Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


This paper is based on the enormous amount of Chinese investments in Africa, with the objective of considering the legal aspects involved therein. Under international business law, commercial relations are usually ruled according to the law of the country hosting the investment.

This paper will examine the challenges presented by Chinese investments in Africa given that the systems of business law in Africa are generally out of date and enforcement mechanisms under Western rule of law standards are often far from the reality. This observation is accompanied by the fact that there is presently a wide movement towards legal integration in Africa, and that many African states are already involved in, or considering, legal integration. For several reasons, business law is the area of most interest in the phenomenon of legal integration in Africa. Business law is currently one of the least addressed areas of native African law. Concurrently, it is the area where up-to-date, user-friendly rules are most necessary. The need for effective legal rules and enforcement in African business law are due to its impact on foreign investors.

This paper will discuss what is “legal” in the context of trade relations between China and Africa. The paper will also analyze the legal aspects of business relationships between China and Africa and assess the state of legal cooperation among them, with particular focus on the possibility for future developments.

Cite as: 18 Annl. Survey Int'l. Comp. L. 243 (2012).