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Investor-state dispute settlement and economic recovery in Africa

Time (GMT +00) 09:30 11:30
Hero image description: Transforming Africa's Informal and Rural Economy for Decent Work panel. Image credit:ILO Image license:CC-BY-NC-ND

Opening remarks

H.E. Ambassador Albert Muchanga @AmbMuchanga – African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, African Union Commission

H.E. Jason Grimes – UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the African Union


Maximiliano Mendez-Parra @m_mendezparra – Senior Research Fellow, International Economic Development Group, ODI


Suzy Nikièma @IISD_ELP –  Associate, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Makane Moïse Mbengue – Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva

Hamed El Kady – International Investment Policy Officer, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Prudence Sebahizi @sebaprunce – Chief Technical Advisor, African Union Commission


The African continent is progressing an ambitious integration agenda in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Covid-19 is challenging governments whereby tensions lie between balancing necessary restrictive protocols on people and institutions, in order to protect the health of the population from the effects of the pandemic and deploying a wide range of policies and actions that protect incomes and livelihoods. These policies are designed and implemented with the aim of providing the best immediate response to crises. However, responses may change the rules affecting investors and their investments, with some investors seeing this as a violation to how they operate.

We explore the use of ISDS by investors in the current pandemic context and assesses the impact that it may have on African states. We discuss both the legality of potential claims and the economic assessment of the ISDS actions, and the options available to governments to protect their countries and people from these claims.

We explore the use and legality of ISDS by investors in the pandemic and assesses the impact that it may have on African states. We discuss options available to governments to protect their countries from these claims, and how the investment protocol of the AfCFTA could contribute to create a framework that boosts investment for sustainable growth across the continent.

Please note this webinar is hosted by the African Union and begins at 9:30 GMT / 12:30 EAT.