• Overall context

We live in a world of complexity of trade relations, with a proliferation of multilateral, plurilateral and bilateral rules that in many ways shrink national policy spaces. African countries need trade to foster their economic development, and for that purpose, they need to take full advantage of the current system. This requires awareness as well as negotiation and implementation capacity. 

  • Work Plan

The International Trade Law Project at ACILP currently focus on policy research relating to international trade law instruments. Accordingly, the project focuses on conducting cost and benefit analysis of trade agreements and providing insight on current negotiation of new bilateral, regional and multilateral trade-related rules. In particular, we have three main work streams, namely: WTO work; Regional Trade Integration; and; Bilateral Trade Agreements.

  • WTO Work : ACILP's main areas of focus are:
  • How to make the WTO dispute settlement system work for African countries?
  • The WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
  • Interaction between domestic, regional and international competition policy instruments
  • Current DOHA negotiations.
  • Regional Trade Integration: We look in particular at the international law dimensions of current discussions about a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and other sub-regional agreements (e.g. Tripartite Free Trade Area between COMESA-EAC-SADC etc.).
  • Bilateral Trade Agreements: We look at the legal and policy implications of bilateral trade relations between African countries (or regional integration bodies) and European Countries and the US (e.g. AGOA, EPAs).