About the Course

The course provides an in-depth analysis of political economy dimension underpinning African regional and economic integration as well as historical perspectives behind African trade and economic integration. If further recasts the concept of preferentialism in international trade within a broader discourse on the relationship between regionalism and multilateralism. Furthermore, it interrogates the notion of sovereignty in an integrating world as well as the emergence nationalism as a corollary to trade and economic integration. Moreover, the course assesses the level of ambition set out in African regional trade agreements as against regulatory realities not subject to RTA disciplines as well as the implications of shifting approach to trade among nations to the bilateral level.

The course importantly takes a strong theoretical and applied approach to African trade and economic integration. In the first instance, the course tackles conceptual and theoretical fundamentals of international trade law and economics of international trade as applied to African regional trade and economic integration. It covers in depth, the legal underpinnings and key principles upon which regional trade agreements are based. These include complexities relating to MFN clauses and their implications, standstill and roll back provisions, infant industry protection clauses, sensitive lists, overlapping membership, scope of coverage in respect of GATT Article XXIV, GATS Article V and WTO plus issues. In the second instance the course focuses on the economics of regional trade and economic integration. It employs relevant data analysis tools and methodologies, covers economic rational behind regional integration through undertaking an in-depth analysis of trade data and deciphers various scenarios and their impact and implications on individual countries, regions and the African Continent as a whole as against the rest of the world. The course rationalizes trade data as against investment flows and delves into the meaning of trade data in the context of value added trade and trade in tasks.

Beyond conceptual and theoretical perspectives, pragmatism defines this course. It therefore adopts a case study approach at an applied level. The course uses case studies involving African regional economic communities from the prism of broad African economic integration as espoused by the African Union instruments including the Abuja Treaty. The case studies cover SADC, EAC, COMESA, TRIPARTITE, UEMOA, ECOWAS, IGAD, ECCAS, proposed CFTA, SACU etc. The course makes further use of case studies involving trade arrangements between Africa and third parties such as EPA, EBA, AGOA and various GSP schemes. Moreover, it involves regional and economic integration experiences and recent developments from other regions including plurilaterals and mega-regionals and their relevance and impact on African Regional trade and economic integration.

Expected Training Outcomes

  • an ability to think critically, strategically and independently,
  • an acquirement of conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of economic and legal foundations of regional trade and economic integration
  • a deep understanding of the meaning and relevance of economic and legal aspects of regional trade arrangements and their implications and impact on individual countries, regions, African Continent as well as relationship of African countries with third parties
  • a deep appreciation of the conceptual complexities and opportunities within the context of African agenda on trade liberalization and economic integration
  • an advanced knowledge of existing and prospective African regional integration trading schemes,
  • a multi-dimensional appreciation of approaches to regional trade and economic integration

Fee and Other Costs

The fee for the programme will be US$ 2,500 this includes tuition, presentation material and other documentation. It also includes lunch and refreshments during each working day.

Pretoria, South Africa