Blog

The WTO Secretariat under new Leadership

23 Mar 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
On 1 March 2021, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria took office as the seventh Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She is the first woman and the first African to...read more

An Investment Protocol for the AfCFTA

23 Mar 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The negotiations for the adoption of the Phase II Protocols of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) have started. These legal instruments will cover investment, intellectual pr...read more

The Relationship between Investment and Mode Three of Trade in Services – implications for the AfCFTA negotiations

23 Mar 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
The market for investors is an increasingly competitive one. Investors are better informed about conditions in host countries. Companies seeking to expand their global presence will assess...read more

Addressing a key bottleneck to broadband development in South Africa – spectrum auction falls at first hurdle

22 Mar 2021 ~ David Christianson
When the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) announced the spectrum auction in September 2020, it was widely hailed as a critical measure to eliminate the main bot...read more

Citrus Black Spot (CBS) after Brexit

17 Mar 2021 ~ Abrie du Plessis
Citrus black spot (CBS) is a fungal disease that affects the rind of a citrus fruit. This causes lesions but does not result in fruit decay. The causative agent is the fungal pathogen Phyl...read more

How Should the AfCFTA Approach ICT Infrastructure Regulation?

17 Mar 2021 ~ John Stuart
The importance of the digital economy in the 21st Century cannot be overstated. From a means of improving information dissemination, to a vehicle for electronic commerce, to a facilitator ...read more

Gender-Responsiveness in Trade Agreements – how does the AfCFTA fare?

17 Mar 2021 ~ Lolita Laperle-Forget (volunteer)
Gender mainstreaming in free trade agreements is becoming an increasingly common practice.[1] This involves including provisions to address the specific needs of women and implementing agr...read more

Blockchain-Driven Trade Technologies and the Potential Benefits for African Trade

21 Feb 2021 ~ John Stuart
Just over two years ago, tralac published a blog about the potential of blockchain (also referred to as distributed ledger technologies (DLT)) for trade in Africa[1]. This blog is an updat...read more

Trade under AfCFTA Rules started on 1 January 2021, but hard work lies ahead

10 Feb 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
At its 13th Extra Ordinary Session held virtually in Johannesburg on 5 December 2020, the Assembly of the African Union (AU) announced that trade in goods under the AfCFTA will start from ...read more

Will 2021 see African Governments negotiating with External Partners?

10 Feb 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The conclusion of trade agreements between African States and third parties is an important matter. Only 16% of the goods produced in Africa are sold in Africa. This indicates that more th...read more

The AfCFTA Secretariat: Is the Action now in Accra?

10 Feb 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The Assembly of the African Union (AU) met virtually in Johannesburg on 5 December 2020 and adopted several important decisions about interim trade arrangements, the completion of the AfCF...read more

Speculating about Phase II of the AfCFTA Negotiations

10 Feb 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
The negotiations to adopt the AfCFTA’s Phase II Protocols are being launched and Phase III negotiations should be concluded by 31 December 2021[1]. Phase II will cover investment, intell...read more

AfCFTA Phase II and III Negotiations – Update

10 Feb 2021 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The scope of the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights (IPRs) and compe...read more

AfCFTA Parallelism and the Acquis

10 Feb 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
According to the Governing Principles of the AfCFTA, the RECs’ Free Trade Areas (FTAs) are building blocks for the AfCFTA.[1] The AfCFTA shall also be governed by the preservation of the...read more

South Africa’s implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement: customs arrangements and technicalities

10 Feb 2021 ~ Willemien Viljoen
Trading under the AfCFTA was set to begin on 1 January 2021. South Africa with the rest of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU – Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Namibia) submitte...read more

Preferential trade with Mauritius: market access for the UK, China, and state parties of the AfCFTA

10 Feb 2021 ~ Willemien Viljoen
As of 1 January 2021, the Mauritian tariff book has three additional columns for preferential market access to the Mauritian market. These tariffs are for imports from the United Kingdom (...read more

Who is doing what in the fintech space in Africa?

10 Feb 2021 ~ David Christianson
Digital banking is driving Africa’s recovery When Vodacom, Africa’s biggest mobile telephony operator (Telco) by revenue, announced late last year that it intended expanding its insur...read more

Non-tariff barriers and related dispute resolution: Is the East African Community all hat and no cattle?

25 Jan 2021 ~ Akinyi J. Eurallyah
Introduction The East African Community (EAC) has several avenues to use to address/eliminate non-tariff barriers (NTBs) – including the East African Court of Justice. Despite this, NTB...read more

Brexit Deal concluded: Main Implications, Architecture, and Institutions

04 Jan 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU). The parties then started negotiations on a Withdrawal Agreement,[1] followed by a new trade deal. Both prov...read more

Post Brexit Trade between the European Union and the United Kingdom

04 Jan 2021 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The new EU-UK trade relationship will be very different from when the UK was a Member State. Major governance challenges lie ahead. Concluding a trade agreement is one thing, implementing ...read more