Olivier Pognon, Director General of the ALSF, congratulated the outgoing members for their commitment and accessibility. He thanked them for their advice and support to the ALSF team in continuing its important work. The Governing Council appointed two new members to replace the outgoing members of the Executive Board. Since 2003, African Finance Ministers have called for the establishment of an institution to provide legal assistance to African states, particularly heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), to address the challenge of disputes with creditors (especially vulture funds) and the negotiation of complex trade agreements. The ALSF was therefore created to provide legal and technical capacity to African countries. AlsF`s unique mandate is to provide practical and “practical” support in the negotiation of contractual arrangements between governments and investors. The ALSF provides governments with the knowledge and resources to ensure balanced, fair and equitable outcomes and, ultimately, improve good governance, environmental and social responsibility. The ALSF has many non-financial technical partners, such as international organizations, research and study centers, universities, legal institutions or stakeholders in the fields of mining, transport, energy, water and natural resources. Abidjan, Côte d`Ivoire, 21 February 2021: The African Mutual Legal Assistance Facility (ALSF) and the Dutch Ministry of Trade and Development Cooperation have signed a financing agreement for a €6 million extension. EUR to be paid over a period of 3 years. With these additional resources, the ALSF can continue to provide technical legal assistance to African countries to strengthen their legal expertise and negotiating capacity on debt management and litigation issues; the management and contraction of natural resources and raw materials; and investment agreements and related commercial and commercial transactions. In 2021, the ALSF Board of Governors extended the ALSF`s mandate for a further 14 years, from 2023 to 2036. With the extension of its mandate, the ALSF will focus on deepening the impact of its support and improving the capacity of African countries to address current and emerging issues such as Covid-19, climate change, illicit financial flows and digitalization, and to strengthen the resilience of African countries to future crises.
Promoting environmental sustainability to support inclusive development: AlsF`s activities take into account environmental and social concerns to support socially sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Africa. In particular, the Facility shall encourage the integration of environmental considerations into negotiated contracts, including best practices and other measures, in order to improve the management of natural resources and the protection of the environment. Strengthen the ALSF`s commitment to countries in transition: The ALSF supports African states that have been identified by the African Development Bank as states in transition or fragile and are therefore eligible for the aid component of the African Development Fund through the Transition Facility. These states are more vulnerable to disputes between creditors and more at risk of making unfair investments and trade agreements. In 2021, the ALSF approved $3 million to support 14 operations in states in transition. These interventions will mainly provide legal advice and capacity building in Burundi, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, The Gambia and Zimbabwe. Introductory level (level 1) This level introduces a participant to the basics of transaction management, project financing, as well as the structure/specificity of each “key sector” studied, such as key industry players, typical financing structures, the interests of the different parties involved, etc. At this level, the focus is on (i) the rationale for private parties` involvement in the “key sector”, (ii) the different procurement processes required to select the private party, (iii) the various aspects of the transaction or litigation, (iv) the negotiation dynamics (or process dynamics) and the key points. In order to pass the introductory level, the participant must collect a certain number of credits.
Intermediate level (level 2) At the end of the introductory level, participants who have accumulated the required number of credits will move on to intermediate courses. Building on the knowledge gained through introductory courses, participants will attend training courses with a similar format and sometimes similar topics, but in depth and with a greater focus on African case studies to illustrate the learning material. This level will cover the interaction of commercial transactions, policy, regulatory and legal frameworks. To pass the intermediate level, the participant must obtain a certain number of credits and pass a multiple-choice exam. Completion of this stage ensures a participant the ability to lead a project/transaction in the key sector and manage the contribution of experts for the different aspects of the project/transaction. Advanced level (level 3) At the end of the intermediate level, participants are invited to choose between 3 different training profiles: legal, financial and political. The legal profile focuses on the legal aspects of a transaction/project, with a particular focus on risk allocation and bankability issues The financial profile focuses on the financial aspects of a transaction/project. The policy profile focuses on the development and implementation of government policies in the key sector In order to pass the advanced level, the participant must accumulate a certain number of credits and pass a personal exam (oral and written). The oral exam takes place in front of a panel of expert peers, who also decide whether the participant has passed the written exam.