Trade Barriers

Three Painful Lessons the African Union Should Learn from the Southern African Customs Union

While the AfCFTA is most probably the next best thing in terms of economic benefits (for instance, huge trade volumes and larger financial flows) since states on the continent created the AU itself, it poses certain dangers. In particular, like SACU, the CCU envisaged in the AfCFTA Agreement will likely injure the economies of some of its member states. And, unless the AU delegates custom-design it carefully, bearing in mind the policy choices brought up in this piece and in older regional trade agreements, the CCU can prove prohibitively costly.

The African Continental Free Trade Area Competition Policy: Model, Dispute Resolution Mechanism, Institutional Framework and AfCFTA Relationship with Existing Regional Competition Regimes

A competition policy at the continental level is not only important to meet the objectives of the AfCFTA, but it will provide a forum to strengthen and develop existing competition regimes. The AfCFTA, creates a wide continental market and a competition policy will provide African countries with the power to police international anti-competitive conduct by pulling resources that will enhance global trade. However, for a competition policy to be effective, the AfCFTA must continue to build on the efforts made at the national and regional levels. Member States should take this opportunity and negotiate on the future continental competition policy taking into consideration the African markets and its role in global markets.

FREE TRADE: A PIPE DREAM FOR AFRICA?

The AfCFTA seeks to change the manner in which African states trade with each other. The existence of the AfCFTA is what Roscoe Pound termed using the law as a tool of social engineering. The African Union in creating the AfCFTA intended to promote, facilitate and eventually experience free intra-African trade. This review appreciates the AfCFTA but seeks to criticize a loophole it has created

REVIEW III of Regional Developmentalism through Law: Establishing an African Economic Community, Jonathan Bashi Rudahindwa, Routledge, 2018

The book traces the evolution of regionalism and regional integration on the continent, from the Organization of African Unity through to the African Union but, unlike earlier treatises on regionalism, Bashi Rudahindwa rightly places emphasis on the role of the legal framework. He draws comparisons with other regional economic integration projects: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Common Market of the Southern Cone (MERCOSUR), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the European Union (EU), to argue for greater emphasis in the AU on capacity building, and the need to utilize law to support regulatory and institutional frameworks to facilitate trade and industrialization, and interventionist measures aimed at promoting structural transformation.

Mainstreaming Non-State Actors in African Regional Integration

Many mainstream discussions on African regional integration focus on the role of the executive, bureaucrats and state institutions (hereafter referred to as state-actors) in facilitating regional integration. While state-actors play crucial roles in enabling regional integration from a “top-down” perspective, concentration on these state-actors inadvertently means that less focus is paid to the non-state actors involved in the process. This article explains that while state-actors do facilitate regional integration from a top-down perspective, non-state actors have the potential to (and in some cases, already do) facilitate regional integration using a “bottom-up” approach.