Global Trade

Our Trade Vulnerability Index Explained: Why, What, How and What’s Next?

COVID-19 generated a new buzz around our work and renewed interest in the study of vulnerability. Since then, we have reappraised our initial piece, with the intention of moving beyond its conceptual foundations toward a more practical and concrete application of the work. We realized however, that for many, there is curiosity around the TVI project, and ultimately what we are trying to achieve through it. In this reflective piece, we present briefly the TVI in a nutshell – its aims, methodology and conceptual premises – and then provide  initial thoughts on the way forward under our TVI project.

Post-pandemic Opportunities for Strengthening The Fiscal Social Contract In Nigeria

The quality of public service delivery has been shown to affect tax non-compliance in an important way. Among other issues that have been attributed to low tax revenues in Nigeria, the State of the fiscal social contract can be said to be the single most important underlying cause. While there remains a depth of systemic issues to be resolved in order to rebuild the broken links in the fiscal social contract properly, the predicted post-pandemic impact on digital communication and business provides Nigeria with the opportunity to leverage on digital growth and engagement to bargain a stronger social contract, particularly with its largest demographic.

The Role of Multilateral Actors in Promoting Equitable Access to Medicines, Vaccines and Therapeutics: A Global South Perspective

Traditional medicines have an equally important role as vaccines, therapeutics and medical devices protected through classical IPRs such as patents. For this reason, it is important to include traditional medicines within the scope of IPR protection, including within the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. Doing so would go beyond the classical debate of protecting medicines, vaccines and therapeutics mainly through patents as currently understood within the TRIPS Agreement.

Covid-19, Trade and Competition Law in Africa

The suspension of operations as a result of government measures towards curbing Covid-19, should not be encouraged. Competition agencies must remain vigilant in protecting vulnerable consumers with no bargaining power from unscrupulous businesses. Further, while cartel conduct is per se illegal, it is the responsibility of the competition agencies to provide the business community with guidance on how they can operate during the crisis and at the same time comply with competition law.  Covid-19 has also proved to us that, competition agencies need to reinvent their enforcement including the adoption of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and investing in the security and privacy concerns of the people. Integration of technology is no longer a choice.

COVID-19 Makes the Case for Our Trade Vulnerability Index

The opening quote taken from the G20 Ministerial Statement is a welcome acknowledgment by the most powerful that some countries and citizens lay greater claim to the title of “vulnerable” than others. However, it is not enough. Prime Minister Mottley’s clarion call for global leadership in this area and application of the vulnerability index is one we have wholeheartedly embraced.  Through our TVI, we are proposing tangible and effective ways to cater to the patent vulnerabilities of countries in regions like the Caribbean and Africa.

Bridging Gaps to Facilitate International Commerce – Implications for Nigeria

It would be beneficial to take more interest in private international law, but even more useful to adopt a harmonised approach in dealing with international commercial law. There are several justifications for Nigeria to consider the high-octane aspects of international trade such as free trade. Nevertheless, a journey towards sustainable growth would be to operate a rather seamless philosophy that brings different strands of commercial law interests together in dealing with the world.

Post-Naimey Reflections on "Afri-Multilateralism": A New Dialectic on Sustainable Trade for the Global South

This new Continental Free Trade bloc is now entrusted with the competence to engage other FTA Blocs such as the European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) and Association of South Eastern Nations (ASEAN), on trade policy from an Afri-Centric perspective - the essence of Afri-Multilateralism. Hitherto, the various national governments across the Continent had engaged global trade from the prism of nationalistic interests but this new paradigm affords Africa, for the first time, an opportunity to engage on trans-Sahara, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific negotiations on an equal footing, and not under the auspices of 'emerging countries' or LDCs.

Investment Regulation at the African Continental Level

The conclusion of the AfCFTA comes in the wake of global trade facing a lot of uncertainty, with more countries becoming more protectionist and the global world trade order facing collapse due to rising tensions. Despite all this, Africa’s regional integration agenda remains at the core. The Protocol on Investments is meant to be continental wide project to protect and promote investments in Africa. The ultimate goal for the AU’s regional integration objectives should be to have one investment framework to regulate the whole continent.