By Stephen Karangizi
Director and CEO
African Legal Support Facility
The African Legal Support Facility is an International public organization dedicated to providing legal advice and technical assistance to African countries in matters pertaining to creditor litigation and complex commercial transactions. The ALSF was established “to provide technical legal assistance to African countries to strengthen their legal expertise and negotiating capacity” and to “strengthen legal capacity building process in African countries.” The ALSF since its inception in 2010 has funded and initiated several advisory services, vulture fund litigation, capacity building initiatives and knowledge management products. It has been noted over time that there is increasing need for enhancement of negotiation skills for complex commercial transactions and increased involvement of African lawyers in such negotiations.
The ALSF in collaboration with its Partners like the East African Law Society (EALS), Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association (SADCLA) and the International Training Centre in Africa for Francophone Lawyers (CIFAF) and other development partners have designed a pan African skills enhancement program for African lawyers called the ALSF Academy Project. The Project will contribute to their respective efforts in building capacity for their members and deepening their legal expertise and negotiating capacities, particularly in the areas of natural resources and extractives industries, investment agreements and public private partnerships including large scale infrastructure as well as other related complex commercial and business transactions.
The project will be divided into three components that is the ALSF Academy Program; the ALSF Academy Accreditation Process and the ALSF Academy Capacity Building Portal. The ALSF Academy will develop high quality and sustainable training programs in key sectors for Africa for government officials and lawyers; and develop knowledge management tools in those sectors. The training program will be divided into three the Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced stages and the programs will be a combination of the national and regional workshops and e-training courses.
The trainings will be accredited by the different national law societies and will contribute towards continuous legal education for the members of these law societies.
The ALSF Academy Capacity Building Portal will be an online tool used to disseminate knowledge to African government officials and lawyers on the key sectors and utilize online resources like model agreements, guides and sector specific publications to enhance their specialized knowledge.
The ALSF has made a commitment of USD 700,000 towards the first year of project with intention to continue supporting the project in the next years. The project will be rolled out in 2018 by the ALSF together with its partners.
We look forward to contributing to African lawyers’ continuous legal education in new and dynamic sectors through this program.