These recent procedural and substantive trends encompassed in the WAU conference demonstrate a renewed and welcomed interest for arbitration of mega disputes in the African continent and the MENA region, both international arbitration hubs that are gaining prominence. Whilst challenges remain, biases against arbitrating disputes in these regions are being debunked by the experience of Africa and MENA with dispute resolution, the advent of institutions and “arbitration friendly” jurisprudence.
This essay reviews the areas in which in which Kenya has strategically positioned itself to benefit for the AfCFTA. It briefly reviews the areas in which improvement will be required.
To ensure that innovative capacity is developed on the continent, it is pertinent to promote regional innovation. As a starting point, negotiators of the AfCFTA may consider including in the text appropriate provisions that will allow the collaboration and nurturing of innovative capacity in Africa. Open innovation is an approach that meets the needs of Africa and is worth considering.
On March 9 2018, the African Union Ministers of Trade approved the Declaration establishing the Agreement establishing African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA); a move that marked the creation of the largest Free Trade Area in the World. The Agreement seeks to create a single market for goods, services and movement of persons and investment among African countries thereby fostering intra-African trade, facilitating structural transformation of African economies and promoting sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development across the African continent. Whether this would turn out to be a significant positive development within the continent may largely depend on whether the broader issue is addressed- The continuous inclination of African States to explore the forest rather than tend the garden.
This blog aims to present some of the challenges being faced within Africa’s trade landscape and some of the workable policy instruments for overcoming these barriers in the digital post-COVID-19 age. In other words, the broad objective is to propose innovative solutions for enhancing post-COVID-19 economic resilience across businesses and households in a sustainable fashion.
As all the services carry the risk of financial crime such as money laundering and terrorism financing and risks to users (investors such as those investing through crowdfunding) regulation is key. Rather than regulate them out of existence, however, African economies should embrace a regulatory friendly approach to their operation which would be vital to: provide SMEs and individuals access to finance; kick start economies; create jobs and set Africa on the trajectory of growth again post the Covid-19 crises.
Halting the rapid transmission of COVID-19 and reversing the trend of consequential global distress is a global concern and goal. As the WHO has rightly pointed out, this goal is only achievable when everyone, everywhere can access the health technologies they need for COVID-19 detection, prevention, treatment and response. This highlights the importance of international cooperation and solidarity for restoring global health security, now and for the future.
The shortcomings of the current legal and policy framework does not mean that responses to COVID19 should be lacking. Instead, there is adequate room for responses as we learn lessons and take notes to do better. The best way to move policy and law is to ensure that it is constantly reviewed to make sure they serve their purpose.
The tragedy of the COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the frailties of African economies. COVID-19 has taught us, in the harshest way possible, that we are only as strong as the most vulnerable among us. This has compelled African leaders to recognize that regional cooperation is at the crux of the solution to the COVID-19 crisis. Hopefully, this positive momentum towards regional cooperation will extend to tackling the broader welfare issues challenging African societies.
Supporting moot court competition through funding initiatives is one way to offer support. Another way is to offer knowledge and expertise on substantive law as well as presentation skills.