A complex, fragmented and heterogeneous network of domestic and international legal instruments promotes and protects foreign investment in Africa. While bilateral treaties seem to be increasingly unpopular, regionalism is clearly on the rise in the continent. The article examines how regional treaties have contributed to upgrade the current regulation of foreign investment. From this perspective, Africa can be seen as a normative laboratory. Regional treaties, most prominently those concluded within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), contain several important novelties meant to rebalance the rights and obligations of the various stakeholders as well as to safeguard host State policy space. The content of these treaties has been brought more in line with the evolution of international law, especially with regard to the protection of the environment, social and human rights, transparency, corruption, public scrutiny, economic development, and corporate responsibility.