Africa

African states are party to over 900 investment agreements, the vast majority of which have been signed with non-African countries.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Treaty, signed by Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, contains investment-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, but no disputes have been registered to date

In 2006, Members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) signed the SADC Finance and Investment Protocol that also includes the ISDS mechanism. Only two claims have been registered under these terms, both against Lesotho (but the governments in the region do not typically disclose such information). In 2016 amendments to the protocol were adopted. They eliminated ISDS provisions (only state-to-state arbitration remained) and narrowed the scope of investors’ rights.

In South Africa, shortly after settling a dispute with foreign mining companies over its new post-apartheid mining rules (Piero Foresti & Others case), the government began to withdraw from bilateral investment treaties (BIT) that include ISDS, arguing they belonged to a bygone era. It claimed BITs focus on the interests of investors from developed countries and do not address concerns of developing countries.

The South African government decided to develop a new model BIT and strengthen its domestic legislation in regard to the protection offered to foreign investors, such as compatibility of BIT-type protection with South African law. South Africa also sought to incorporate legitimate exceptions to investor protection where warranted by public interest considerations.

Provisions of South Africa’s new model BIT] have been incorporated into SADC’s. This model sets out provisions that mitigate the risks of earlier treaties and leaves open the option for state-to-state dispute settlement in addition to investor-state dispute settlement procedures.

In 2014, voices from the Namibian government cast doubts on the correlation between foreign direct investment and investment treaties including ISDS. They argued that ISDS represented a risk for developing countries, due to important legal fees and awards which can pose a significant budgetary threat. Further, statistics show most claimants come from developed countries.

About 20% of all ICSID arbitration disputes have involved African states.

Egypt has been the fourth most targeted state worldwide with 26 registered ISDS cases against it. It is currently facing a dispute initiated by French utility services giant Véolia over a law increasing the minimum wage.

In 2013, an arbitration court ordered Libya to pay US$935 million in a dispute over a land-leasing contract for a tourism project, making it one of the largest known awards to date.

Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been the most targeted in sub-Sahara Africa, both with four disputes all initiated by Belgian and US investors respectively.

(February 2017)

The Citizen | 12-Nov-2018
Tanzania is currently facing 13 cases on investment disputes in various international courts with $185.58 million (about Sh426 billion) demanded.
Reuters | 7-Nov-2018
Acacia threatened in October to use a bilateral investment treaty to force direct negotiations with Tanzania after Barrick failed to settle the row that has rumbled on for more than a year and a half.
Medias24 | 30-Oct-2018
Corral demande des dédommagements mais n’a pas encore précisé le montant.
Citizen Digital | 23-Oct-2018
A case filed by Cortec Mining Ltd and two others against the Republic of Kenya under the Kenya-UK BIT amounting to Ksh.200billion has been dismissed.
The East African | 8-Oct-2018
Tanzania has terminated its Bilateral Investment Agreement with the Netherlands that East African and Dutch civil society had said was biased against the country.
The Citizen | 27-Sep-2018
Tanzania is urged to review the 15 years Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the Kingdom of Netherlands expires in April 2019 before it reckons itself for another 10 years.
The East African | 18-Sep-2018
Tanzania has moved to ensure that investor disputes are resolved locally after Attorney General Adelardus Kilangi pushed through parliament the Public Private Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
Xinhua | 13-Sep-2018
Authorities in Tanzania defended their move to amend public-private partnership laws and withdraw from international arbitrations.
Africa Intelligence | 30-Aug-2018
Déjà confronté à une procédure devant le tribunal arbitral international Cirdi intenté par l’ex-propriétaire de la société, le royaume va devoir gérer une seconde saisine de la même instance, enclenchée par Carlyle.
Africa Intelligence | 30-Aug-2018
Already faced with an arbitration case at ICSID brought by the company’s former owner, Morocco now faces another started on August 22 by giant US asset management group Carlyle.

0 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | ... | 170