AfCFTA PROTOCOL MUST PROVIDE A FAIR REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT AND PROTECTION FOR INVESTORS

Authors: Peter Leon, Ernst Muller and Natasha Rachwal

Negotiators have an opportunity to fashion a regime that supports modern investment policies by promoting sustainable development. 

With less than three months before the expected conclusion of negotiations on the African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) protocol on investment increasing attention is being paid to the protocol’s likely investment protections and rights of recourse for investors in Africa.

While it should establish a pragmatic framework for investment across the continent, the effect of the global Covid-19 pandemic on Africa and the concomitant economic uncertainty underscores the need for a predictable, fair regulatory environment.

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THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AGREEMENT: A NEW PATHWAY FOR AFRICA?

Authors: Peter Leon, Ernst Muller and Natasha Rachwal

Evolution of the AfCFTA 

A significant milestone has been reached in the economic integration of Africa, with the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”). Opened for adoption at the African Union (“AU”) Summit in Kigali in March 2018, the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA (“AfCFTA Agreement”) has been signed by 54 of the 55 AU member states (tiny Eritrea being the lone exception), and ratified by 28, including major economies such as Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, but not Nigeria. AfCFTA entered into force in May 2019, a month after the requisite 22 states deposited their instruments of ratification with the Chairperson of the AU Commission (satisfying the minimum requirement for the Agreement’s entry into force). For trading purposes, however, the AfCFTA only becomes operational on 1 July 2020.

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PETER LEON: ECONOMIC NATIONALISM IN AFRICA’S GIANTS HOLDS BACK FREE TRADE

Author: Peter Leon 

SA, Nigeria and Egypt have not signed up to crucial aspects of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

A significant milestone has been reached in the economic integration of Africa with the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Opened for adoption at the AU summit in Kigali in March 2018, the agreement establishing the AfCFTA has been signed by 54 of the 55 AU member states and ratified by 28, including major economies such as Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and SA. It entered into force in May 2019.

The AfCFTA is the culmination of an ambitious project announced in the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action, to enhance Africa’s economic self-reliance and reduce its dependence on trade and aid from overseas. The AfCFTA aims progressively to remove barriers to the free movement of people, capital, goods and services throughout Africa, creating a common market akin to that in the EU’s foundational 1957 Treaty of Rome, which is based on the sanctity of these four freedoms.

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