Apart from the challenges presented by the pandemic, governments in developing economies have the current difficulty of providing essential public goods and social services even during normalcy. How quickly economies recover after the crisis may depend on the nature of coping initiatives employed during the pandemic. It is therefore pertinent that governments (especially in the global South) revisit their free zone policy architecture to create a reliable alternative economy with which to stimulate the macro economy especially when the risks associated with sustaining economic activities in the customs territory may be too high.
World Health Organization
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.
It is hoped that the Covid-19 pandemic will be a wake-up call for Africa. And Africa needs to minimize reliance on Aid as this experience clearly shows that donors will only donate if they are not in the same situation as the recipient.
On the 24th of March 2020, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced a US$3 billion facility to help its member countries weather the economic and health impacts of Covid-19. In this interview, Prof Ben Oramah, President Afreximbank, discusses this pandemic facility, the African Continental Free Trade Area, (AfCFTA) and more.
Welcome to this symposium on COVID-19 and International Economic Law in the Global South. The essays in this symposium came from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, North America and Latin America. This symposium will last for a full four weeks because of the large number of good quality submissions we accepted.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) is issuing a worldwide call for papers for an Agora symposium to be published in the October 2020 issue of the Journal. The topic – “The International Legal Order and the Global Pandemic” – recognizes that the present crisis raises foundational questions for the international legal order that extend beyond the immediate challenges to public health and economic stability.
States could rely on secondary rules on State responsibility to defend preventative measures relating to COVID-19, yet their successful invocation depends on satisfying several conditions set out in the ILC’s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this post. Meanwhile, the applicability of the doctrine of margin of appreciation, developed by the European Court of Human Rights, to the claims arising under BITs has been accepted, justifying why investment tribunals should pay deference to governmental judgments of national requirements in the protection of public health when the “discretionary exercise of sovereign power, [is] not made irrationally and not exercised in bad faith”
Afronomicslaw.org, the blog on International Economic Law Issues as they relate to the Global South is pleased to invite essay submissions on International Economic Law topics relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the central relevance of TK to African countries, it is necessary to design effective mechanisms for its protection. One key rising trend in TK lawmaking is its incorporation in bilateral and free trade agreements.