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African Union, Economic Integration, Sustainable Development, Competition Law and Policy


In July 2019, the African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN), held its Fourth Biennial Conference under the theme “Africa and International Economic Law in the 21st Century” at the Strathmore University Law School (Nairobi, Kenya). This symposium contains some of the papers presented at this conference in their abridged forms. Before introducing the authors’ views on this Conference’s broader theme, we provide the important context under which the Conference took place.

The AfIELN Fourth Biennial Conference came at a time when the African Union Members had just launched the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose Agreement was signed in March 2018 and entered into force in May 2019. The main objective of the AfCFTA is to create a single market for goods, services, facilitated by movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent. It also seeks to resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships that have hindered regional integration projects in Africa. The signing of the AfCFTA succeeded the efforts to modernise African investment regimes that culminated in the adoption of the Pan-African Investment Code (PAIC) in 2016. More than 80 papers spread across 20 panels were presented at the Conference. These papers not only engaged with the issues raised by these treaties and codes, but also other aspects of African international economic law, including, but not limited to, the external dimension of African countries trade policies and WTO issues.