Posts

‘The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in Africa – A Human Rights Perspective’, by Chris Nshimbi

GovInn Deputy Director, Chris Nshimbi, working with an international team of researchers and experts has published the first ex-ante assessment of the proposed African continental free trade area (CFTA), using the HRIA (human rights impact assessment) tool. Chris brings to the team expertise on the informal economy, with a dedicated contribution on informal cross-border trade. The report provides nine evidence-based policy recommendations for negotiators of the CFTA.

 

 

 

Follow the link to access the report.
http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/genf/13158.pdf

‘If Africa is serious about a free trade area it needs to act quickly, and differently’. The Conversation, 09.01.2017

 

In their latest op-ed for The Conversation GovInn Deputy Director Dr Chris Nshimbi and UNISA Senior Lecturer in political economy Samuel Oloruntoba assess Africa’s regional integration project in light of the 2016 affirmation on the continent-wide free trade area in Addis Ababa at the African Union (AU).

Africa is moving towards crystallising an ambitious integration agenda of establishing a continental free trade area  by October. This comes against a backdrop of an apparent trend away from mega-regional trade agreements in both Europe and the US. Read the full article here.

ZOPACAS at 30: Its formation, potential and limitations

This research project seeks to stimulate the broadening of the scientific-academic debate over the current and potential configuration of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic (ZOPACAS), both within the context of Brazilian interests and in the framework of increasing international focus over South Atlantic dynamics. With over 30 years of existence, ZOPACAS accounts today for a singular case of a multilateral platform, transversal to multiple global developments in the last few decades. Its institutional resilience associated to a characteristically legal singularity in terms of other multilateral experiences as well as an express desire to widen its thematic range of action, make this forum a noticeable case study. That relevance, in turn, only increases if we also consider the underlined notion of a supposedly common perception of an oceanic region, as an aggregating element of South American and African countries, as well as its passive contribution – never really challenged or tested – to regional security and stability.

ZOPACAS flag
On the other hand, the pre-salt discoveries, the resurgence of the Brazilian defense industry, the bet on South-South relations and the political-commercial investments in Africa also incited Brazil to concern itself once again with developments in the South Atlantic. It is therefore understandable why the progressive reinforcement of ZOPACAS is considered relevant to Brazil’s own defense, as mentioned by the Defense White Book, and inter-relates easily with the national foreign policy domain.
In this context, while combining an historical balance (1986-2016) with a structural evaluation of the current limits, capacities and eventual potentialities of ZOPACAS, this project thus seeks to provide a complete and deepened perspective of a regional mechanism, frequently neglected by academic literature and never fully researched in its totality. Moreover, it seeks to answer the increasing demand, both internal and external, for detailed information over ZOPACAS and provide greater substance to the national decision-making process regarding Brazil’s active participation in such a multilateral body.

GovInn researcher: Frank Mattheis

Partner institutions: University of Brasilia (Brazil), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), University of Lisbon (Portugal), University of Rosario (Argentina)

Funding institutions: Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Brazilian Defence Ministry’s Pandiá Calógeras Institute

Funding period: January 2015 to December 2016

Building regions from below: Informal cross-border trade and regional integration in the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite (AFRTJ)

The 15 member-state Southern African Development Community (SADC) started out in April 1980 as the Southern African Development Co-ordinating Conference (SADCC) and changed into SADC in August 1992. SADC aims at integrated regional development through formal regional institutions and seeks an economic union through the successive stages of regional integration as espoused by economic theory. This has consequences for the movement of factors of production in the region including labour, capital, goods and services. This research investigates the activities of informal cross-border traders and migrants in the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite in general and the SADC region in particular, with a view to understanding the contribution of such actors to the integration of the said regions. Informal (ethnic) entrepreneurs, local non-state actors, relevant officials from local, provincial and national government in the target areas and relevant officials from, among others, SADC, COMESA, EAC inform the research through interviews. The research gives special attention to persons living in towns, areas, etc. that are proximate to the borders of the countries that form part of the sample for the study. The research also relies on various theories and approaches, such as sociological exchange theory and international political economy approach, and presents historical, socioeconomic, and political accounts observable in the study target areas and populations.

Duration: 2014-2019
Funding: National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology (RSA)
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GovInn deputy director Chris Nhsimbi conducting research on cross-border trade