The international adjudication of investor-state disputes is at a crossroads. Since 2017, negotiations have been underway at UNCITRAL for the reform of the current system of dispute settlement, what is typically called ISDS. Different visions of the reformed version of ISDS have emerged. At one end of the reform pendulum is systemic reform, at the other end there is the option of incremental reform, while in the middle there is an option of a combination between incremental reform and systemic reform. Finally, there is an option to move beyond reform and dismantle ISDS.
On July 1, 2021, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) secured the votes of 130 members out of 139 members of the Inclusive Framework, on a two-pillar plan to reform the global tax rules. Notably, two African countries—Kenya and Nigeria—, active members of the Inclusive Framework withheld their support for this plan, which has been described by many as “historic”. Nigeria is a major economic force in West Africa and the largest economy, by GDP, on the African continent. Kenya is East Africa’s gateway and the region’s largest economy. What must have influenced their decisions not to support a historic global tax reform, and what are the consequences of such action?
I am delighted to present this symposium for my textbook entitled: International Investment Law: National, Regional and Global Perspectives (Wolf Legal Publishers, Nijmegen, the Netherlands: 2020). The textbook could not have come at a better time given the compelling need for scholars from the Global South, particularly Africa, to contribute to international investment law scholarship to help reshape and redefine international investment law for the mutual advantages of foreign investors/enterprises and the host States.
This online symposium is the outcome of a workshop on ‘GVCs, Trade and Development’ hosted by the Kent Law School and IEL collective in July 2020 and supported by the British Academy (Grant no. MD19\190020). The workshop engaged with the policy research literature produced by the World Trade Organisation and World Bank since 2013, in particular their Global Value Chain Development (GVCD) reports of 2017 and 2019.
I am proud to present this book symposium on my book titled, Energy Poverty and Access Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: The role of Regionalism (Palgrave, 2019). With the increasing role of regionalism and globalism, this book discusses the various energy challenges in Africa, and how these can be addressed through regional cooperation.
There is no doubt that solving this pandemic is the most pressing challenge of our time. This is not a zero sum game. Below, I elaborate on the four points for effective global solidarity to tackle the pandemic.
In the webinar, the panelists brilliantly discussed salient subjects pertinent to global intellectual property (IP) rights rules and relevant implementation mechanisms at regional and national levels. In quintessential Afronomicslaw.org fashion, the discussions underscored Global South interests and reinforced the importance of fostering development-oriented IP systems.
The main finding of this contribution is that most universities offer enough courses on international aspects of law but do not ensure all their students get the minimum necessary, i.e., a sound introduction to the principles of public and private international law as well as ideally the skills to compare legal solutions in various jurisdictions (comparative law).
Although COVID-19 is currently making IAT difficult due to restrictions placed on the movement of people and goods, the pandemic justifies enhanced IAT. The situation helps Africa realize the benefits of IAT due to the trade restrictions put in place by our major trading partners who are mainly outside Africa. Most of all, it will help Africa appreciate the good in initiatives put in place to enhance IAT.
While the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) 2017 Nigerian Annual Trade Policy Report (NAPTOR) was an excellent step in the right direction, it is not enough. As such, in the spirit of the legal reform proposals that the CLRNN inaugural conference demanded, I urge the Nigeria government to develop and adopt a coherent and robust regional trade policy that will be updated from time to time to reflect the realities of the day.