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The Year in Review

International Legal Developments Year in Review: 2021

Africa - International Legal Developments Year in Review: 2021

Anne Pauline Bodley, Zachary David Combs, Vanessa Suarez Galves, Charlotte Favaro, Sara Frazao, Laverne Lewis Gaskins, Tyler Holmes, Lincoln Majogo, Myrian Mossi, Julien Naginski, Galindo Aliyo Ruhiyyah, Ricardo A Silva, Tania Tossa, Carneil Wilson, Chitalu Yalobi, and Jose Diogo Sampaio


  • This article discusses the significant international legal developments that occurred in Africa in 2021.
  • It includes updates from Alergia, Morocco, Western Sahara, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • It also includes legal developments from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Democratic Republic), Congo (Republic), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, Comoros, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland (Kingdom of Eswatini), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Africa  - International Legal Developments Year in Review: 2021
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This article discusses the significant international legal developments that occurred in Africa in 2021.

I. North Africa

A. Algeria

1. Trade Zone with Mauritania

As part of a series of cooperation agreements, Mauritania and Algeria agreed to set up a free trade zone in the countries’ shared border region.

2. French Truth Commission

French President Macron announced a Memories and Truth commission per the recommendation of a review into France’s 132-year colonial history in Algeria. The Commission will create French memorials to Algerians and obtain testimony from descendants.

B. Morocco

1. Marijuana Legalization

Morocco legalized marijuana for medicinal and industrial purposes and created a National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis in 2021. The growth and use of marijuana, often mixed with tobacco and called kif, has a long history in northern Morocco, one of the limited areas where growing will now be legal.

C. Western Sahara

1. European Union Court Annuls Morocco Trade Deals

In September 2021, the General Court of the European Union (EU) annulled EU-Morocco agriculture and fishing trade deals because they had been agreed to without the consent of the people of Western Sahara.

2. United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara Mission Further Extended

The United Nations (UN) Security Council extended the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) by another year, expressing concern at the breakdown of the 1991 ceasefire between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front and calling for a revival of UN-led negotiations.

II. West Africa

A. Benin

1. Abortion Legalized

On October 21, 2021, parliamentarians voted to legalize abortion, which had previously only been allowed if the unborn child had a “particularly severe affection” or if “the pregnancy threatened the life of the mother [or] was the result of a rape or incest.” Now, women can terminate a pregnancy within the first three months if it is likely to “aggravate or cause material, educational, professional or moral distress, incompatible with the woman or the unborn child’s interest.”

B. Burkina Faso

1. Sankara Assassination Trial

The trial of fourteen defendants accused of conspiring and carrying out the assassination of President Thomas Sankara began before a military tribunal in October 2021, almost thirty-four years to the day of his assassination. Ex-President Blaise Campaoré, Sankara’s successor and, to many, the primary, if not sole, political force behind the coup, remains in exile in Cote d’Ivoire.

C. Cape Verde

1. Informal Workers Lottery

To encourage issuing invoices and paying taxes, Cape Verde will award prizes to individuals, so long as they do not receive business and professional income, per Legislative Decree 3/2021. Individuals whose tax identification number is associated with invoices, receipts, or sales receipts for the purchase of goods and services or receipts for properties rented for accommodation purposes are entered in a prize drawing called the “Happiness Invoice.”

2. Venezuelan Businessman Extradited

Alleged financier for Venezuelan President Maduro, Alex Saab, was extradited to the United States in October 2021. Saab was arrested in June 2020 as his jet refueled in Cape Verde while he was traveling from Venezuela to Iran. The extradition violates an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court judgment holding that the arrest (1) occurred before an Interpol red notice was issued for Saab and (2) was in violation of Cape Verde’s criminal procedure law. Saab faces money laundering charges in the U.S. District Court for Southern District of Florida.

D. Côte d’Ivoire

1. TV Presenter Sentenced for “Condoning Rape”

On an August 2021 program, Presenter Yves de M’Bella had a guest on his show described as a former rapist. The host gave the guest a mannequin, asked the guest to demonstrate his crimes, and later requested that he give tips to women on how to avoid rape. De M’Bella received a suspended prison sentence of twelve months and was ordered to pay a fine of approximately $3,600.

