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Middle East – Africa


In October 2021, the Financial Action Task Force published its Report on South African Anti-money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Measures. The Report concluded that South Africa is partially compliant with 17 of the FATF technical Recommendations and totally non-compliant with three of them, putting into doubt the country’s ability to ensure safeguards in accordance with international standards. FATF places countries that are not technically compliant with their Recommendations under increased scrutiny and monitoring. These states are considered “Jurisdictions Under Increased Monitoring,” and the list of these states is referred to as the ‘greylist.’

On 16 November 2022, Canada announced further amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations in response to the Iranian regime’s “ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations and continued actions to destabilize peace and security”. These amendments list an additional six individuals and two entities under Schedule 1 of the Regulations and took effect on 10 November 2022.

At COP 27 in November 2022, South Africa launched its new Just Energy Transition Investment Plan and announced a five-year investment plan for the USD 8.5 billion financing package, which was announced as part of the country’s Just Energy Transition Partnership with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union at COP 26. The JET IP is aligned with the Cabinet-approved National Just Transition Framework and outlines the investments required to achieve the country’s decarbonization commitments, while promoting sustainable development, and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.

The Regulation on the Amendment of the Distance Sales Regulation was published in the Official Gazette on 23 August 2022. Save for the provision regarding the obligation of the card issuer on refunds of the amount transferred by the seller, service provider or intermediary service provider, which will enter into force on 1 January 2023, the amendments came into force on 1 October 2022. The Ministry of Trade has made significant amendments to the provisions regarding the scope of the Distance Sales Regulation, the obligation of prior notification, the right of withdrawal, and the obligations of the seller, service provider and consumer. With the amendments, the Distance Sales Regulation has been aligned with the amendments introduced to the Consumer Protection Law on 1 April 2022.

Effective 28 October 2022, Canada implemented additional sanctions against Iran due to its “ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations and continued actions to destabilize regional peace and security.” An additional four individuals and two entities have been listed under Schedule 1 of the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority of the Dubai International Financial Centre had started its foray into regulating the crypto sector by introducing investment tokens in September 2021. The spotlight is now on the DFSA as it looks to make sweeping changes to its regulatory regime concerning recognized crypto tokens as of 1 November 2022.

On 19 October 2022, Canada announced its third round of sanctions measures against the Iranian regime in response to its “ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations and continued actions to destabilize regional peace and security.” These measures add an additional six individuals and four entities to Schedule 1 of the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations.

The Competition Commission of South Africa has published revised, final guidelines on small merger notifications to more readily be able to identify small mergers and acquisitions involving digital markets. The small merger guidelines were revised due to an increased concern regarding potential anti-competitive acquisitions in the digital markets, which are potentially able to escape regulatory scrutiny. The guidelines will come into effect on 1 December 2022.

Current global geopolitical changes have opened up new prospects for Algeria. On the one hand, Algeria is being courted by Europe and redoubling its efforts to increase its energy offering to reap record profit amid high gas prices. On the other hand, additional gas revenues offer opportunities for Algeria to develop the local industry in order to reduce its dependence on imports and fossil energy in the long term, and create jobs and technological partnerships. But can Algeria effectively create a competitive and business-friendly climate to attract foreign investors?

The Constitutional Court in South Africa recently clarified the application of the doctrine of common purpose in the employment law context. The Constitutional Court answered the question as to whether an employer may apply the doctrine of common purpose to dismiss employees for misconduct where the employees were spectators to a violent assault during an unprotected strike. This decision has implications for employers who intend to dismiss employees for these reasons.