Adapting AfCFTA’s Security Exceptions to Evolving International Developments

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Abdou Gafar Alade Karimou
Published On: 25/05/2023
Volume: 9
Issue: 3
First Page: 52
Last Page: 92
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Abdou Gafar Alade Karimou, Adapting AfCFTA’s Security Exceptions to Evolving International Developments, Volume 9 Issue 3, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 52-92, Published on 25/05/2023, Available at


The first paragraph of Article 28 of the Agreement setting up the AfCFTA says that every five years, the States Parties can change the Agreement to keep it up with changes in the region and the world. This is to make sure that, for example, the Agreement is still effective. Currently, the effectiveness of the multilateral rules-based trading system (the World Trade Organization (WTO system) is at stake due to the way and manner in which members of the trading system summon up the security exceptions. This international development regarding the use of the exception is facilitated by the current state of the multilateral texts of the security exceptions. The worrying issue is that, as it stands, AfCFTA’s security exceptions are a verbatim of the ‘debatable’ multilateral texts. This begs the question as to whether the unresolved issues regarding the security exceptions that are causing havoc within the international trading environment could be transported from the ‘multilateral rules-based trading system’ – ‘international stage’ to the ‘regional Free Trade Area’ – ‘African stage.’

This paper concludes that the use of the exceptions is causing an international uproar and it is imperative for AfCFTA’s state parties to anticipate problems that can jeopardize the ‘African dream’ by addressing critical issues like the question of justiciability, the absence of a chapeau laying down an obligation of good faith, or the disregard of novel security concerns.

Keywords: AfCFTA, justiciablity, regional free trade area, security exceptions, state parties

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