African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA)

A New Dawn for Fintech in Africa: Consideration for the Fintech Annex of the Protocol on Digital Trade

The inclusion of Fintech in the Protocol on Digital Trade and the requirement to develop the Fintech Annex represent a significant milestone for Fintech on the continent. Documents like the Fintech Annex take time to develop and are not revised as frequently as domestic frameworks. Therefore, it is crucial that stakeholders involved in negotiating the Fintech Annex strive to produce a document that will stand the test of time and facilitate measurable results. This piece has attempted to highlight some key considerations for developing the Fintech Annex. However, what has been covered is merely the tip of the iceberg. There are many other issues to consider. Experts and scholars in the field of Fintech are encouraged to urgently publish on this topic to support the efforts of the actual negotiators of the Fintech Annex.

Symposium on IFFs: Virtual Heists: Illicit Financial Flows Amidst Digitalisation and Economic Liberalisation in Africa

Over the past few decades, we have seen an emerging form of neoliberal discourses on Africa that focus on emergence, as the continent has moved from being framed as the world’s “problem case” to the exciting new frontier of “Africa Rising". This has pushed neoliberal capitalists to see Africa as a continent of the future that is about to achieve transformations and socio-economic progress if it follows the orthodox advice of opening its market and accepting negative integration into the world economy. However, fuelled heavily by GDP growth rates, the “rising” narrative has been adept at obscuring a reality of widening wealth inequality and persistent poverty among the majority sections of the continent’s population even while witnessing the emergence of mega shopping malls and cell phones in almost every hand. Additionally, the myth of an Africa that achieves growth has overshadowed the quality of this growth as it does not lead to an improvement in the living conditions of Africans but instead breeds illicit financial flows (IFFs).

The Proposed Multilateral Investment Court vis-a-viz sub-African Investment Interests for the settlement of International Investment Disputes

Globalisation of commercial activity extends into international investments, evidenced by over 2,500 bilateral investment treaties (BIT) or International Investment Agreements (IIA) in the international investment regime. Within these BITs is an embedded Investment State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system executed through an Arbitration Mechanism. The ISDS system serves as a dispute resolution tool for achieving the purpose of the IIA. The purpose of the IIA is for the protection of foreign investment from the harmful policies and governance of host states. In addition, many IIAs contain certain common standards and principles that regulate the investment relationship, such as the notorious fair and equitable treatment (FET), stabilization clauses, and so on. Thus, the overarching aim behind the norms and principles of international investment management is the creation of a system of legal safeguards against the actions of the host states. This simplistic paradigm of international investment law regime has become increasingly problematic due to the expansion and inclusion of various indirect stakeholders in the investment agreements, the growing recognition of public socio-economic realities like regulatory rights, and development rights, that are being pushed for larger consideration from ignored stakeholders mostly like the public.

The AfCFTA’s Digital Trade Rules are Not Fit for Africa

African heads of state are slated to meet this weekend for the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union and they could be prompted to make an unforced error that could weigh heavily in the continent’s plans to promote digital industrialization and the bridging of the digital divide.

Call for Papers: Taking Stock of the Implementation of the AfCFTA: Continental Efforts, State Commitment and Private Sector Involvement, UPSA Law School, Accra, Ghana (Hybrid)

The sponsoring organizations of the International Conference on the Future of African Trade and the AfCFTA invite submissions and participant nominations for a collaborative exchange and discussion at a two-day hybrid conference to take place on May 16 and 17, 2024. The conference working language will be English and will include paper presentations on topics detailed below.

Emerging Community Values and Solidarity in the African Digital Economy

The African Continent Free Trade Area (‘AfCFTA’) Protocol on Digital Trade (AfCFTA DTP) presents a significant opportunity to strengthen African digital solidarity. It could also advance a cohesive and strong African consensus and voice on digital trade regulation. This is especially significant, as Africa is relatively silent in global digital trade dialogues today. Building on the international law concept of international community and its African philosophical equivalent, Ubuntu, we offer a framing device to anchor digital solidarity and develop robust and inclusive Africa-centred digital trade norms. We first explore the relevance of community values in developing a regulatory framework for cross-border data flows in trade agreements, and then examine how shared values and digital solidarity can facilitate the development of a cohesive privacy and data protection regulatory framework in Africa.

NEWS: 05.05.2023

The News and Events category publishes the latest News and Events relating to International Economic Law relating to Africa and the Global South. Every week, Afronomicslaw.org receive the News and Events in their e-mail accounts. 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. News and Events with a Global South focus are also often included.

Implementation of the AfCFTA in Least Developed Countries (LCDs): Bold or Premature?

This blog considers the timing of AfCFTA and its implementation among Least Developing Countries (LDCs). It argues that the benefits of AfCFTA trade liberalisation may be uneven among LDCs on account of governance, technology and capacity challenges in LDCs. It concludes by proffering possible solutions to these challenges.

Symposium Introduction: Critical and Contextual Perspectives on International Economic Law: Amplifying the Voices of African Students and Early-Career Researcher

We hope the papers in this symposium will contribute to the ongoing efforts worldwide to achieve epistemological and methodological diversity in the IEL discipline. As a new Forum, we aim to remain flexible, experimental and responsive to the changing landscape in IEL. We will like to take this opportunity to thank the academics who have supported the Academic Forum over the last two years. We hope we can continue to count on your support as we devise robust and practical ways to decolonise and pluralise IEL research, scholarship and practice as a counterpoint to the dominant Western-centric IEL imagination.