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Post-colonial Africa views economic integration as an endogenous means for attaining self-reliant, sustainable development. Working under various regional and sub-regional economic institutions, states elaborated several norms in search of legitimacy in economic competence. However, several political and economic pathogens, including weak institutions, have blighted those efforts. This paper interrogates the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA or CFTA), which is the latest attempt to reboot the integration drive and achieve sustainable development. The CFTA seeks to create a geographic zone where goods and services will move freely among member states by removing trade distortions and boosting factor mobility, competition, and investment. After a rigorous analysis of the relevant normative instruments and examining the vertical and horizontal relationship between the CFTA and regional economic communities (RECs)/member states, the paper articulates some objective criteria for measuring the CFTA’s effectiveness. It concludes that, if faithfully implemented, the CFTA could maximize utility and increase welfare. For the analysis and conclusions, the paper deploys principles of public international law as well as economic theories, with a blend of political and moral philosophy.
Public unrest, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and events of equal severity have in recent years prompted states to declare state of emergency. Sometimes, the proclamation of a public emergency is necessary or at least defendable, for example a natural disaster may call for special measures which could not be taken with full respect to the rights for all the obligations under human rights treaties. In other cases, public emergencies can be used as a smokescreen for repressive government policies. Once the necessity for derogation is conceded, it becomes difficult to control whether the suspension of rights amounts to abuse use of power. Serious violations of human rights often accompany emergency situations. This study first sets out an analytical framework which seeks to answer two questions: what is the role of the sovereign, i.e. the legislative and executive branches of Government? What do states perceive as threats and what consequences will that have for their policies. Next the legislative framework as provided for in human rights regimes is described. The analytical and legal framework is applied to four recent cases: September 11, 2001; Arab Spring; Ebola outbreak in Western Africa and France 2015.
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