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The Management Board of the African Legal Support Facility (“ALSF” or “the Facility”) wound up a two-day meeting on November 27, 2014 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with the approval of the Facility’s Work Plan and Budget for 2015 and the adoption of substantive documents for transmission to the ALSF Governing Council.
“The two-day meeting in Abidjan was vital. We see it as an opportunity to exercise our oversight and advisory role over the Facility. In addition, we are able to assess the progress made and share perspectives on the future of the Facility.” Board members said.
The Management Board reviewed the progress made by the Facility in implementing the 2014 Work Plan, highlighting the key achievements, including: success in supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo in defending itself against a vulture fund; providing support to regional member countries (RMCs) in negotiating major deals in the extractive sector as well as infrastructure; building capacity for African expertise; increasing membership and resource mobilization.
On Day 1 of the meetings, the Board discussed and considered the Work Plan and Budget for 2015, which acknowledged the substantive growth of the Facility and its position in its field of expertise. According to the reports, the Facility has registered an exponential increase in demand for its services, particularly in advisory services and capacity building. The Board underscored the need for the Facility to maintain continued growth while at the same time ensuring that the quality of the services is maintained.
Day 2 was dedicated to the theme “Mid-Term Review of the ALSF’s Medium-Term Strategy” and provided a fruitful discussion about the Facility’s role to respond to continued demands for its services. Discussions covered an assessment of the last two years of the ALSF’s activities and provided a backdrop for the preparation of the mid-term review of the Facility’s Medium-Term Strategy based on the lessons learnt from the experience of the four-year cycle since the launch of its activities in 2010.
It should be recalled that over the years, the Facility has provided direct capacity needs in commercial legal issues to over 500 African experts from more than 45 of the African Development Bank’s regional member countries (RMCs) that has raised awareness on the need to enhance negotiations capacity. It has worked tremendously to help AfDB’s RMCs to defend themselves against vulture funds as well as assisting them negotiating major commercial agreements particularly in the extractive industry and infrastructure. It is reported that, to date, the Facility has approved over 45 projects and has supported more than 30 RMCs directly in its mandated area. All RMCs have benefitted from the capacity-building efforts of the Facility in negotiation of complex commercial agreements with external investors.
The Management Board (MB) is the organ responsible for the efficient and effective conduct of all operations of the ALSF. It comprises five members of high integrity and competence, appointed by the Governing Council. They act in their personal capacity and do not represent any country or organization. The Management Board currently comprises Eve Sinare, attorney at law, expert in project finance, banking corporate law and arbitration; Tim Turner, AfDB Group Chief Risk Officer; Ibrahim Sixtus Vusi, expert in financial and policy analysis; Pim De Keizer, expert in international and multilateral development policy and cooperation; and Seward Cooper, international and corporate lawyer currently serving as legal advisor to the President of Liberia.