THE African Legal Support Facility, an international organisation hosted by the African Development Bank, has completed a two-day workshop for African lawyers and government negotiators, aimed at strengthening their capacity to negotiate complex deals involving investments in key economic sectors.
The workshop, co-organised with the African Business Law Firms Association (ABFLA) under the African Legal Support Facility Academy, was held in Accra, Ghana, from 14-15 February, 2019. Forty government negotiators and 30 lawyers in private practice representing public and private organisations across Africa, attended the workshop.
In his opening remarks, Stephen Karangizi, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the African Legal Support Facility said the topics covered were ‘carefully chosen to fill identified knowledge gaps between lawyers’ academic training and legal practice.’
Participants benefited from a wide array of rich legal contributions and content on the techniques needed to successfully negotiate sustainable and equitable investment agreements for projects in the energy, mining, oil and gas sectors. The negotiation and legal intricacies of infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships were also covered. Participants and government officials attending the workshop commended the initiative, stating that the skills acquired were relevant and vital for the effective and efficient discharge of their professional duties and official responsibilities.
Karangizi observed that the academy’s curriculum was co-developed by the African Legal Support Facility, national and regional bar associations, including the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association (SADCLA), the East African Law Society (EALS) and the International Training Centre in Africa for Francophone Lawyers (CIFAF) based in Cotonou, Benin. The academy’s capacity builing initiative is also accessible virtually via a portal with learning tools and documentation sourced from the ALSF library.
The Accra workshop was also an opportunity for the ALSF to call on Regional Member Countries to contribute to the financial resources of the ALSF – all in a bid to stregthen its capacity to support African countries with their creditor litigation and negotiations for complex commercial transactions.
Similar ALSF Academy sessions were held in Kigali, Rwanda, and Cotonou, Benin, in October and November 2018.