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Feb 25, 2017

Even though China is one of Africa's largest investors, ranked seventh overall according to Ernst & Young, there are surprisingly few rules that govern private-sector investments between these two regions. These rules are established through bilateral investment treaties, or BITs, where two countries agree upon a set of standards for corporate investment.

While these BITs are popular in Europe and the U.S., the situation is quite different in Africa say experts. It's not that they don't have these kinds of investment treaties with the Chinese and other countries, rather, it's that no one seems to really care very much to either use or enforce them.

Lorenzo Cotula is a principal researcher at the London-based Institute of International Environment and Development and recently co-authored a detailed report on China-Africa investment treaties to explore whether they actually work. Lorenzo joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the importance of these investment agreements even as similar international treaties are facing unprecedented challenges in this new era when Donald Trump is re-shaping global geopolitics.

Join the discussion. Do you think these rules are useful, particularly in this new era of Donald Trump where the old systems are being challenged in unprecedented ways? Tell us what you think:


Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque