South Africa, Africa and International Investment Agreements
The CCR and DTI hosted a policy advisory group seminar on “South Africa, Africa, and International Investment Agreements”. The meeting brought together about 30 policymakers, scholars, and civil society actors from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, to assess and broaden the debate on the implications of international investment agreements (IIAs) – including bilateral investment treaties (BITs) – for development efforts in Africa. The meeting also assessed the principles that underpin these agreements, which were conceived in the immediate postcolonial era during the Cold War, and are increasingly seen by critics as being at odds with emerging economic challenges confronting developing countries. Particular attention was paid to six key areas: the global context and changing perspectives on international investment agreements; the benefits that can accrue from foreign direct investment (FDI) and the relationship between investment agreements and foreign direct investment flows; the structure and impact of investment treaties; the core provisions of international investment agreements; the international arbitration system that provides for investor claims against states; and the implications of all this for Africa’s structural transformation and economic development.