The Management Board of the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) met on November 27, 2015 and discussed the work plan and budget for 2016. The Board also assessed key achievements of projects that seek to enhance legal capacity in Africa.
The Board approved the Facility’s work plan and budget for 2016, which represents a 22% increase from 2015. They also discussed the important role of the Facility in enabling governments to negotiate fairer commercial deals. Members of the Board encouraged the ALSF to continue its efforts to establish partnerships that will help the Facility deliver its mandate.
“The Facility is an innovation as it was exclusively established to provide legal support to governments with the aim of creating a level playing field when negotiating with private and international partners and investors. Its overarching objective is to ensure that the contracts governments conclude catalyse improvements in the economic and social development of countries”, explained the ALSF Director, Stephen Karangizi.
“A strengthened legal sector is critical because it plays a complimentary role to an enabling operating environment that further facilitates the ease of doing business. Such an environment is more likely to attract investments on the continent,” he emphasised.
To date, the ALSF in partnership with 35 African governments, is implementing 52 projects in Regional Member Countries. The Facility has already completed 18 projects. It has 30 projects in the pipeline which are currently under various stages of assessment. The projects are in the areas of negotiations of agreements in infrastructure developments (extractives sector, the energy sector); investment agreements and related commercial and business transactions; as well as debt management and litigation.
Amir Shaikh, the Head of Projects explained that 40% of the projects being managed by the Facility are related to infrastructure while 22% involve sovereign debt issuances. About 30% are related to extractives.
He noted the ALSF was in a unique position to address the challenges that African governments may face as they embarked on executing measures to address their individual development challenges and priorities.
Shaikh furthermore highlighted an area of growing ALSF focus, stating the Facility is ready to provide technical support to governments, enabling them to address legal structures that will help them to unlock investments opportunities associated with pension and sovereign wealth funds.
The Management Board is responsible for the efficient and effective running of all of ALSF’s operations. It comprises five members of high integrity and competence, who act in their individual capacity, and are appointed by the Governing Council. The five members are Vusi Sixtus Ibrahim (Cameroon) Seward Cooper (Liberia), Eve Sinare (Tanzania), Pim de Keizer (Netherlands) and Amadou Dieng (Senegal).