Published 25 January 2021
Over the years, Africa's share of global investment flows has been much lower compared to other world regions. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) seeks to remedy this through the Investment Protocol, which will include provisions aimed at addressing some of the non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to Africa's investment. As negotiations on the Protocol's provisions continue to take shape, a key area that has received little attention is preferential Rules of Origin (RoO). Most literature on RoO has focused on their impact on trade flows and failed to take note of their role in influencing investment flows. This article looks at how the structure of the AfCFTA RoO can impact the distribution of investment in the continent. Since substantive details of the AfCFTA RoO are yet to be finalised, the article will focus on members' experience with some of the continent's preferential RoO, in particular the Southern African Development Community's (SADC's) RoO. The article will analyse how the structure of the SADC RoO has impacted the distribution of investment within the member States, with a view to drawing strategic lessons on how the AfCFTA RoO can be structured to promote the competitive distribution of investment in the continent.
This paper will be part of the TDM Special Issue on "The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)". More information here www.transnational-dispute-management.com/news.asp?key=1809