Southern African Development Community

The African Continental Free Trade Area: Trade Liberalization & Social Protection

In this essay, I argue that the AfCFTA needs to rethink its relationship with the continental emancipatory movements. Its focus on economic integration without social-emancipatory movements undermines its central aim of creating “the Africa we want.” Its top-down approach fails to capture labor movements in Africa. Additionally, by creating yet another integration organization in Africa despite the existence of several regional and continental integration projects it cashes organizational costs that could have been spent in creating a labor-friendly integration project.

The Trade Facilitation Efforts of the SADC States: Prospects of Advancement by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

Regional integration requires not only the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers, but also the removal of impediments that cause the physical movement of goods across borders to be slow and costly. These impediments may arise due to defects in policies, laws or procedures. Thus, trade should not only be liberalised, but it also needs to be facilitated. The World Trade Organization (WTO) defines trade facilitation as “the simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes.” Six of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are land-locked (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Therefore, inefficiency and high costs in cross-border trade have detrimental impacts on their ability to participate in global, as well as in regional trade. SADC states are parties to several agreements that aim at facilitating trade. However, the implementation of obligations remains a chronic challenge.

Welcome to Afronomicslaw.org

Welcome to Afronomicslaw.org, a blog on the international economic law landscape as it relates to Africa. A major goal of this blog is to complement current analysis of international economic law issues as they relate to Africa in the blogosphere. We believe that this blog is particularly timely because there are significant international economic law developments taking place in Africa that invite more contemporaneous reflection and discussion.