Building capacity to help Africa trade better


Promoting Women’s Participation in the AfCFTA

29 Aug 2018 ~ Treasure Maphanga
The recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area in Kigali on 21 March 2018 marked a momentous occasion in trade policy discourse in Africa. The Agreement seeks to create a si...read more

Identifying the role of civil society in the SADC EPA

21 Aug 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The demand for civil society participation in the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements has recently intensified following the growing and progressive mainstreaming of sustain...read more

2018 SADC Summit – Promoting Infrastructure Development and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development

13 Aug 2018 ~ Trudi Hartzenberg, Gerhard Erasmus
The 38th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will take place 17th to 18th August 2018 in Namibia. The occasion of the ...read more

Does Rand Depreciation Help South Africa’s Exports?

13 Aug 2018 ~ John Stuart
In the 1930s, before the era of floating exchange rates, countries would try to gain a competitive advantage for their exports by means of ‘competitive devaluation’. This practice refe...read more

AGOA Forum 2018 outcomes: where to for a future bilateral trade relationship between the United States and Africa?

31 Jul 2018 ~ Eckart Naumann
Earlier in July 2018 the annual United States – Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (“AGOA Forum”) drew to a conclusion in Washington, D.C. This annual event, alt...read more

Exceptions in the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement

31 Jul 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Part IV of the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement contains certain General Exceptions to the non-discrimination principle in the MFN and national treatment rules. Exceptions are someti...read more

Is Brexit now in the Emergency Ward?

31 Jul 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Brexit is due to happen on 29 March 2019 but there is no agreement yet on how the future relationship between the UK and the EU (the UK’s most important trading partner) will work. The U...read more

The Settlement of Disputes under the SADC EPA

31 Jul 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
African states are not known for instituting formal dispute settlement proceedings about the violation of trade agreements. They never do so amongst themselves and very seldom vis-à-vis t...read more

SADC EPA Trade Defense Mechanisms

31 Jul 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group[1] is a WTO compatible Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for li...read more

Implementing the AfCFTA: When and How?

30 Jul 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The implementation of international agreements is about achieving the objectives agreed upon. For trade agreements implementation is ultimately about ensuring active private sector partici...read more

Engaging with the international e-commerce trade agenda for structural transformation in Africa

30 Jul 2018 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
E-commerce can be an important contributor to Africa’s structural transformation. E-commerce is not just about online shopping. E-commerce is variously defined as the purchase and sale ...read more

Trump’s Trade War: Are the Brakes failing?

27 Jun 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
It is claimed that the United States of America has the oldest written constitution in the world which is still in use. It was carefully crafted, through a system of checks and balances an...read more

AfCFTA negotiations after Kigali – keeping an eye on the end game

20 Jun 2018 ~ Trudi Hartzenberg
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiations took an important step forward in early June, as the African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade adopted the legally scrubbed annexe...read more

Is the AfCFTA a Legal Person? Does it matter?

19 Jun 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
International organizations can be (and often are) subjects of international law. Whereas States possess the totality of international rights and duties recognized by international law (th...read more

How might Africa benefit from e-commerce technology?

19 Jun 2018 ~ John Stuart
World trade has entered a new mode; one that is to international trade what the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is to traditional manufacturing. Digital tools now make it possible for a...read more

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and non-tariff barriers (NTBs)

05 Jun 2018 ~ Willemien Viljoen
Non-tariff barriers are some of the most prolific barriers to intra-Africa trade. If the AfCFTA is successful in addressing these barriers, significant progress can be made to increase int...read more

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the private sector

05 Jun 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede, Camille Andriamahatana (intern)
African leaders launched the AfCFTA on 21st March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. A formal continental trading arrangement does not yet exist. It will officially exist once the AfCFTA Agreement ha...read more

A gender responsive AfCFTA

08 Mar 2018 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
The African Union’s agenda 2063 includes bold aspirations and targets for gender parity. It states: Africa of 2063 will have full gender parity… the economic and political glass ceili...read more

Are the Brexit options for retaining SADC-EPA Benefits becoming clearer?

08 Mar 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Brexit will arrive in about one year from now, at the end of March 2019. There have been many statements and “clarifications” but official negotiations about how the European Union (EU...read more

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and other African Union (AU) initiatives for economic integration

01 Mar 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The AfCFTA is part of the broader economic integration and development agenda which has been Africa’s aspiration since independence and led to the formation of the Organisation of Africa...read more

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

23 Feb 2018 ~ Willemien Viljoen
In September 2015, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by world leaders. The overarching rationale for the SDGs is to eradicate poverty, protect the pla...read more

Are Trade Remedies important for achieving the AfCFTA Goals?

23 Feb 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Trade remedies (TR) are trade policy tools used by governments to take remedial action against imports which cause injury to domestic industries. TR consist of anti-dumping (AD), counterva...read more

Africa should not ignore what happened in Buenos Aires

23 Feb 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Buenos Aires was a disappointment. The meeting concluded without any new deals and no signs that the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) will be ado...read more

The AfCFTA: It’s not just about the tariffs

14 Feb 2018 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is part of a broader program for African integration. But integration is not an end in itself. The expectation is that this integration will...read more

The SADC Tribunal Saga continues before the South African Courts

07 Feb 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
An unprecedented application has been set down for hearing, by the High Court in Pretoria, on 5-7 February 2018. The Court is asked to declare President Zuma’s support of the suspension ...read more

A Letter to Mr. Ramaphosa: South Africa in Africa

02 Feb 2018 ~ Trudi Hartzenberg, Gerhard Erasmus
The election of Mr. Ramaphosa as ANC leader has caused a flurry of optimistic expectations at home and abroad. South Africans (and others) are eager for good news. Mr. Zuma’s presidency ...read more

The 30th AU Summit adopts decisions key to advancing Africa’s economic integration agenda

01 Feb 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
From 22 to 29 January 2018, the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU Summit. The 30th AU Summit took p...read more

International arbitration legislation now in force – Implications for South Africa and cross-border businesses

01 Feb 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The long-awaited South African international arbitration legislation is now in force.[1] The International Arbitration Act 15 of 2017 (International Arbitration Act) was passed by the Nati...read more

Competition policy as an instrument for economic transformation – a careful balancing act

25 Jan 2018 ~ Willemien Viljoen
On 1 December 2017 the Competition Amendment Bill, 2017 was published for public comments (click here to download). According to the Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, the Bill ...read more

Cumulation provisions in the SADC EPA

25 Jan 2018 ~ Eckart Naumann
Earlier this week, visiting officials from the European Commission provided insight at a Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) workshop into the cumulation provisions contained in the SADC-EU...read more


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