Building capacity to help Africa trade better


Mining Indaba 2020: Vague Promises leave South Africa’s Mining Industry Insecure

12 Feb 2020 ~ David Christianson
An article published online by the conference organisers sums up the limitations of events like the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba (‘the mining indaba’) held in Cape Town from 3-6 F...read more

Angela Merkel’s state visit to South Africa: its significance amid the current Germany-South Africa trade relationship

12 Feb 2020 ~ Eckart Naumann
On Thursday 6 February 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel landed in South Africa as part of a brief visit to Southern Africa, which also includes a visit to Angola. This is her second o...read more

Brexit: The Milestone of 31 January 2020 and the Challenges ahead

12 Feb 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
On 1 January 1973, Prime Minister Edward Heath signed the EEC Treaty of Accession in terms of which the UK joined the EU. The same two parties have now finalized the formalities to end thi...read more

New Border Management for South Africa amidst unresolved systemic Issues

12 Feb 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
In December 2019, after many years of deliberation[1], the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), which is the second chamber of the South African Parliament, passed and returned the Border...read more

China and the United States conclude their first ad hoc Trade Deal

12 Feb 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
On 15 January 2020, US President Donald Trump signed a partial trade agreement with China. It is designed to contain the fallout of a more than 18-month long trade war between Washington a...read more

An interim Dispute Settlement Arrangement for some WTO Members

12 Feb 2020 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Since the end of 2019, the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can no longer function as designed. This system was created as part of the WTO Agreement during t...read more

How viable are auto component regional value chains in Africa?

21 Jan 2020 ~ John Stuart
Automotive components are the building blocks of automobiles and hence are a key part of the one of the world’s largest manufacturing industries. Within Africa the automotive components ...read more

What if Africa were to liberalise the intra-Africa automotive components trade?

21 Jan 2020 ~ John Stuart
What if Africa were to liberalise the intra-Africa automotive components trade? A forthcoming tralac working paper (by this author) presents the results of a simulation of the complete lib...read more

South Africa’s Role in the Automotive Components Trade in Africa

21 Jan 2020 ~ John Stuart
Africa is a continent that is, in general, dependent on the rest of the world (ROW) for manufactured imports. There are some exceptions to this, one of them being the automotive components...read more

Outcomes of COP25

19 Dec 2019 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The 25th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) was held in Madrid, Spain from 2nd to 13th December 2019. COP25 was intended to be the l...read more

Finding African Solutions for the Taxation of Digital Trade

19 Dec 2019 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer), John Stuart
The development of the digital economy has brought many public policy and administrative challenges to governments worldwide. Among these is how an international taxation system that was d...read more

Where is the AfCFTA’s Engine Room?

17 Dec 2019 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) might not be designed to have one single “engine room,” but the scope of the underlying ambition seems to require one. The creation of ...read more

How, according to the Founders, will the AfCFTA Agreement be implemented and the Continental Free Trade Area come about?

17 Dec 2019 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The objectives behind the AfCFTA are ambitious and wide-ranging. A careful reading of the texts of the founding instruments is necessary to understand the nature and sequencing of the vari...read more

Dealing with Non-Tariff Barriers under the AfCFTA: What are the Prospects?

17 Dec 2019 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been designed as the answer to the low levels of intra-African trade.[1] It should boost intra-African trade by reducing the tariffs on...read more

Observer status for the African Union at the WTO

17 Dec 2019 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
On 17 November 2019, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chair of the African Union Commission (AUC), sent a letter to Ms Sunanta Kangvalkulkij, Chair of the General Council of the World Trade Organiz...read more

Services Are the New Economy

26 Oct 2019 ~ John Stuart
As the digitalisation of the global economy progresses, the value size of the services economy relative to the ‘real’ economy is steadily rising. Before computers and the internet, ser...read more

Africa’s Digital Connectivity Dividend in Waiting

26 Oct 2019 ~ John Stuart
“We have to be able to provide infrastructure and digital connectivity to the lowest common denominator at the most affordable price if we really want digital transformation to transform...read more

Creating a Single African Market on Trade in Services: Negotiating the Schedules of Specific Commitments under the Protocol on Trade in Services

26 Oct 2019 ~ Beatrice Chaytor
Introduction The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an economic game-changer for Africa. A major aim of this ambitious effort is the expansion of intra-African trade by lower...read more

AfCFTA Trade in Services – A general guide and issues for negotiations on Mutual Recognition Agreements

26 Oct 2019 ~ Viola Sawere
Business services sector, which include professional services, has been prioritised under the ongoing negotiations on schedules of specific commitments in the context of the African Contin...read more

The AfCFTA Approach to Mutual Recognition

26 Oct 2019 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
For the liberalization of trade service to materialize to the extent that service suppliers can reap the associated benefits in the sectors recognized under the AfCFTA, there should be arr...read more

Cooperation on financial regulation under the AfCFTA: Where should member-states focus their efforts?

26 Oct 2019 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
The Modalities and Guidelines adopted for services sector negotiations under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are unlikely to lead to significant increases in financial ser...read more

What is the AfCFTA Approach to the Regulation of Trade in Services?

26 Oct 2019 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Services is a first endeavour to liberalize intra-African trade in services. For several States the task at hand is a novel one.  It involves deeper go...read more

How Similar are Africa’s Exporters? Implications for the AfCFTA

16 Oct 2019 ~ John Stuart
Africa is a continent of great diversity, perhaps more so than any other of the continents. It is a continent richly endowed with resources and these endowments have long formed the basis ...read more

How Similar are Africa’s Trade Regimes? Implications for the AfCFTA

16 Oct 2019 ~ John Stuart
The regional grouping of Africa – both its continental and island states – is a large and diversified bloc of countries. Within this region are multiple regional economic communities (...read more

South Africa’s submission on UNCITRAL ISDS reforms: Comments and implications

16 Oct 2019 ~ Talkmore Chidede
Introduction Investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) has in recent years been criticised for its systematic imbalances, as well as inconsistent, flawed and excessive arbitral awards, amo...read more

The United Kingdom Supreme Court annuls the suspension of Parliament: What are the implications for Brexit?

07 Oct 2019 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Brexit has rewritten many of the rules of the game for British politics and constitutional law. It has just added another chapter of major importance to this saga. On 24 September 2019, th...read more

The Institutions of the African Continental Free Trade Area

13 Sep 2019 ~
Free Trade Areas (FTAs) need institutions to oversee, promote and monitor the implementation of obligations by the State Parties. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) esta...read more

Implementing Trade Agreements: The Role of National Institutions and Administrative Law

13 Sep 2019 ~
Trade and regional integration agreements must be implemented by the State Parties in order to make a difference. Who performs this function and what is the legal basis for the domestic im...read more

South Africa withdraws its Signature from the Decision to abolish the SADC Tribunal

13 Sep 2019 ~
Changes to institutional arrangements can happen in unexpected ways and as a result of governments’ new policies. The correct procedure is to follow the formal procedures for adopting am...read more

The Bretton Woods System at 75

13 Sep 2019 ~
Seventy five years ago, in July 1944, while World War II was still raging, delegates from all 44 Allied nations gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in the United States, for the Unit...read more


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