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

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

The role of Negotiating Principles in the design of the AfCFTA

05 Sep 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
DOWNLOAD BLOG 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...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

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

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

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

The Russia-Ukraine war has triggered the use of export restrictions on essential food supplies by some WTO members prompting food insecurity and rising food prices

13 Jun 2022 ~ Noncedo Vutula, Thembekile Mlangeni
Introduction The conflict in Ukraine has caused a global economic and humanitarian catastrophe that ranges from human suffering, loss of lives, global food price increases, food shortages...read more

The WTO Ministerial Conference MC12: A WTO response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

13 Jun 2022 ~ Noncedo Vutula, Thembekile Mlangeni
WTO members are engaged in concerted efforts to agree on MC12 deliverables in all areas of negotiations. Some of the priority areas include an outcome that will deliver a realistic and pra...read more

South African mining’s big prospecting problem

05 Jun 2022 ~ David Christianson
South African mining enjoyed a magnificent 2021. Driven by soaring international commodity prices, the value of minerals production exceeded ZAR1 trillion, that year, the highest value eve...read more

Trade and decent work: the ILO’s Indicator guide (2021)

02 Jun 2022 ~ Audrey Bessette (volunteer)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently published a guide addressing decent work indicators in trade policies and trade agreements. Many aspects such as employment, rights at ...read more

Dealing with Plastic Waste as a Trade Policy Issue

27 May 2022 ~ Gita Briel
Plastic is an inexpensive, versatile material that delivers many of the societal benefits of modern life relating to health, energy-saving, safety and hygiene. In South Africa, the plastic...read more

The U.S. anti-dumping investigation against lemon juice exports from South Africa: background, recent updates and next steps

27 May 2022 ~ Eckart Naumann
South African producers and exporters of lemon juice (and no doubt exporters of citrus fruit) received an unwelcome surprise early January 2022 that a California-based company producing va...read more

Expediting the start of trade under the AfCFTA

25 May 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg
The African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) Agreement is in force since 30 May 2019. The required number of twenty-two ratifications have been deposited thirty days earlier.[1] Several add...read more

To Cooperate or to Harmonise?

25 May 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
There is a long pro-integration tradition in Africa. It emphasises the need for a collective voice on matters impacting the continent’s standing in the world, and it suggests that the ec...read more

Cameroon: Making the most of the AfCFTA through a national implementation strategy

25 May 2022 ~ Cham Etienne Bama
Read the full blog HERE Cameroon signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement on 21 March 2018, and this marked the beginning of the country’s liberalisation p...read more

The Democratic Republic of Congo joins the East African Community: What does this signify?

25 May 2022 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
In June 2019, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) submitted an application to join the East African Community (EAC). The 21st Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State held on 27th February...read more


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