AfCFTA roundtable brought together business leaders, academia, government representatives, trade, and legal experts to discuss and deliberate on dispute issues in implementing the agreement in Nigeria.
Ahead of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) implementation in Nigeria, the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators and other stakeholders are seeking dispute resolution mechanisms that will address concerns of non-state entities.
The inaugural meeting of the dispute settlement body of the AfCFTA signals the readiness of this infrastructure to take up any disputes that may arise in the course of trading amongst the member States.
Only 21% of cases administered by ICSID involve African investors, however, this may change with the introduction of AfCFTA, and we may begin to see more disputes involving African investors and African states.
With the growing concern over the traditional ISDS system, it is highly unlikely that the AfCFTA will include an ISDS mechanism giving investors access to go to international arbitration under conventional international tribunals.