E. Gambia

1. Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Report Completed

Nine days before the presidential election, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) presented their 14,000-page report to President Adama Barrow. In the report, the Commission recommends prosecutions, including for former President Yahya Jammeh, who played a role in 2021’s presidential election campaign.

F. Ghana

1. Big Oil Investments

Parliament gave consent for Ghana’s Finance and Energy Ministers to buy higher stakes in two oil blocks operated by Norwegian operators Aker Energy and AGM on behalf of the national oil company, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. Energy Minister Matthew Prempeh argued that the ongoing energy transition has dampened investor sentiment for fossil fuels, forcing national oil companies to become operators themselves.

G. Guinea

1. Coup

On September 5, 2021, just over a year after President Condé won a controversial third term in office, a group of soldiers led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seized power. Doumbouya was sworn in as interim president in October 2021 and expressed a desire to renew Guinea’s democracy, which most Guineans favor, but refused to release Condé. ECOWAS will ban Guinea’s coup leaders from travel and freeze their and their families’ financial assets until Condé is released and elections are held.

H. Guinea-Bissau

1. Logging Ban Under Consideration

In October 2020, the Council of Ministers recommended a “special regime” that would lift Guinea-Bissau’s complete ban on logging. The regime would allow logging on fourteen species, subject to licensing and quotas, and would include reforestation. Logging activities went nearly unrestricted after a coup in 2012 weakened the authority of the central government, which later implemented a moratorium in 2015. Guinea-Bissau is approximately seventy percent forested.

I. Liberia

1. House and Senate in Dispute

The Liberian Senate threatened to sue the House of Representatives over the approval of an iron ore concession to a Chinese company. The threat came after the House rejected a Senate version of the Bao Chico Mineral Development Agreement with a written declaration that the agreement’s primary aim was to raise revenue, requiring the legislation to originate in the House under Article 34d(i) of the Constitution. When the House passed its own version of the agreement in December 2021, it was unclear if any legal action would be taken.

J. Mali

1. Second Coup

Colonel Assimi Goita led his second coup d’etat in nine months on May 25, 2021. After initially promising elections would still occur in February 2022, now-President Goita later admitted the timeline could not be met. ECOWAS imposed sanctions as a result. The coup was widely criticized, and the impact of the change on Mali’s long-standing conflicts remains unclear.

K. Mauritania

1. E-Commerce

In June 2021, Mauritania’s National Assembly approved a draft law related to electronic payment services and means. The legislation creates a regulatory framework for the provision of e-payment services—by banks and non-banks—and the issuance of electronic currencies, with wide customer access in mind. According to the 2018 Global Findex report, only four percent of Mauritanian adults had mobile money accounts.

L. Niger

1. First-Ever Democratic Transition

On February 21, 2021, Mohamed Bazoum won Niger’s presidential election, marking the first succession of one elected president from another since the country’s independence in 1960. The proclamation of Bazoum’s victory over former President Mahamane Ousmane led to protests, in which two people died and 468 were arrested, and a ten-day government shutdown of the internet while Ousmane alleged fraud.

M. Nigeria

1. Petroleum Industry Act

On August 16, 2021, President Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill, introduced in 2007, into law. Nigeria may have lost as much as $50 billion in the last decade due to uncertain legal, administrative, and fiscal policies in the oil and gas sector. The Petroleum Industry Act is designed to address policy uncertainty, poor infrastructure, insecurity, and the impact of COVID-19.

N. São Tome and Principe

1. Opposition Wins Presidential Runoff

Carlos Manuel Vila Nova was sworn in as president of the island country on October 3, 2021. President Vila Nova, a former infrastructure minister, won a delayed runoff vote in September 2021. The runoff had been postponed for the Constitutional Court’s consideration (and rejection) of the third-place candidate’s allegations of fraud in the first round of voting.

