From 12 to 29 October 2020, Adv Leon Gerber, the programme director of the Extractive Industries Programmes in the Department of Public Law at the University of Pretoria was involved in the design and inaugural delivery of a unique and flexible online short course on the promotion and protection of investments in Africa. This course, which was developed in collaboration with Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc, was aimed at cultivating an understanding of contemporary legal and policy challenges for investments in Africa, including considerations of the investment climate post-Covid-19.
Three weeks of comprehensive discussions by leading experts and eminent speakers — including Ms Ndanga Kamau (Vice President, ICC International Court of Arbitration) and Justice David Unterhalter (Acting Appeal Court Judge, SA Supreme Court of Appeal) — provided course participants with a holistic overview concerning the international investment framework for intra-African and foreign direct investment on the continent.
The course further focused on the consideration of protection standards under investment treaties and agreements, as well as the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the future AfCFTA Investment Protocol. The lecture sessions culminated in a rigorous moot arbitration during which twelve participants, from across the African continent and abroad, resourcefully applied their theoretical knowledge to practice.