Donors review progress of the African Legal Support Facility

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From left to right: Christian Kampen (KfW), Thomas Dave (KfW), Kristin Teigland (Norway), Stephen Karangizi (ALSF), Jennifer Mullonney (Canada), Holger Grundel (United Kingdom), and Pyke Polderman (Netherlands).

At the second donor roundtable meeting of the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) held in Lusaka, Zambia, the donors unanimously agreed that the ALSF comparative advantage lies in its model and mandate that is targeted at creating an enabling private sector environment as well as addressing issues of fragility in commercial law matters, and as such multilateral development banks like the African Development Bank (AfDB) can capitalize on this to maximize their impact and benefit in Regional Member Countries (RMCs). 

Held within the framework of a harmonized and coherent approach adapted by the ALSF and its donors in 2015 to structure dialogue and mechanisms towards common strategic objectives, the meeting was convened to engage/deliberate on programmatic approaches and potential areas of synergy that would ultimately contribute to effecting change in Africa.

In light of the emerging global issues and development agendas, the meeting provided an opportunity for the ALSF and its donors to take stock of the progress made in the areas of commercial law issues focusing on litigation, advisor services and capacity building to RMCs.

Cognizant of ongoing discussions with the European Union in the context of the Pan African Programme to support the political agenda of the Joint Africa–EU Strategy, noteworthy is the agreement to be signed with the KfW (Germany) in the context of CONNEX. It was noted that these are practical examples of how the ALSF has become a partner of choice on strategic global matters.

In addition, donors deliberated on the future sustainability of the Facility through implementation of non-grant financial instruments, which many RMCs of the African Development Bank have the appetite for. Further discussions also hinted on the potential for mobilizing resources from RMC through contributions, based on the net value of ALSF services to the respective countries and Africa as a whole.

A total of 17 agreements have so far been concluded with respective donors including the AfDB. These all represent a total financial value of US $79,960,272, out of which US $43,198,960 has already been disbursed to ALSF projects.

The donor roundtable held on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings, in Lusaka, Zambia, is an important mechanism through which the ALSF engages its bilateral and multilateral funders, as a way of coordinating donor support, as well as coordinating dialogue in areas of common interest.

In attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Norway.