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AfCFTA and lex mercatoria: reconceptualising international trade law in AfricaOnyejekwe, Chisa; Ekhator, Eghosa; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-09-08)This paper focuses on the Agreement for the Establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). It argues that commercial activities in precolonial Africa was akin to the phenomenon of lex mercatoria in medieval Europe. It discusses two major tenets embedded in the AfCFTA: the variable geometry principle and the dispute settlement mechanism. It argues that for structural and comparative purposes, these principles (variable geometry and dispute settlement) form the kernel of modern lex mercatoria in the African context. This paper concludes by advocating that the AfCFTA will enhance the principles of lex mercatoria by promoting African trade principles.