O. Senegal

1. Counter-Terrorism Laws

On June 25, 2021, Senegal modified the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code to define “terrorist acts” to include seriously disturbing public order, criminal association, and offenses linked to information and communication technologies, each punishable with life in prison. The laws make it a criminal offence to “incite others” to perpetrate terrorism but do not define incitement and give extra powers to law enforcement officials to carry out surveillance of a suspect without seeking authorization from a judge. Opposition party members appealed to the Constitutional Council to evaluate the laws’ constitutionality.

2. New Public-Private Partnerships Law

The National Assembly approved the new law on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), which sets forth a regime for unsolicited bids, introduces specific provisions relating to local content requirements, and foresees the creation of a PPP unit composed of financial and legal experts.

P. Sierra Leone

1. Presidents as Chancellors

President Bio decided to step down from being chancellor of state universities in Sierra Leone, the first president to do so. A responsibility entrusted to presidents around the African continent, Bio expressed an interest to hire chancellors with “distinguished and proven records of higher education leadership.”

2. Death Penalty Abolished

The Abolition of the Death Penalty Act, 2021, was passed in July 2021 and signed into law in October 2021.

Q. Togo

1. Telecommunications

In an effort to combat fraud, cybercrime, scams, trafficking, and terrorism, the Electronic Communications Regulatory Authority limited users to three sim cards per cellular network or provider as of November 2, 2021. Users who do not comply will have their cell phones deactivated by the regulatory agency. A new law passed in April is meant to complement this effort, putting order in the operators’ database and preparing the country for number interoperability.”

III. Central Africa

A. Cameroon

1. Anglophone Crisis Continues

Four years after the outset of widespread fighting, the crisis between Cameroon’s Francophone National Government and Anglophone separatists continues. Rape, sexual assault, and attacks against students and teachers are part of the conflict.

B. Central African Republic

1. Cease-Fire

President Touadera declared a cease-fire for the Central African Republic in October 2021. The goal of the unilateral cease-fire is to create an environment for dialogue that will bring peace to the country, finally implementing a February 2019 agreement signed between fourteen rebel groups and the government.

C. Chad

1. Military Transition

Days after winning a sixth presidential term in office, President Mahamat Idriss Déby died from injuries he sustained in leading soldiers against Libya-based Chadian rebels, the Front for Change and Concord in Chad. Instead of following procedures set by the constitution, the former president’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, seized power and created an interim parliament. The National Transition Council has set a timeline for parliamentary and presidential elections between June and September 2022.

D. Congo (Democratic Republic)

1. Indigenous People’s Law

Legislation to recognize and protect the rights of indigenous peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC )was passed by an overwhelming June 2021 vote in the National Assembly. The legislation is expected to strengthen the indigenous pygmy peoples’ contribution to the sustainable management of forests. Congo (Republic) was the first African country to pass a law on the rights on indigenous peoples in 2010.

E. Congo (Republic)

1. Nuclear Energy

Congo’s accessions to the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (Law 21-2021) and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (Law 22-2021) were authorized to implement the national policy on nuclear safety. Also, Law 20-2021 ratified an agreement with the Russian Federation to create and develop an atomic energy infrastructure in Congo, construct nuclear power reactors and nuclear research reactors, and manage radioactive waste.

2. Emissions Agreements (and Carbon Credits)

As of February 2021, Congo is implementing emission reduction programs in the Sangha and Likouala departments in line with the national strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The decrees approved the price per ton of carbon dioxide and a plan for splitting program profits; the program is expected to allow Congo to sell carbon credits.

F. Equatorial Guinea

1. Tax Changes

The 2021 State Budget Law included significant changes, such as reducing the previous year’s turnover of the Minimum Income Tax from 3 percent to 1.5 percent and making the registration of public maintenance contracts awarded in 2021 subject to a registration fee amounting to 0.5 percent of the value of the contract.

G. Gabon

1. Constitutional Amendments

In response to President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s 2018 stroke and long recovery, the Gabonese constitution now includes principles on the continuity of state institutions in the event of the president’s temporary unavailability and inability to hold elections. The amended constitution also contains new articles on immunity against prosecution and the presidential appointment of senators.

