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.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
I propose that it is our current and future battles that will determine the meaning and impact of decolonisation in Africa and beyond. As things stand now, the dead are certainly not safe. Let me elaborate on this claim drawing from Professor Taylor’s work: his piece draws from the classics of Third Worldist Marxism and dependency theory to provide a sober account of Africa’s nominally post-colonial present.
While procedural reforms are important, substantive reform should be foregrounded. If substantive reforms cannot take place then African states should exit the ISDS scene.
If Africa is genuinely interested in the reforms of ISDS then the words of the Kenyan delegation at the UNCITRAL working group must be our yards stick; the desired outcome will only be achieved when we begin to consider the substantive issues in an open, frank, free, and transparent manner, noting the need to fast track the conclusion of a holistic reform process of the ISDS. Perceptions and plausible folk theories aimed at nothing but creating hegemony in ISDS must be shunned. My crystal ball tells me that ISDS is here to stay, thus we must make no mistakes, but shape ISDS to suit our future interests.
Narratives are stories that get embedded in the general understanding of why and how a phenomenon takes place. Many narratives exist within International Investment Law (IIL) concerning its role in the international legal order, particularly in development. However, what if these narratives were to get turned on their head?
This contribution focuses on the inequalities that result within countries as a result of the activities of the oil and gas industry and which endure in spite of the local content policies that are adopted. Without endorsing local content as a legal/policy option that captures the position of local communities regarding the oil and gas industry, it argues that it is necessary to clarify the definition of local content because if the scope of local content is unknown, there is a likelihood that it will remain difficult to determine whether goals are being met especially with regard to host and impacted communities.
The blog posts presented in this symposium indicate that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the renewable energy (RE) sector is desirable to support decarbonisation and clean energy transformation in developing countries such as Nigeria. Despite the enormous potential for RE based on the natural conditions in Nigeria, there is high level of energy poverty and low level of investments in RE sector by both government and private investors.
Nigeria, in recognition of the varying economic, political, environmental and social dangers posed by the over reliance on carbon based forms of energy, has started to turn to the idea of decarbonisation. However, this process can be difficult to attain, because of conflict between the different actors in an energy system. When unresolved or improperly managed, such conflicts can delay / derail decarbonisation initiatives and could scare away Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which has proven crucial in driving decarbonisation initiatives in emerging markets such as Nigeria.
Sub-regional judiciaries and implementing bodies in Africa should endeavour to avoid what the Kagame Report termed ‘[t]he chronic failure to see through African Union decisions [which] has resulted in a crisis of implementation.’ Hence, ECOWAS and the ECCJ should apply political pressure on Member States to implement the ECCJ judgments. Also, dualist countries in the sub-region should domesticate the Revised Treaty and the Protocol on the ECCJ into their national laws. This will enhance the implementation of the ECCJ decisions in the sub-region.
A coordinated African voice on FDI would likely enhance the continent’s global competitiveness, prevent destructive competition among countries, help strengthen Africa’s position in investment agreements, and ultimately result in increased FDI flows to the continent.