This article examines the EPAs negotiating process in select ACP countries to highlight the fragmentation and dilution of ACP countries' negotiating positions. It outlines how the rigorous negotiation processes whittled down the ACP countries offensive interests and ultimately led to the hesitation by several ACP states to ratify the EPAs. The article concludes that EPAs are one of the factors that explain the low trade volumes between African and Caribbean countries.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
Given the promising potential for deeper trade and investment relationships between both regions, there is a dearth of scholarly analysis on the Africa-Caribbean economic relationship, which this AfronomicsLaw Symposium aims to address partially. The five essays in this symposium, all authored by well-respected academics and practitioners, explore various themes of the Africa-Caribbean relationship. The essays all refer to the shared bonds of history and the need for more significant action on both sides to actualise a mutually beneficial region-to-region relationship. All of the essays offer innovative recommendations for deepening Africa-Caribbean relations.
It is apparent that the issue of private creditors in relation to African sovereign debt is a ticking timing bomb in Africa. Africa, though rich in minerals, has slow economic growth and a serious debt problem. There is thus a need for a harmonised legal framework that deals with the issue of sovereign debt, set a limit on debt levels, and outlines how debt restructuring should occur. Africa cannot afford to wait for the active buy-in of other multilateral players in order to develop this legal framework; Africa needs to drive this initiative. In addition, both players—being African countries and private creditors—must take responsibility to avoid reckless lending. This can also be addressed in a much-needed comprehensive legal framework.
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.
For years UNCTAD has argued that hyperglobalisation, and the free trade agreements that promote it, has created unsustainable levels of instability, inequality, insecurity and ecological harm and called for a new paradigm of trade rules that is participatory and development-friendly, recognises the role of regulation and local political oversight, and can promote a level playing field and prosperity for all. The final RCEP argument is a symptom of that malaise - a step back from the excesses of the TPPA, but is a long way from a new paradigm.
In light of the current global health crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant discussions on the importance of pharmaceutical patents to our daily existence, the analyses in this book (and the symposium) performs an important function in documenting the role of different sets of actors and their influences on the domestic implementation of global patent rules, access to medicines, and how these (in)actions led us to where we are today.
The Afronomicslaw Academic Forum had a very active 2020/2021. This post includes a summary of the key projects undertaken by the Academic Forum during this period. One of the flagship activities was participation in the United Nations Policy Hackathon Competition.
The importance of technology transfer in holding together the links and processes of the global value chain tells us a lot about value accretion and control of the chains. The concept of the global value chain, especially as it is portrayed in documents like the Global Value Chain Development Report 2019 and in the 2020 World Bank’s Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains is non-hierarchical.
The African Society of International Law (AfSIL) held its 9th Annual Conference on Africa and COVID-19 virtually, on 30 October 2020. AfSIL aims inter alia to promote international law on the continent and to contribute to the development of an international law that expresses the point of view of African States and specialists. The Conference was sponsored by law firms Foley Hoag LLP, Shikana Law Group and Asafo & Co.
WTO members should revisit the liberalization commitments with a view to engaging in further impact assessments of present and proposed liberalization commitments. More importantly, international and national trade policy makers should welcome new imaginaries of a global digital economy, including the use of trade policy tools to make domestic digital economies competitive at the global stage. This requires a re-conceptualization of the foundations of international trade law, and national tax, competition, property, privacy and data protection laws.