Moufida Jaballah Srarfi elected chair of African Legal Support Facility

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Facility also grants USD 700,000 to Rwanda for energy and mining sectors

The new management board of the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF)  held its first talks on the key roles, actions and strategy of the facility on 23 and 24 November 2011 in Tunis.

In terms of specific projects, the board considered Rwanda which had approached the facility for capacity-building support and in the negotiations involving energy and mining concession agreements.  

The management board concluded its fifth ordinary meeting with the following decisions:

  • Election of Mrs. Moufida Jaballah Srarfi, chairperson of the African Legal Services Facility management board;
  • Approval of a USD 700,000  grant to the Rwandan government, to assist the country with capacity building for the energy and mining sectors;

During the two-day discussions, the board members also came up with a conclusive vision on the mission and strategic focal areas for the facility’s sustainable consolidation. The board encouraged the ALSF director, Stephen Karangizi, and his team to pursue efforts aimed at sensitizing African countries victims of vulture funds.

The management board is responsible for the general operations of the facility. It comprises five members serving in their personal capacities, not as representatives of countries or organizations.  

The new board members are the cooperation director of the Tunisian International Cooperation Ministry, Moufida Jaballah Srarfi (chairperson); AfDB governance, economic and financial reforms department (OSGE) director, Lobe Ndoumbe; former Portuguese cooperation minister, and currently special adviser and personal representative for Africa of the European Commission president, José Manuel Briosa Gala; former AfDB executive director and currently economic advisor to the president of the Republic of Congo, Serge Zoniaba, and a former AfDB senior legal officer, Aboubacar Fall.

Background, First Steps and Structure

The creation of the African Legal Services Facility was officially approved by the board of directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on April 30, 2008, to assist African countries on the resolution of creditor litigation (especially vulture funds litigation) to negotiate complex commercial transactions; and build legal capacity on the continent.

The facility was formally established in June 2009, and became operational in March 2010 with the secondment of an AfDB staff to launch its activities and operations. During the interim period following its operationalization, ALSF management prepared, approved and launched implementation of five operations. With a solid foundation in place the facility has become fully operational. The second semester of 2011 coincided with the appointment of a new governing council and a new management board, as well as with the assumption of functions of Stephen Karangizi, which represented the end of the interim and transitional period in respect to the launching of ALSF’s activities.

As of today, the ALSF agreement counts 46 signatories, comprising 42 countries and 4 international organizations namely: the African Development Bank, the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), the African Union and the West African Development Bank (BOAD).

The governing council is the supreme body of the ALSF and is vested with all its power. Composed of twelve members, among countries and organizations, the governing council is composed to date of 11 members, which are Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Djibouti, Morocco, Belgium, Brazil, the African Development Bank, the African Union, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.