Building capacity to help Africa trade better


Will Dispute Settlement Proceedings be a feature of the AfCFTA?

05 Sep 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
It will be a major advance towards rules-based trade if the AfCFTA Dispute Settlement Protocol will be used by the State Parties. They do not settle disputes about trade and regional integ...read more

The role of Negotiating Principles in the design of the AfCFTA

05 Sep 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Since the launch of the ‘Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)’,[1] negotiations on trade liberalisation among African States have been based on a specific set of principles. When the Afri...read more

Why South Africa won’t hit the gas

05 Sep 2022 ~ David Christianson
The widely expected development of a South African gas economy, especially after the discovery of massive reserves in neighbouring Mozambique in February 2010, has failed to take off. At f...read more

Digital Trade in Trade Agreements: Lessons for the AfCFTA

31 Aug 2022 ~ John Stuart
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is in the process of taking shape. While continental free trade has not yet been fully realised, progress has been made in the number of si...read more

New thinking about a US-Kenya Trade Deal

30 Aug 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
When in February 2020 the then US President, Donald Trump, and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya announced that the two countries would start formal trade talks aimed at concluding a bilat...read more

The AfCFTA holds more than economic Promises

30 Aug 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
Most commentaries on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) emphasise the massive commercial opportunities which will be unlocked, and more recently how industrialisation on the ...read more

South Africa’s Intractable Illegal Gold Mining Problem

25 Aug 2022 ~ David Christianson
Earlier this year, the London Bullion Market Association estimated that there are 15 million artisanal and small-scale gold miners in the world, responsible for 15-20 percent of global ann...read more

South Africa energy security – Ramaphosa lets the private sector in

04 Aug 2022 ~ David Christianson
South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, took a step towards restoring the country’s energy security with his Energy Action Plan, announced on the 25th July. At a single stroke he bo...read more

The African Union Releases the Continent’s First Collective Climate Response Framework

03 Aug 2022 ~ Gita Briel
In February 2022, the African Union endorsed the continent’s first collective climate response framework. The AU’s Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan (20...read more

Dispute Settlement in and about the AfCFTA: What to expect?

29 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
African Governments do not settle their disputes about compliance with obligations in intra-African trade and economic integration agreements through adjudication. Adjudication is the lega...read more

Challenges women traders face at border posts and what can be done to address these challenges

25 Jul 2022 ~ Edina Moyo Mudzingwa
Surveys indicate that about 70-80 percent of informal traders are women. Women traders face gender based barriers at borders affecting potential for inclusive growth. It has also been esta...read more

How will the war in Ukraine change the global Order?

25 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The war in Ukraine has been described as the world’s biggest security crisis since the Second World War. It is also changing global relationships, policies and institutional affiliations...read more

Tanzania’s LNG ambitions back on track

19 Jul 2022 ~ David Christianson
The signing, in June, of a framework agreement between the Government of Tanzania and two oil and gas majors, Shell and Equinor (previously Statoil), is an important milestone in getting t...read more

South Africa’s Twin Peaks model looks strong but needs more independence

13 Jul 2022 ~ David Christianson
This blog comments on the findings of the IMF/World Bank’s Financial Sector Assessment Programme’s (FSAP) 2022 report on South Africa, published in February 2022, and the three subsequ...read more

World Trade Organisation MC12 Outcomes

01 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The Twelfth Session of the Ministerial Conference (MC) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) took place in Geneva from 12 to 16 June 2022. After lengthy negotiations an Outcomes Document,[...read more

Legal Aspects of the Relationship between the AfCFTA and the African Union

01 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
In the public discourse about the new trade opportunities and benefits which will come about once the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is up and running, it is often asked what...read more

Trade Governance Capacity for Implementing Safeguards

01 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The domestic capacity of African States to implement their trade and economic integration agreements effectively and as rules-based arrangements is vital. The most obvious areas where impr...read more

Should the State Parties use the AfCFTA Dispute Settlement Mechanism?

01 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement contains a detailed dispute settlement Protocol.[1] It is modelled on the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) of the World Tra...read more

Women in Trade in the AfCFTA – what could the Protocol provide?

01 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
A Protocol on Women and the Youth will be negotiated and be adopted as part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement. In this Blog we discuss why such a Protocol is ne...read more

Trade under the AfCFTA may soon start: What must the State Parties still do?

01 Jul 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
When the outstanding tariff offers, rules of origin and specific services commitments of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are finally agreed, this new continent-wide trade ...read more


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