Protecting the Interest of Private Investors under the AfCFTA Dispute Settlement Mechanism

*Written by Tolu Olatunji

Regional trade agreements often encounter some legal uncertainties due to unpredictability, non-compliance, non-transparency, and lack of remedies in instances of breaches.  Private investors and traders are the most likely to be negatively affected and this sometimes makes investors more pensive and doubtful about the markets if it is not certain that they will enjoy adequate protection of the law.

At the 2012 AU Summit, African leaders adopted a Decision (Assembly/AU/Dec.394  (XVIII))  on  the  Establishment of  a  Continental  Free  Trade  Area  (CFTA)  by  the indicative  date  of  2017  and  endorsed  the  Action  Plan  on  Boosting  Intra-Africa  Trade. Seven areas of cooperation were identified, namely: trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade-related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor market integration. In June 2015, at the twenty-fifth (25th) Summit of the African Union held in South Africa, African leaders agreed to launch negotiations on the creation of the CFTA by 2017 through negotiations on the liberalisation of trade in goods and services.

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