The protracted African legal saga Getma v Republic of Guinea has drawn much discussion and speculation in the arbitration community recently. For good reasons. This saga has highlighted various aspects of international arbitration, including party autonomy, remuneration of the arbitral tribunal and enforcement of annulled awards, that go way beyond the borders of the African continent. Continue reading
China is Africa’s largest trading partner today. Significantly, in 2016, China invested more than USD 14 billion in Africa. Its capital investment into Africa up to July 2016 notably increased by 515% from full year 2015 figures. In addition, the number of investment projects into Africa from China has also been exponentially growing, with 36 projects recorded from January to July 2016 alone. Continue reading
Egypt is among the top 10 signatories of Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”) worldwide, with a total number of over 100 BITs. It is also ranked second, after Angola, in the list of top African countries with foreign direct investment (“FDI”) growth with an increase of 49.3% of FDI inflow going from $4.6 billion in 2014 to $6.9 in 2015 (UNCTAD World Investment Report (2016)). This growth of FDI has been driven mainly by the expansion of foreign affiliates in, inter alia, the financial, pharmaceutical, energy, construction and transport industry. But despite this positive development, Egypt lost 19 places in the 2016 Doing Business report published by the World Bank ranking it 131th out of 189 countries and FDI inflows in Egypt remain well below the $11.4 billion reached in 2009. 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
On 17 October 2013, the Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (Organisation for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) or OHADA celebrated its 20th anniversary under the presidency of Burkina Faso. A series of events have been organised to commemorate the event, including a meeting of business law experts in Ouagadougou to discuss the achievements and the future prospects of the organisation. Continue reading
On 3 October 2013 the Gambia notified the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations of its withdrawal from the organisation to which it belonged since its independence from Britain in 1965. Continue reading
Here in Europe we are longing for the publication by the European Union of the list of pre-2009 BITs that its 27 Member States want to maintain in force or permit to enter into force with third States pursuant to Articles 2 and 4(2) of Regulation 1219/2012. This list will clarify the status of some 1,200 BITs entered into by EU Member States between 1959 and 2009 – undoubtedly a major event for international investment law. Continue reading
On 1 March 2013 José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, paid an official visit to Morocco. At the end of the round of meetings held with H.M. King Mohammed VI and Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane in Rabat, Mr. Barroso formally announced the launch of negotiations between the EU and Morocco for the conclusion of a so-called Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement or DCFTA (English for “Accord de Libre Échange Complet et Approfondi”).
During the last stop of her recent African tour IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde attended the fifth regional conference of finance ministers and central bank governors of the Maghreb region in Nouakchott, Mauritania where she again called for more foreign direct investment (FDI) towards Africa, this time to the Maghreb.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has wrapped up an official tour to Africa. To date two speeches delivered by Mrs. Lagarde during her tour have been published at IMF’s website: the first one before the Malawian Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Lilongwe on 5 January 2013 and the second one before the National Assembly of Ivory Coast in Abidjan on 7 January 2013.