South Africa and African countries generally have not taken to using the DSU to enforce their rights in the WTO. The constraints faced by African countries include human resource and financial constraints, which often lead to an inability to defend their interests, and a fear of backlash from the world’s larger trading powers, including advanced developing countries. These constraints are particularly notable in the multilateral trading system, which is becoming more complex. In view of this, no African country has ever requested consultations against another WTO Member. This said there are valuable lessons to be learned from the successes of other developing countries that actively use WTO dispute settlement as part of their trade policy.
The South African Foreign Policy Institute and ‘HiltonLambert – Practitioners of Trade Law’ collaborated in compiling a policy brief to explore lessons from other developing countries for African participation in WTO Dispute Settlement.
A copy of the policy brief is available here.