It is rather easy for the rights of minority shareholders to be infringed upon however minority shareholders are afforded some protection under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) to protect their rights/interests. Continue reading
What is a Trademark?
Over time in business and life generally, individuals, partnerships, corporations, organisations and companies have developed, designed, created, coined, formed and used certain distinctive names, logos, crests, flags, badges, symbols, signs, patterns, formations, processes and drawings to differentiate themselves from others; owing and using same exclusively. In today’s world, a circled letter “Y” is owned by Mercedes, GMC is owned by General Motors Corporation, LEX10® is owned by Lex10 Law Technologies, HP® is owned by Hewlett-Packard Company , Closeup® is owned by Unilever Nigeria Plc, MR.BIGG’S® and GALA® is owned by UAC foods Plc and Blackberry® is owned by Research in Motion etc. All those are names, logos and products used in business by their respective owners to the exclusion of all other persons and companies in the parts of the world, where they are registered. To retain customers and clients, create a renowned brand and fight piracy, registration of trademarks becomes very necessary.
Non-Nigerians and Foreign Companies are at liberty, and indeed encouraged to invest and participate in the operation of any enterprise or company in Nigeria. To invest in Nigeria, the promoters or investors must register a company in Nigeria. Continue reading
It is common knowledge that over the years, foreign companies/investors seeking to do business or any form of investment in Ghana for that matter, have had to rely on the services of lawyers in Ghana to advise and assist them undertake their ventures in Ghana. Continue reading
India-Africa trade and investment has seen tremendous growth in the last decade. The deepening relationship between old partners and allies prompted the launch, in 2008, of the India-Africa Forum Summit. Cooperation is deepening on a number of fronts. Economic cooperation, political cooperation, cooperation in social development and capacity building, cooperation in health, culture and sports, as well as cooperation in tourism, infrastructure, energy and environment are all mentioned as viable areas for cooperation in key documents of the India-Africa Forum Summit. Both sides envision a partnership that goes beyond bilateral linkages. Continue reading
The Rent Act of Ghana, (the Act) which was passed in 1962, was promulgated to, among other things, provide a “law relating to the control of rents and the recovery of the possession of premises in certain cases.” Continue reading
The East African region has made significant strides in furthering its regional integration agenda. This can be seen, for example, through its level of intra-regional trade of 23%, which is higher than the average of 12% on the African continent. It is estimated that intra-East African Community (EAC) trade grew from 2 billion US dollars in 2005 to 6 billion US dollars in 2014, representing a 300% increase in the value of trade. This was highlighted by the 16th Summit of Heads of State of the East African Community, held on 20 February 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. Continue reading
With the goal of attracting more foreign investment and spurring growth, in 2015, Rwanda released a new investment code. Law No. 6/2015 of 28 March 2015 Relating to Investment Promotion and Facilitation (“Law No. 6/2015”) replaces Law no. 26/2005 of 17 December 2005. Continue reading
Paper presented at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators [Nigerian Branch] 
An appraisal of the legal framework for the protection of foreign direct investment requires an agreement as to what constitutes foreign direct investment or FDI as it is commonly referred to. There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes ‘foreign direct investment’ or FDI, but it is generally agreed that FDI refers to a commercial act whereby a person or entity from one country deploys substantial resources from that country to another country in order to establish commercial operations or acquire income-generating tangible assets, or take effective control or have a significant degree of influence over the management of such operations or assets with the expectation of obtaining a return on such investment. Continue reading
The first lesson I learnt in my Land Law Class is that Land is the only commodity that God has ceased creating. It is the only thing that man, throughout the history of invention, has not attempted to create. Land has become and continues to be a very scarce commodity. The ever increasing global population worsens the situation. The world’s population is now more than seven (7) billion and continues to grow by 83 million people per year. We should not forget the fact that land is a finite sphere and cannot endure infinite growth by any single species. Continue reading
ACCESS TO JUSTICE
With the recent hikes in the filling fees and other administrative charges associated with Court proceedings and processes in Ghana as well as the upward adjustments of the Bar Scale of Fees for Lawyers, the perception that justice is the preserve of the rich seems to have gained notoriety. Litigants are made to weigh the cost benefit analysis before venturing into the area of litigation. This situation leaves prospective litigants no choice than to take solace in the proverbial words of “Fame Nyame” to wit “leave it to God”. Justice is simply expensive in Ghana to the average person. Continue reading
Since President Mbeki’s administration gave way to that of President Jacob Zuma, South Africa has taken a back seat on international issues.
This does not bode well for a country like South Africa with so much political capital accrued over the past two and half decades. Continue reading
Statoil (Nigeria) Limited & Anor v. Federal Inland Revenue Service & Anor
In a landmark decision, which rolls back the giant strides that Nigeria was said to have recently achieved in asserting its arbitration–friendly nature, the Court of Appeal has seemingly reversed its previous position on Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act on the extent of court intervention in arbitration proceedings. An earlier decision had also upheld the court’s limited ability to intercede in arbitration proceedings. Continue reading
On 20 June 2014, the East African Court of Justice (hereinafter “EACJ” or “the Court”) issued a decision barring the United Republic of Tanzania (hereinafter “Tanzania”) from constructing and maintaining a road known as the “Natta-Mugumu – Tabora B-Kleins Gate – Loliondo Road” (hereinafter, “the Road” or “the Superhighway”) across the northern wilderness of the Serengeti National Park (hereinafter “the Serengeti”). Continue reading
This paper examines the position of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regarding proposals to reform the investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) system. Despite their silence on ongoing discussions about the future of the ISDS system and possible pathways for reform, SSA countries are making their position on the issue known. The paper argues that the position of SSA countries can be gleaned from instruments that these countries have pushed for at the sub-regional level. In particular, in the Investment Agreement for the COMESA Common Investment Area (CCIA), in the SADC Bilateral Investment Treaty Template (SADC Model BIT), and even in the SADC Protocol on Investment, countries in SSA appear to express a desire for a radically transformed ISDS system. However, closer inspection suggests that SSA countries are inconsistent in their actions when it comes to reforming the ISDS mechanism. Although these countries espouse a vision of an ISDS mechanism that is different from the existing mechanism, their actions tell a different story. For example, the CCIA is not operational, the SADC Model BIT is not binding and very few countries, if any, have taken steps to model their bilateral investment treaties (BITs) after it. And in their BITs and related treaties, SSA countries still cling to the traditional approach to ISDS and BITs more generally. Furthermore, while SSA countries would prefer to limit investor access to ISDS, the demise of the SADC Tribunal in the wake of Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd and Others v. Republic of Zimbabweundermines efforts to project domestic and regional institutions in Africa as credible alternatives to international arbitration. The paper suggests that the inconsistent position of SSA countries on the ISDS question deserves closer study. Also deserving closer study is an assessment of the experience of SSA countries with the ISDS system since the system emerged some forty years ago. Finally, attention must be paid to the myriad of factors that presently limit the capacity of countries in Africa to negotiate tailored and development-oriented international investment agreements (IIAs) as well as factors that undermine their effective participation in the international investment law regime more generally. Continue reading
Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) has been largely dominated by arbitration as a means of dispute settlement. The problems encountered by parties in ISDS cases and the concerns voiced by multiple stake holders call for attempting new mechanisms, such as mediation, for settling Investor State Disputes (ISD). Mediation in ISDS is rather a new combination of terms. In this paper I will first identify mediation (1), compare it to other dispute settlement mechanisms (2), identify the players in the mediation process and the consent of the Parties (3), briefly explain the mediation process (4), and finally conclude by shedding some remarks on the current status and proposals for a way forward. Continue reading
The Cabinet decision of 20 July 2010 specified that an inter-ministerial work group should commence work on an investment protection act for South Africa. Such an act would incorporate, codify and interpret core international law concepts and clarify the level of protection that investors may expect in South Africa. On 1 November 2013 the draft Bill on the Promotion and Protection of Investment [NOTICE 1087 OF 2013 in Government Gazette (GG) No. 36995] (hereinafter “the Bill”) was published for public comment. The notice provided for a three month public comment period. This period came to an end on 31 January 2014. The Department of Trade and Industry is currently assessing the public comments and will introduce the Bill to Parliament as soon as the required technical and constitutional processes have been completed. Continue reading
This Article was first published in the Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 35(1), 2013. If you wish to make references to the article please follow the pagination in the Michigan Journal of International Law.
The purpose of this Article is to draw attention to, raise questions about, and generate discussions regarding the emerging norms, legal context, and long-term development-implications of South-South foreign direct investment (“FDI”) and South-South bilateral investment treaties (“BIT”). This Article seeks to refocus the discourse about FDI and BITs on developing countries in their role as exporters of capital and in the context of the much-touted new geography of investment. Can South-South BITs play a positive role in promoting development in sub-Saharan Africa any more than the Africa-North BITs? Is China concluding development-focused BITs with countries in Africa? The Article identifies the BITs between China and countries in Africa, analyzes the main provisions and the development-dimension of these BITs, and examines the extent to which they differ from model BITs used by Western countries. Continue reading
In July 2010, the South African Cabinet adopted a new investment policy framework which was aimed at modernising and strengthening the country’s investment regime. Five core measures were mandated by Cabinet for the implementation of the new policy framework: (i) development of foreign investment legislation; (ii) review and termination of existing old generation BITs; (iii) development of a new model BIT; (iv) BITs will only be entered into on the basis of compelling economic and political reasons; and (v) the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to oversee the implementation of these measures. Continue reading
History of South Africa’s BIT regime
South Africa emerged from international isolation in 1994 after ushering in a majority governance system. It was the last country in the African continent to gain freedom. Most countries which had gained independence during the decolonisation period had engaged in economic nationalism. In Southern Africa, Zambia was one of them. South Africa as the last African country to attain political freedom had to signal to the world and foreign investors in particular that it was a safe investment destination. Continue reading