The African Legal Support Facility concludes a week of side events and bilateral meetings on the margins of the 2017 AfDB Annual Meetings

26/05/2017
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As the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Annual Meetings drew to a close, so, too, did the scheduled events and bilateral meetings held by the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF). Beginning on Sunday, 21 May with a meeting of its Management Board, the ALSF hosted African Ministers, technical experts, and Regional Member State (RMC) counterparts at a variety of events.

Following the official inauguration of AfDB proceedings on Monday, 22 May, the ALSF welcomed the constituents of its Governing Council to Ahmedabad by organizing an open discussion about the Facility, its mandate, and what best practices to implement in order to facilitate its work. Together, the attendees address a broad range of questions relevant to the ALSF’s future: How do we enhance the negotiating capacity of our RMCs? How do we increase ownership in the Facility? How will goals of the ALSF shift after 2022?

That same evening, on the invitation of the ALSF’s Director, Stephen Karangizi, dozens of stakeholders, partners, and guests attended a cocktail reception held at the Mahatma Mandir Convention Center.

The week’s events reached their apogee on Wednesday, May 24, at a spirited, high-level roundtable discussion which treated the question of land investment deals in the African region. Among the panelists were Hon. Rivo Rakotovao, the Malagasy Minister for Agriculture; Kaitlin Cordes, Head of Land and Agriculture at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Development; Charles Forrest, the Head of Operations in the Office of the General Counsel of IFAD; and Amir Shaikh, Chief Legal Counsel of the African Legal Support Facility. 

Throughout the week-long proceedings in Ahmedabad, the ALSF also held a number of bilateral talks, both with Ministerial counterparts of Regional Member Countries, and with partner international institutions. Staff members of the Facility met with representatives of Belgium, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, the Netherlands, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tunisia, and Zambia, in addition to international organizations such as KfW, a German government-owned development bank.