rigorous negotiation processes whittled down the ACP countries offensive interests and ultimately led to the hesitation by several ACP states to ratify the EPAs. The article concludes that EPAs are one of the factors that explain the low trade volumes between African and Caribbean countries.
The Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal (PER/PELJ) invites contributions from authors with regard to the impact of the COVID-19 on the future regulation of foreign investment in developing states.
We are keenly following the unfolding developments in Nigeria and in the sub-Saharan countries that are on the cusp of adopting competition laws, and of course the developments in the AfCFTA as well as ECOWAS/WAEMU and other regionals. We hope to engage with these developments, and hope that our book can provide some insights and a perspective; a building block for moving forward towards a Voice for Africa.
Fox and Bakhoum’s fairly broad analysis focusing on West, East, and Southern African countries brings to fore the real challenges at play in Africa. It is a fragmented, stratified yet at times vertically united legal and policy landscape. While they observe the need for convergence of competition law at the continental or regional level, they note the different states of developmental progress among sub-Saharan African countries hence concede the need for the fragmented approach
Fox and Bakhoum contextualize competition law by describing (in chapters 2 and 3) the structure and other key characteristic of markets in numerous African countries, including the economic and political history of those countries and their markets, as well as the legacies of colonization and decolonization – and by highlighting more broadly the economic challenges and needs of the people of Africa.
August 19, 2019