Building capacity to help Africa trade better


What is a Customs Union like SACU about?

14 Dec 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
From a legal and technical point of view the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is a Customs Union (CU) and an international organization with legal personality. Since a CU is an except...read more

The Process for Amending or Reviewing the SACU Agreement

14 Dec 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
There are strong indications that the SACU Agreement may be amended – or “reviewed” – during the next year.[1] Why has this become necessary and what would such a process entail? H...read more

SACU’s operational Challenge

14 Dec 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
What does the 2002 SACU Agreement promise in terms of how the Organization would function? What did the Member States subsequently do in order to ensure that the agreed formula would be im...read more

Reflections on COP24

11 Dec 2018 ~ Gavin van der Nest
The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (COP24) is currently taking place in Katowice, Poland from 2-14 December 2018. COP24 is hosted under th...read more

Investor-state dispute settlement in Africa and the AfCFTA Investment Protocol

11 Dec 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
African countries have frequently appeared as respondents before international arbitration tribunals for violating their investment treaty obligations, mostly provisions on expropriation. ...read more

The Buenos Aires G20 Meeting: Has Rules-based global Trade survived?

11 Dec 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The communiqué issued at the end of the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires recently (30 November and 1 December 2018) reads like the to-do list for the world’s leading countries. It al...read more

Where to for Africa’s Silicon Valley?

27 Nov 2018 ~ John Stuart
Approximately a year ago, tralac published a working paper that overviewed South Africa’s software development industry cluster in the Western Cape Province[1]. The Western Cape Software...read more

Termination of the South Africa-Zimbabwe bilateral trade agreement: What does it mean for South Africa-Zimbabwe trade?

20 Nov 2018 ~ Elisha Tshuma
The Bilateral Trade Agreement between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be terminated on 20 November 2018. The termination of the Agreement will affect certain imports from South Africa ...read more

Regional Integration as a building block for the Multilateral Trading System

18 Nov 2018 ~ Edwini Kessie
The signing of the Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) by African countries earlier this year was a momentous decision which could potentially alter the economic growth trajectory of...read more

Assuring Continuation of Effective WTO Dispute Settlement

18 Nov 2018 ~ Alan Wolff
Until the past few years, for many there was widespread complacency over the existence and state of the liberal world trading system. If progress was needed that could not be achieved at t...read more

African Responses to Global Crises

18 Nov 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
How do African governments and Africa collectively respond to the crisis in the global trading system? Are joint policies being developed? By whom? How will such a process be coordinated a...read more

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: An African perspective

18 Nov 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
Trade facilitation discussions at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) began in December 1996, at the Singapore Ministerial Conference, when the member states instructed the WTO Council for ...read more

Is it time for a new Global Order?

18 Nov 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The policies of President Trump have brought a new urgency to the debate about the future of the global economic and geopolitical order. American tariffs on Chinese goods[1], the withdrawa...read more

Modernisation of the multilateral trading system – WTO reforms

18 Nov 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
The multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are today under threat. The system is being shaken by increasing protectionism and the imposition of non-tariff barri...read more

American mid-term Elections: What International Implications?

18 Nov 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The American mid-term elections took place during the first week of November 2018 and were keenly watched. Many have hoped that control by the Democratic Party of the House of Representati...read more

A WTO multilateral investment facilitation agreement: An African perspective

18 Nov 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
Investment at the WTO Investment was introduced onto the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agenda in 1996 at the First WTO Ministerial Conference held in Singapore, when member states propos...read more

The Settlement of Trade Disputes: Where do we stand and what can be done?

18 Nov 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The crisis in the dispute settlement arrangement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has a paralysing effect on the multilateral trade system. While the workload of the Dispute Settlemen...read more

The 2018 Global Food Security Index: What does the picture look like?

18 Nov 2018 ~ Obert Bore
Food security is the state in which all people at all times have physical and economic access to adequate, safe and nutritious food that meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a...read more

The right kind of disruption... New banks in South Africa

31 Oct 2018 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
There are a number of start-up banks set to challenge the dominance of the big four in South Africa (Absa, FirstRand Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank) in the coming months, including Bank Z...read more

Brexit’s sober Lessons

24 Oct 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
Had it not been for the crisp analysis (and ridicule at times[1]) by many reporting on the oversimplifications offered by those who see Brexit as an opportunity to restore national “sove...read more

South Africa’s much-awaited Investment Conference: What will it tell us?

24 Oct 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
In September this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that an international investor conference will be convened as part of his drive to get $100 billion in new investment into South...read more

Zimbabwe ratifies the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: What does this mean for Zimbabwe?

23 Oct 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
On 17 October 2018, Zimbabwe deposited with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Secretariat its instrument of ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)[1], becoming the 139...read more

South African Poultry Association files an Application for setting aside AGOA

01 Oct 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
How do private parties involved in intra-African trade protect their rights and interests which may flow from the application of trade agreements? They do not, as a rule, enjoy standing be...read more

The Crisis in WTO Dispute Settlement

01 Oct 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The effective functioning of the dispute settlement system of the WTO is essential for rules-based multilateral trade. It provides certainty and predictability and prevents power-based beh...read more

The Dispute Settlement Mechanism under the African Continental Free Trade Area

01 Oct 2018 ~ Obert Bore
African Governments do not litigate against each other in trade matters. Will it be different under the African Continental Free Trade Area? We do not know. What we do know is that this po...read more

Dispute settlement in the East African Community (EAC)

01 Oct 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede, Louis Gitinywa
The EAC is a regional intergovernmental organisation of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The EAC, among other things, aims to widen and deepen cooperation among m...read more

Alternative Dispute Settlement Procedures for Trade-related Disputes in Africa

01 Oct 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
African State are not active users of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The explanations point to Africa’s small share of global trade and...read more

Investment dispute resolution under the Amended Annex 1 of the SADC FIP

01 Oct 2018 ~ Talkmore Chidede
Effective dispute resolution is important for foreign investors. It guarantees legal certainty and predictability in markets and provides remedies when rights are violated. The resolution ...read more

MTN vs. Nigeria: on the perils of investment in Nigeria, or the arrogance of South African multinationals?

01 Oct 2018 ~ Ashly Hope (Volunteer)
In late August this year, MTN was ordered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to return around US$8.1 billion alleged to have been illegally repatriated (to its South African parent compa...read more

South Africa to ratify Tripartite FTA and Continental Free Trade Area Agreements

17 Sep 2018 ~ Gerhard Erasmus
The South African Parliament is in the process of ratifying the Tripartite FTA Agreement. South Africa signed the TFTA in July 2017. The aim behind this Agreement is eventually to bring 26...read more


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