Published 18 March 2021
With the entry into force of the AfCFTA on 30 May 2019, Africa is standing at the forefront of tremendous economic growth. However, the success of this agreement will depend on adequate implementation. Moreover, several provisions of the AfCFTA are largely ambiguous. Notably, the dispute settlement provision allows for arbitration but does not define its nature or scope. After exploring the current context for dispute settlement on the continent, this paper looks closely at the profound importance of establishing a sound dispute settlement procedure on the continent. For the AfCFTA to be successful, it must be supported by a dispute settlement process that strikes the right balance between State and investor interests, ensuring that Africa is an attractive place for investment while at the same time protecting the ability of African nations to promote sustainable development through regulations that defend the public interest. This paper argues that a permanent tribunal for investment disputes should be established under the AfCFTA's Protocol on Rules and Procedures for Settlement of Disputes.
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