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17 Manchester J. Int'l Econ. L. 81 (2020)
Re-Strategising the Position of International Economic Law within the Legal Education Curriculum in Africa

handle is hein.journals/mjiel17 and id is 89 raw text is: Manchester Journal of International Economic Law
Volume 17, Issue 1: 81-97, 2020
Re-Strategising the Position of International Economic Law
within the Legal Education Curriculum in Africa
Suzzie Onyeka Oyakhire*
ABSTRACT: The paper considers that re-strategising the position of international economic law
within the legal education curriculum in individual African countries is central to improving their
participation in the world trade system in the 21s century. The paper proceeds from the perspective
of a teacher of International Economic Law (IEL) in a Nigerian university. Using Nigeria as an
example, the paper links the poor participation of African countries in the world trade system to the
legal education curriculum which relegates IEL to the status of an optional course for many
undergraduate law students. It has been acknowledged for example that China's successes in its
international trade are linked to amongst other factors, its endeavour to build legal capacity to
handle World Trade Organization (WTO) issues and to make the study of the WTO a priority on its
international trade agenda. The paper argues that the absence of early training in IEL affects the
capacity of African countries to participate effectively in international trade negotiations and to
promote and protect their interests in technical aspects of the international trading system such as
disputes resolution and intellectual property rights. The paper thus recommends that internalising
capacity building through early legal education is central to improving participation and expertise
in the international trading system. The focus, however, is on the undergraduate curriculum.
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education
is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.
--Kofi Anan
The above statement aligns with the core argument of this paper that, specialist knowledge and
early exposure to the intricacies and nuances of International Economic Law (IEL) will improve
the participation of African countries in the global economy. The statement also resonates with
the developments in China which this paper draws from to show that developing capacity,
* Lecturer, Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Nigeria. Email:
suzansuzzie@yahoo.com; suzzie.oyakhire@uniben.edu. The author thanks Dr Ohio Omiunu whose insightful
suggestions helped develop this paper.


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