[Masterclass] African horizons: The intersections of rights and trade, investment, and development cooperation

23 - 24 September 2021
  • Starts at: 09:00h
  • Fee: €995,- €495,-(Students and NGO-workers)
  • Venue: Online (Subject to change)
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut
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The African Union (AU) is open for business. One recent development includes the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement on 1 January 2021, which builds on the existing regional economic communities (RECs) across Africa. This development in trade agreements presents an increasingly interesting prospect for both local and foreign investors wanting to do business in, with, and among African states.

At the same time, the AU and REC trade systems are also becoming ever more entwined with the AU’s human rights regime. The AU and REC courts and tribunals—such as the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court),East African Community (EAC) Court of Justice and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice—are becoming more assertive in terms of their jurisdiction over human rights and environmental matters. Therefore, not unlike in Europe, understanding the legal frameworks that apply within the AU related to the AfCFTA and human rights is increasingly important.

As with many other contexts, these laws need to be understood on two levels: the black letter laws, and the reality of implementation on the ground. In this Masterclass you will gain a deep understanding of the continental and regional legal frameworks related to trade areas, as well as human and environmental rights obligations. You can expect to engage in in-depth discussions on the practicalities of the interplay between trade, investment, development projects, and human and environmental rights requirements, as well as partake in workshops geared towards identifying and understanding potential risks within the AU and REC legal frameworks.

Misha Plagis is a postdoctoral researcher with the Advancing Public Interests in International and European Law research strand at the Asser Institute. Her research focuses on human rights law in Africa, regional and continental dispute resolution mechanisms, and African international law in general.


After the successful completion of this Masterclass, you will receive a professional certificate from the T.M.C. Asser Instituut.

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