The tide of populism sweeping the global political landscape is starting to filter through to some of the local policies and decisions made in various individual countries, including African jurisdictions, sometimes challenging established economic orthodoxies and even overlooking accepted legal principles. In certain cases, especially where there may be tensions between communities and business interests over red-flag issues such as land rights, the courts have tended to come down on the side of communities, defending their situation rather than enforcing the law. This nascent trend may understandably evoke concern among investors in jurisdictions where such decisions have been handed down, as legal and regulatory certainty and predictability is a primary consideration for investors universally. The term “populism” loosely refers to political approaches that deliberately appeal to the people’ according to Wikipedia, and emerged in the late 19th century in Europe and Russia. Whether...

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