A professor of International Economic Law at the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Ilorin, Professor Joshua Olukayode Olatoke (SAN), has lamented the unfortunate situation of African states in the global economic trade law and politics.
Professor Olatoke, while delivering the 247th Inaugural Lecture titled “Africa in the Global Economic Trade Law Conundrum” at the University of Ilorin Auditorium, expressed disappointment in the leaders, and blamed them for the treatment given to Africans despite having much more to offer.
“Thus, the question I have grappled with majorly in my academic sojourn is, is Africa designed to be whipped? The alternative question is, is Africa a whipping child in the global economic trade matrix?”, he stated.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria explained that Africa would lose its identity and political economy if its massive economic power was misused, affirming that Africa’s most developed countries frequently use veto power to have their way.
“Right from developing meant in the global trade gimmicks and policy can never be over-emphasized. Development can be measured in terms of culture, wealth, education, healthcare, and opportunity and can be commonly transferred in terms of human development, a standard measure based on three factors: Life expectancy, Literary and education, and Standard of living.”
He concluded that it is only the combination of law and effective use of diplomacy that can save African states from being the whipping child of the West and also called for the unification of African member states to check and lobby against the introduction of any new issue that will be detrimental to African trade and development.
“The right to development, stemming from the sovereign rights of the then-developing world and newly decolonized nations to determine their developmental pathways and to exert their autonomy in global affairs has become increasingly recognized among the comity of nations. To date, the right to development has become one of the prominent third-generational rights in international human rights law.”