Southern African Development Community

NEWS: 10.15.2021

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.

Southern African Regional Competition Regimes – Where are we today?

This article ponders on the developments in the Southern African cooperation in competition enforcement through some of the regional economic instruments, namely, the 2002 Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement, the 2004 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Competition Regulations, the 2009 Southern African Development Community (SADC)[2] Declaration on regional cooperation in competition and consumer policies, and the African Competition Forum (ACF). In this regard, I briefly touch on the importance of regional cooperation in enforcing competition regulation, the challenges faced in the implementation of Southern African regional competition regimes (RCRs), and the reasons why these RCRs face these challenges.

Payment and Settlement Principles for Africa's Market

To support safe and stable market functioning, and to mitigate discordance and incompatibility risks, this paper proposes the establishment of a common set of Afro-market-centric foundational principles (“African Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems”, or “Afro-SIPS Principles”) to provide a baseline framework of standards to which all African cross-border payment systems – including systemically important national payment systems – should adhere and incorporate into their applicable rulebooks and risk management frameworks.

The Bare Bones of the Bank of Namibia Act of 2020

This opinion piece aims to ascertain the extent to which the new Bank of Namibia Act 1 of 2020 (the Act) imports the neoliberal rules of central banking and it also assesses the level of departure, if any, from the conventional central bank mandates couched in law. The piece further highlights the domestication of the rules of the Central Bank Model Law adopted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

When It Comes to the Courts, There's Nothing Really Foreign About "Foreign Policy"

In South Africa’s constitutional scheme, all public power, including foreign policy powers, is subject to judicial review for legality, rationality and compliance with the Bill of Rights. However, the scope of the judicial review – and in particular the standard of rationality – is informed by a certain deference to the executive, in order to respect the democratic principle and its institutional competence. The level of deference will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. This means that the level of scrutiny to be afforded the other branches of government’s respective foreign relations powers and responsibilities cannot be predicted with any degree of confidence. Rather, the particular circumstances and context of the case will be the primary concern of the courts.

The Role of the Constitution and Courts in the Making and Implementation of Foreign Policy

The courts, utilising their Constitution given powers, have in certain cases declared foreign policy unconstitutional for being inconsistent with the Constitution. The courts have also interpreted foreign policy in order to bring it in line with the Constitution. In so doing, it can be argued that courts have invariably played a role in the making and implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.

Rules of Origin as a Key to the AfCFTA's Success: Lessons that can be Drawn from the Regional Experience

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) holds great promise for the continent with the agreement expected to increase intra-African trade and secure socio-economic benefits for member States. Despite trade under the new agreement commencing on 1 January 2020, members are yet to conclude negotiations on the issue of Rules of Origin (RoO). RoO are mechanisms used to determine the economic nationality of a product. Preferential RoO constitute an essential part of preferential trade arrangements, such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Annex 2 of the AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Goods makes provision for RoO that will provide for a single set of criteria to be applied across the continent. However, discussions on the substantive RoO, which are to be articulated in Appendix IV of Annex 2, are yet to be finalised. In the meantime, member States are expected to apply the preferential RoO covered by their relevant Regional Economic Communities (RECs) until harmonisation is achieved through the AfCFTA’s rules.

Reflections on Fox and Bakhoum’s Making Markets Work for Africa (OUP, 2019)

Fox and Bakhoum contextualize competition law by describing (in chapters 2 and 3) the structure and other key characteristic of markets in numerous African countries, including the economic and political history of those countries and their markets, as well as the legacies of colonization and decolonization – and by highlighting more broadly the economic challenges and needs of the people of Africa.