Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Negotiating the AfCFTA Investment Protocol: An Opportunity for Africa to Set its Own Investment Facilitation Agenda

In order to decide whether to include IF in the AfCFTA and how, African policymakers should be aware of all these different approaches and dynamics around Investment Facilitation to be able to set their own priorities in this relatively “new” area in international investment law, crafting an innovative and holistic approach for their future investment protocol. To date, international and regional approaches in IF are still in the making – making it easier for policymakers to identify what works best for Africa. In the process, policymakers can also leverage their own cutting-edge reform efforts on investment protection and regulation, and set a regional standard as a rule-maker – which could, in turn, influence ongoing or other future global processes on this topic.

The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC), Earlier Experiences and Lessons for Regional Competition Regimes in the Global South

The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) has been recognized as the most established regional competition authority so far in Africa. However, the CCC’s enforcement of the 2004 COMESA Competition Regulations (the “Regulations”) has not been easy. It has been marred with challenges. For instance, the launch of CCC –although established in 2004–faced backlash from some of the COMESA Member States, COMESA national competition agencies (NCAs), lawyers, and the business community even before it became operational. That is why it took almost a decade, in 2013, for CCC to commence enforcement of the Regulations. Despite these challenges, on 14th January 2023, CCC will be celebrating a decade of existence. If so, how has CCC enhanced the enforcement of the regional competition laws and what lessons can young and emerging regional competition regimes (RCRs) learn from CCC? In this blog article, we discuss the strategies that CCC has adopted in building its authority and strengthening cooperation with NCAs and other stakeholders in the enforcement of the COMESA regional competition law.

The Role of Regional Competition Regimes in Supporting International Enforcement Cooperation

This blog post discusses the role of regional competition regimes (RCRs) in supporting international enforcement cooperation. The appetite for trade among nations has been insatiable over the past several decades. As cross-border trade and business transactions increased, there was also widespread adoption of competition laws and an increased number of competition enforcement authorities around the world, both at the national level and regional level. As a result, there has also been an increase in the cross-border nature of business conduct investigated by competition authorities.

Southern African Regional Competition Regimes – Where are we today?

This article ponders on the developments in the Southern African cooperation in competition enforcement through some of the regional economic instruments, namely, the 2002 Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement, the 2004 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Competition Regulations, the 2009 Southern African Development Community (SADC)[2] Declaration on regional cooperation in competition and consumer policies, and the African Competition Forum (ACF). In this regard, I briefly touch on the importance of regional cooperation in enforcing competition regulation, the challenges faced in the implementation of Southern African regional competition regimes (RCRs), and the reasons why these RCRs face these challenges.

Regional Integration and the role of National Competition Agencies in Competition law enforcement: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic

This blog post illustrates the role of national competition agencies (NCAs) in enforcing regional-level competition laws in Africa. Generally, the journey to regional integration starts with action at the national level. Then, as countries enter discussions and negotiations, treaties or agreements are signed containing articles that spell out common interests between States.

Flexibility and Innovation in International Economic Law: Enhancing Rule of Law, Inclusivity, and Resilience in the Time of COVID-19

This article will briefly examine this dynamic across three interconnected dimensions:  (1) flexibility and innovation in IEL agreement models, with a focus on trade agreements, that better integrate economic and social development goals and allow parties to adapt to new circumstances or phase in commitments on a more incremental basis; (2) flexibility in implementation of trade disciplines and agreements; and (3) legal and regulatory innovation that can both define and flow from IEL agreements.  These three dimensions take into account both treaties themselves and how they relate to changes in law and regulation in practice, drawing a link between international agreements and their operation that is particularly important in times of change or uncertainty.  In assessing dimension three, legal and regulatory innovation, which has been a focus of my work over the past decade,

COVID-19: Africa’s Chance to take Advantage of Regional Production

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.

Comparative Legal Research: A Brief Overview

As this article focuses on comparative legal research, before choosing to employ it, it is critical to understand what it constitutes.  Hoecke notes that, ‘researchers get easily lost when embarking on a comparative legal research. The main reason being that there is no agreement on the kind of methodology to be followed, nor even on the methodologies that could be followed’. According to  Paris the lack of definition of what comparative law is, or what the method of comparative law is has exacerbated the situation.

Sub-Saharan Africa and CARICOM: Comparing experiences in implementing competition regimes

Colonial powers reshaped the economies to extract resources for export to the metropole while creating an import dependency for consumables. This legacy transformed these economies and their indigenous institutions and power. Locals were brutalized and deprived of meaningful economic opportunities.