TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US-Africa Bilateral Agreements

Bilateral investment treaties (BIT)

A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is an agreement concluded between two States which defines the broad terms and conditions under which private and companies invest in each others territories. The United States has concluded a number of BITs with various countries, including African countries. The stated basic aims of this BIT program includes the following key objectives:

  • to protect investment abroad especially in countries where investor rights are not already protected through existing agreements
  • to encourage the adoption of market-oriented domestic policies which treat private investments in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory way
  • to support the development of international law standars that are consisten with these objectives

The United States has concluded BITs with various African countries, inter alia with Rwanda, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Congo DRC and Cameroon.


Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA)

Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) provide strategic frameworks and principles for dialogue on trade and investment issues between the United States and the other parties to the TIFA. These agreements generally go beyond the BIT model. TIFAs have been concluded with a number of African partner countries, inter alia with Angola, Ghana, Liberia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa, as well as various regional country groups, such as COMESA, EAC and WAEMU. Discussions and negotiations with the SACU group are ongoing.


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