Raising standards in Africa’s legal profession: ALSF Academy launched at East African Law Society Annual Conference

28/11/2017
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Raising standards in Africa’s legal profession: ALSF Academy launched at East African Law Society Annual Conference

The last decade has witnessed two converging trends which promise to transform capacity building in the legal discipline: The growing availability of broadband connections in Africa, and the increasing recognition of remote-learning as an effective means of knowledge-sharing. With these developments in mind, the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) has leveraged its vast experience in capacity building projects to design a robust e-learning platform which will offer a three-level certification program to aspiring African lawyers through the ALSF Academy.

The ALSF Academy is being developed in collaboration with the East African Law Society, the Southern Africa Development Community Law Association (SADC-LA), and the International Training Centre in Africa for Francophone Lawyers (CIFAF). The Academy was launched by the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.

“The ALSF, in collaboration with its partners, has designed a pan-African skills-enhancement program for African lawyers, called the ALSF Academy Project,” explained ALSF Director Stephen Karangizi, during his opening remarks at the 2017 East African Law Society Annual Conference, held in Entebbe, Uganda from 15-18 November.

“The ALSF Academy will develop high quality and sustainable training programs in key sectors for African government officials and lawyers; and will develop knowledge management tools in those sectors,” Karangizi said.

Established to “strengthen the legal expertise and negotiating capacities” of African governments, ASLF has launched dozens of capacity building projects across the region since 2010. However, in implementing these projects, the Facility’s staff have identified an emerging need to harness new technologies in order to efficiently build, retain, and disseminate knowledge to beneficiaries and partners. On the basis of these needs, among others, the ALSF has sought to dramatically reassess its approach to capacity building.

The ALSF Academy will include an accreditation process that will enable users upgrade their skills from basic to advanced, as proof of having acquired the necessary skills.

As with other “open educational resources” ALSF Academy will be freely-accessible via the Internet, and will include a three-stage accreditation process which will endorse and attest to the competencies of successful users. In addition to the courses themselves—which will be designed in collaboration with partner institutions across the continent—the Academy will offer a ‘Capacity Building Portal’ replete with learning tools and documentation sourced from the ALSF’s library.

ALSF Academy will be available via a web platform and in-class trainings to be launched at the end of 2018.

For more information, see http://www.aflsf.org.