IV. East Africa

A. Burundi

1. Blockchain

Cardano, a blockchain platform, and the government of Burundi have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to transform the country digitally. The MoU is not binding, and Cardano has entered into similar agreements with other African countries.

B. Djibouti

1. Sale of Stake in State Telecom

As part of public sector reforms, the government of Djibouti announced plans to sell a “significant minority” stake in the country’s only telecommunications provider. The announcement came in July 2021.

C. Eritrea

1. Sanctions for Role in Ethiopia

The Biden Administration imposed sanctions on the Eritrean army and ruling party for its part in the human rights abuses in Tigray, allowed by Ethiopia’s government. The United States cited the “continued role” the Eritreans play in the war and the “numerous reports of looting, sexual assault, killing civilians, and blocking humanitarian aid” by Eritrean forces. Similarly, the European Union “de-committed” 100 billion Euros of development aid for Eritrea.

D. Ethiopia

1. Sixty-Year-Old Commercial Code Amended

In March 2021, Ethiopian lawmakers unanimously amended the country’s Commercial Code. The new code allows for legal recognition of holding companies and single-member companies, incorporates new clauses for the protection of minority shareholders on corporate transparency and disclosure, and introduces a number of insolvency procedures, including preventive restructuring proceedings and simplified reorganization proceedings. The amendment took three decades to materialize; the 1960 Code had difficult-to-implement provisions that proved to be susceptible to distinct interpretations.

E. Kenya

1. New Law of Succession

In November, President Kenyatta assented to the Law of Succession (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to clarify who can inherit a deceased’s estate by law. The law introduces the definition of spouse as a husband, wife, or wives recognized under the Marriage Act and the definition of dependents to include those the deceased had taken in and provided for the last two years of their life. Critics contend that this will leave second families and the girlfriends of married men vulnerable.

F. Rwanda

1. Medical Marijuana Legalized

Ministerial Order No 003/MoH/2021 of June 25, 2021, created a license and activity regime for investors interested in using, cultivating, processing, importing, or exporting cannabis for medical or research purposes.

G. Seychelles

1. Changes to Criminal Law

In October 2021, the National Assembly revised the Penal Code by removing the offence of criminal defamation and increasing the age of criminal responsibility from seven to ten years old. The legislature in November 2021 replaced the Computer Misuse Act 1998 with the Cybercrimes and Other Related Crimes Act, which creates statutory crimes for fraud, harassment, and leaking private videos, amongst other actions.

H. Somalia

1. Favorable Maritime Ruling

The International Court of Justice resolved a maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia, mostly in the latter’s favor. In the October 2021 judgment, the Court drew a border which more closely reflected Somalia’s claim that the line between the two countries should adhere to the angle of their land border before it reaches the Indian Ocean. Kenya rejected the ruling.

I. South Sudan

1. Hybrid Court Authorized

On January 29, 2021, the South Sudan Cabinet formally requested that the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs establish the African Union (AU) Hybrid Court of South Sudan, the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, and the Compensation and Reparation Authority. After two years’ delay, the request signifies a first step to initiate transitional justice processes under the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, the September 2018 deal to resolve violence that began in late 2013.

J. Sudan

1. Second Coup

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilian leaders, shut down internet access, and declared a state of emergency on October 25, 2021. Thousands of Sudanese protested the coup, seeking civilian rule, and members of the international community suspended foreign aid. After four weeks of house arrest, Prime Minister Hamdock and General al-Burhan reached an agreement for Hamdock’s release and sharing power going forward. Elections are to take place in July 2023.

K. Tanzania

1. First Female President

In March 2021, President John Magufuli died, promoting Samia Suluhu Hassan, who became Africa’s only female national leader. Suluhu Hassan demonstrated some breaks with her predecessor, getting vaccinated, leading a national vaccine effort, and lifting a ban preventing pregnant girls from attending school. The practice of suspending media outlets remains in use, however.

2. Mobile Money Tax Introduced, Then Reduced

In an effort to raise approximately $500 million in revenues, the Electronic and Postal Communication Act (CAP 306) was amended in June 2021 to impose a levy depending on the size of a mobile money transaction. Tanzanians protested almost immediately as the levy came into place on July 15, resulting in a thirty percent reduction of the levies in September 2021.

