Africa

African Legal Support Facility celebrates achievements as it begins new 14-year term

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African Legal Support Facility celebrates achievements as it begins new 14-year term

The interventions of the African Legal Support Facility have saved African countries around $ 4 billion over the past three years

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 23, 2021 / APO Group / –

African leaders on Wednesday praised the African Legal Support Facility (https://bit.ly/2W7g0aF) for helping governments avoid billions of dollars in losses from trade deals, and urged it to expand its support for the fight against illicit financial flows.

At a high-level conference to review the achievements of the Facility over the past decade, speakers, including experts and business leaders, expressed confidence that the African Legal Support Facility was well positioned to advance asset recovery and repatriation in Africa.

“The African Legal Support Facility has already established itself as what one might call a frontline fighter to secure Africa’s resources,” said Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa and current Chairman of the African Union High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.

“The Facility should help African countries negotiate fair and balanced contracts to eliminate opportunities for the illicit receipt, use or transfer of funds,” Mbeki said.

The two-day virtual conference, titled Smart Legal Capacity: A New Phase for the African Legal Support Facility, explored innovative ways to build African legal and technical capacities, particularly in the debt, extractive industries, energy and infrastructure.

The event also included panel discussions showcasing the Fund’s accomplishments over the past 13 years and the renewal of its mandate for another 14 years. Panelists included government law, finance, energy, mining and debt management specialists from Zimbabwe, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Niger and The Gambia.

In an opening message, the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi A. Adesina, noted that the launch of the Facility was timely. “The draining of Africa’s natural resources, weak regulations and limited capacity for review and negotiation have harmed many African countries, especially low-income countries, including transition and fragile states” , Adesina said.

Christopher Chalmers, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Facility and Executive Director of the African Development Bank for Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, also spoke, as did the Vice-President of the Bank. for regional development, integration and service delivery, Khaled Sherif.

In his opening remarks, Stephen Karangizi, Director and CEO of the African Legal Support Facility, expressed his gratitude to Bank President Adesina for his “excellent leadership of the Bank and his vital support to the African Legal Support Facility. »Since taking office. He also thanked the other financial partners of the Facility for their continued support, which constitutes a strong vote of confidence in the mandate of the Facility.

Since its inception in 2008, the African Legal Support Facility has provided expert legal advice and technical assistance to African countries in negotiating complex business transactions, including disputes with creditors. Over the years, the Facility has helped secure trade investment agreements worth more than $ 75 billion.

The interventions of the African Legal Support Facility have saved African countries around $ 4 billion over the past three years. Since 2018, she has trained more than 10,000 legal professionals and public officials in the negotiation of complex business transactions.

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