563.01 Economic Growth and Development in Africa

This course explores the legal issues implicated in sub-Saharan Africa’s economic and political development from the perspective of host-country and foreign governments, businesses, and legal practitioners. Sub-Saharan Africa is considered to be the new frontier in the global economy, as many of the world’s fastest growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa. The economic performance of many sub-Saharan African countries is projected to continue to improve because of the continent’s changing economic, political, and social landscape. Consequently, U.S. businesses are starting to eye opportunities and to invest heavily in sub-Saharan Africa and U.S. policy toward Africa is also shifting from aiding Africa to investing more in Africa. As U.S. businesses, law firms, and even government agencies are showing an increased interest in sub-Saharan Africa, more private law firms have begun to counsel clients that are looking to expand their businesses or invest in Africa on the various opportunities and unique challenges of doing business in Africa.

We will examine key trends that either promote or hinder growth in the region and present challenges to economic, legal, and political development. Students will gain practical experience by, identifying and solving hypothetical legal and business issues confronted by those seeking to do business in Africa.

Students will be assessed on class participation, weekly response papers for the assigned reading, a 20-page paper identifying and analyzing a legal issue related to economic development, and two problem-based workshops.


Spring 2017

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
Practical exercises
Class participation
John Simpkins
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.563.01.Sp17
Email list: LAW.563.01.Sp17@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - LLM-ICL
Course Areas of Practice
Course Areas of Practice