L. Uganda

1. Schools Reopening

In October 2021, President Museveni announced that schools would reopen in January 2022. Ugandan schools have been closed for over weeks, longer than anywhere else in the world. Many teachers left the profession and do not plan on returning, as most were not paid during the closure.

V. Southern Africa

A. Angola

1. Colonial Expropriation Law Updated

In January 2021, the Expropriation by Public Utility Law was passed, repealing rules for expropriation of land which dated to the colonial period. The new procedure will comply with the Angolan Constitution, which recognizes a right to private property and limits expropriation to instances (1) within the public interest, and (2) where fair and prompt compensation is paid.

B. Comoros

1. Undersea Cable

In August 2021, Meta announced that Comoros, the Seychelles, and Angola had been added as branches to an undersea cable project named 2Africa. The 45,000-kilometer cable will connect Asia, Europe, and Africa and will be the longest undersea cable in the world when completed in late 2023 or early 2024.

C. Botswana

1. Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Botswana acceded to the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on July 12, 2021. Botswana was the only country in Southern Africa that had not acceded to the Convention. The CRPD entered into force for Botswana on August 11, 2021, in accordance with Article 48(2) of the CRPD.

D. Lesotho

1. Communications Regulations Proposed, Withdrawn

In a repeat of the Internet Broadcasting Rules proposed in 2020, the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) proposed the Communications (Subscriber Identity Module and Mobile Device Registration) Regulations, 2021, and then withdrew them under public pressure. The Regulations would have required all people living in Lesotho to register their biometrics, all SIM card-using devices, and the card itself with the LCA, which would have kept the information in a central database and been able to hand over private communications to security agencies without consent or court permission.

E. Madagascar

1. Opacity in the Mining Sector

On New Year’s Eve 2020, 73.5 kilograms of Malagasy gold, a record amount, were seized at O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. In October 2021, activists questioned the Ministry of Mines management under the interim authority of the Prime Minister since August 2021 and requested a complete revision of the Mining Code to provide more transparency in the mining permitting process and additional protection to artisanal miners.

F. Malawi

1. Death Penalty Written In, Then Out of Appellate Ruling

In Khoviwa v. The Republic, Malawi’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional. The judgment built upon Kafantayeni and Others v. Attorney General, which had found a mandatory death sentence to be unconstitutional. But, after the opinion’s author retired, a “perfected” judgment was issued; the judgment no longer found the death penalty unconstitutional.

G. Mauritius

1. Anti-Money Laundering

The EU Financial Action Task Force removed Mauritius from its “grey list” and lauded the country’s significant progress in improving its anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing laws and regulations in October 2021. Mauritius also took steps to revise laws governing foreign investment, including foreign foundations’ ownership of real estate. The couple, who also have twin daughters born in similar circumstances, have pending cases that seek citizenship for their daughters and the non-Namibian spouse, respectively.

H. Mozambique

1. Competition Authority Active

The Competition Regulatory Authority (CRA) approved the Regulation on Notification Forms for Concentrations Between Undertakings. The regular operation of the CRA and the implementation of the procedures to be observed represent a major development for mergers, acquisitions of shareholdings, and joint venture agreements.

I. Namibia

1. Same-Sex Couple’s Son Granted Citizenship

The High Court granted citizenship to a two-year-old boy, the son of two married men, in November 2021. The ruling overturned an order of the interior ministry, which had denied the boy’s citizenship because he had been born via surrogacy in South Africa.

J. South Africa

1. Jacob Zuma Sentenced

In June 2021, the Constitutional Court ordered the imprisonment of former President Zuma for contempt of court after Zuma refused to appear before the Zondo Commission, an investigation of corruption during Zuma’s presidency. Zuma was released after two months on a medical parole but was ordered to return to serve the remainder of his fifteen-month sentence in December 2021.

