The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank Group (TDB Group) and the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) organized an inaugural training for public sector lawyers, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2021 to deliver capacity building to public sector lawyers in TDB Member States. The training aimed to equip public sector lawyers with knowledge and skills to advise governments more effectively in complex commercial transactions, especially in relation to sovereign debt and infrastructure development. As such, the training sought to enhance the capacity of Member States to absorb financing and take infrastructure projects to successful completion.
Admassu Tadesse, TDB President Emeritus and Group Managing Director said, “At TDB Group, we value much more than financial capital. We also value human capital a great deal. In the past few years, alongside other important reforms, we have ramped-up investment, not just in our own human resources, but also in those of the region we serve, through a variety of capacity building initiatives such as this inaugural public sector lawyers training. The TDB Academy was set-up a few years back as a vehicle via which we can implement those kinds of initiatives, with partners such as ALSF, so that we can work on equipping those who can help to move the needle to advance sustainable development in the region.”
David Bamlango, Deputy Group MD and General Counsel of TDB Group said: “We have always cared very much about the lawyers who work for our Member States. They play a critical role ensuring that incoming capital is responsibly negotiated and deployed, to the benefit of the communities and peoples they represent and serve, and of their environment. This specific TDB-ALSF training, the first of a series, was focused on topics which are fundamental to the lawyer’s operating environment, namely partnerships in the infrastructure sector as well as legal ethics and anti-bribery and corruption obligations of public sector lawyers with practical examples from various African countries.”
The five-day training organized under the auspices of the TDB Group Legal Department, TDB Academy and ALSF was held in Nairobi from the 14th to the18th of March 2022, with financial support from The World Bank Group and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The training attracted 64 participants from across 21 countries, with over 60 percent female representation.
Christine Anyango Agimba, Deputy Solicitor General of Kenya and ALSF Management Board Member remarked, “The large number of women who have been given the opportunity to attend this training is one of the ways to bridge the gender gap and one of the ways that TDB and ALSF are demonstrating their commitment to gender equality”.
By bringing together lawyers from different countries across Africa, the training provided opportunity for participants to exchange experiences and learn from each other, including on cross-cutting issues such as ethics, anti-bribery and corruption, and environmental sustainability.
Olivier Pognon, Director and CEO of the African Legal Support Facility said “At the ALSF we support African countries to negotiate and conclude fair and equitable commercial transactions in the energy, extractive, and infrastructure sectors, as well as to pursue sustainable debt management. The legal support we provide to African countries contributes to the successful infrastructure projects financed by DFIs such as TDB and ensures sound debt management policies to pay for the projects. By including training on legal ethics, anti-corruption, and environmental management, our two institutions highlight the relevance of good governance and environmental sustainability the operations we support.”
TDB Group and ALSF will continue to assess the capacity needs of lawyers in the region, develop and deliver customized trainings to respond to these needs appropriately, and build the desired expertise in handling legal issues and transformational commercial transactions.
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