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Part II Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements, Ch.15 Africa and Trade and Investment Liberalization

Kholofelo Kugler, Mulualem Getachew Adgeh

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law (2e) (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Daniel Bethlehem, Donald McRae, Rodney Neufeld, Isabelle Van Damme

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024


African trade and investment relations have been shaped by external partners and institutions, as well as Africa’s own aspiration for European Union-style regional economic integration. The continent’s economic trajectory has been mainly underpinned by economic liberalization. However, African countries have generally conservatively followed mainstream trade models, rules, and institutions, while being more activist and innovative in investment rulemaking for sustainable development. Unlike investor disputes, African countries also have limited experience in international trade disputes within their regional economic communities and at the World Trade Organization. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement offers African countries an opportunity to forge an ambitious and robust continental economic regime and to facilitate African economies’ industrialization. While progress has been steady in recent years, the fate of Africa’s economic integration within the continent and into the global economy largely hinges on the successful implementation of this agreement.

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