K. Swaziland (Kingdom of Eswatini)

1. Internet Shutdown During Pro-Democracy Protests

On June 29, 2021, the Eswatini Communications Commission allegedly ordered network providers to turn off internet connectivity during pro-democracy protests. An application challenging the shutdown’s constitutionality was referred to a full bench of the High Court of Eswatini in July 2021. Authorities shut down the internet again amidst protests in October 2021, when the government banned protests entirely.

L. Zambia

1. Internet Shutdown During Election

On August 12, 2021, the Zambia Information Communication and Technology Authority (ZICTA) ordered mobile service providers to shut down the provision of internet services during the course of national elections. ZICTA’s enabling legislation, the Information and Communications Technology Act No.3 of 2010, does not confer ZICTA with any authority to deprive citizens’ access to internet. The High Court is yet to set down the matter for trial. At the time, opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema won the presidency.

M. Zimbabwe

1. Constitution Amended for Chief Justice

On the eve of Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s seventieth birthday, which would have meant his mandatory retirement, parliament amended the Constitution to give the president the power to extend the Chief Justice’s tenure of office. Then the Zimbabwean High Court declared President Mnangagwa’s extension of the Chief Justice’s tenure of office invalid. The Constitutional Court quashed the High Court judgment and Malaba remains Chief Justice.

VI. African Institutions

A. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

1. Commission of Inquiry in Tigray

A Commission of Inquiry officially commenced work on June 17, 2021, to investigate allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Ethiopia called the inquiry “misguided” as international scrutiny intensified over the conflict in Tigray.

B. African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

1. Accession to Article 34

After two withdrawals in 2020, Niger and Guinea Bissau ratified the Protocol Establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and simultaneously deposited a Declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol in October and November 2021, respectively. The declaration allows citizens of the two countries to access the African Court directly.

D. African Union

1. Somalia Assistance Beyond 2021

Following a closed-door meeting in Mogadishu on August 19, 2021, the parties signed an agreement on the likely configuration and proposed mandate for AU support to Somalia beyond December 2021. The African Union Mission in Somalia’s mandate comes to an end in 2021. The agreement will kick-start the transitional period.

2. African Medical Agency Established

On October 5, 2021, Cameroon deposited the fifteenth instrument of ratification of the Treaty for the Establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), bringing it into force. The AMA works to resolve the challenge of weak regulatory systems and the circulation of substandard and falsified medical products by coordinating the services of quality-control laboratories in national and regional regulatory authorities.

F. Economic Community of West African States

1. Nigeria and Twitter

On June 22, 2021, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice ordered the Nigerian government to refrain from imposing sanctions on any media house or harassing, intimidating, arresting, or prosecuting concerned Nigerians in their use of Twitter and social media platforms. The application challenged the Nigerian government’s indefinite suspension of Twitter and was announced two days after the social media platform deleted President Buhari’s tweet and suspended his account.

G. East African Community (EAC)

1. EAC Verification Mission to the DRC

In June 2021, a verification mission was expeditiously selected to consider the DRC’s February application to join the EAC. In November 2021, the mission report was recommended for consideration by the EAC heads of state. A challenge to the DRC’s admission is pending before the East African Court of Justice First Instance Division, which allowed the applicant to serve its case out of time in June 2021.

H. African Development Bank (AfDB)

1. Bank Adopts Policy to Strengthen Accountability

In September 2021, the AfDB board of directors approved a new policy framework for the renamed independent recourse mechanism (IRM) aimed at strengthening accountability and providing more effective recourse to people affected by bank operations. Several of the policy changes make public awareness and accessibility of the IRM incumbent on the bank.

I. African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

1. Fund for Export-Development in Africa (FEDA)

Five countries (four in 2021) have signed and Rwanda has ratified the Agreement for the Establishment of the Fund for Export-Development in Africa, a subsidiary of the Bank, which will catalyze foreign direct investment flows into Africa’s trade and export sectors. The Bank noted there was an annual equity funding gap of $110 billion in the areas of intra-African trade and export development. FEDA’s permanent headquarters will be in Kigali once a second member country ratifies the agreement.

J. UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

1. Liquidity and Sustainability Facility (LSF)

At COP26 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UNECA announced a finance mechanism that will allow borrowers with African government bonds to obtain repos, short-term loans using bonds as collateral. Called the LSF, the mechanism is designed to make African bonds less risky and more attractive, with potential savings of $11 billion to African governments over the next five years.

K. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

1. Transit Guarantee Scheme

COMESA was the last regional block with which Afreximbank formalized its African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme, wherein Afreximbank will serve as a continent-wide guarantor of transit bonds to free up business capital and ensure governments their taxes. Of the $1 billion program, approximately $200 million is earmarked for COMESA.

L. Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA)

1. Register Computerization

The computerization of the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register is being completed. This will facilitate access to financials and information of incorporated companies established in the seventeen member states.

M. Economic Community of Central African States

1. Electricity Framework

With the support of the African Development Bank Group, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) launched a project aimed at creating an institutional and regulatory framework for electricity in Central Africa. The development project will take place from 2022-2024. As of 2018, only 0.2 percent of power generated in the region was traded through bilateral agreements.

N. Southern African Development Community (SADC)

1. Cabo Delgado

Over the course of 2021, both Rwanda and SADC deployed troops to Mozambique to combat the long-running insurgency in Cabo Delgado, a northern province rich with natural resources. The conflict, ongoing since 2017, has so far cost over 3,000 lives and displaced 700,000 people. In November, the head of the SADC Mission in Mozambique, Professor Mpho Molomo, said that military intervention had been successful but that ultimate success would come from reconstruction.

O. UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals

1. Witness Tampering Convictions

In June 2021, Augustin Ngirabatware and three others were convicted of contempt for witness interference, primarily between 2015 and 2018, when Ngirabatware sought to overturn his genocide convictions on the basis of witness recantations. Ngirabatware was sentenced to two more years on top of his earlier year sentence, while the co-accused received time served.

Committee Editors (Holmes); Algeria (Ed.); Angola (Silva; Frazão; Sampaio); Benin (Mossi); Botswana (Wilson; Yalobi); Burkina Faso (Naginski; Ed.); Burundi (Wilson); Cameroon (Ed.); Cape Verde (Silva; Frazão; Sampaio; Ed.); CAR (Wilson); Chad (Ed.); Comoros (Ed.); DRC (Ed.); Congo (Silva; Frazão; Sampaio); Cote d’Ivoire (Ed.); Djibouti (Ed.); Equatorial Guinea (Silva; Frazão; Sampaio); Eritrea (Naginski; Favaro); Ethiopia (Bodley); Gabon (Silva; Frazão; Sampaio); Gambia (Ed.); Ghana (Naginski; Galvès); Guinea (Ed.); Guinea-Bissau (Ed.); Kenya (Ed.); Lesotho (Ed.); Liberia (Ed.); Madagascar (Naginski; Guégan); Malawi (Ed.); Mali (Ed.); Mauritania (Wilson); Mauritius (Naginski; Favaro); Morocco (Ed.); Mozambique (Silva; Frazão; Sampaio); Namibia (Ed.); Niger (Mossi; Tossa); Nigeria (Wilson; Yalobi); Rwanda (Ed.); São Tome and Principe (Ed.); Senegal (Bodley; Silva; Frazão; Sampaio); Seychelles (Ed.); Sierra Leone (Ed.; Wilson); Somalia (Ed.); South Africa (Majogo); South Sudan (Gaskins; Yalobi); Sudan (Ed.); Swaziland (Yalobi); Tanzania (Ed.); Togo (Wilson); Uganda (Combs); Western Sahara (Bodley); Zambia (Yalobi; Naginski; Favaro); Zimbabwe (Majogo); AfCHPR (Yalobi; Ed.); AfComm. (Gaskins; Ruhiyyah); AU (Ruhiyyah; Yalobi); ECOWAS (Mossi; Yalobi); EAC (Ruhiyyah); AfDB (Ruhiyyah); Afreximbank (Ed.); ECA (Ed.); SADC (Naginski); COMESA (Ed.); OHADA (Mossi; Naginski); ECCAS (Ed.); UNMICT (Ed.).