Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 27th October 2020 - The Management Board of the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) met via videoconference to discuss key institutional matters and to review the performance of ALSF’s operations in 2020. The Board discussed the progress made over the past year in the implementation of ALSF’s projects and activities, as well as the Work Plan and Budget for 2021.
In his opening remarks, the ALSF Board Chairperson, Gaston Kenfack, took the opportunity to congratulate and welcome the two new Board members, Christine Anyango Agimba and Ambassador Arve Ofstad. The ALSF Director, Stephen Karangizi also noted that the new members would complement the work of the Management Board with their rich and extensive experience, and therefore reinforce the ALSF to deliver on its mandate.
Ms Chrisitine Agimba is a Kenyan national and currently the Deputy Solicitor General within the State Law Office and Department of Justice (Office of the Attorney General). She has more than 25 years’ experience in public and private legal practice. Her experience has included advising on a wide range of legal, governance, and policy measures, as well as managing public sector reform programs in the judicial and financial sectors in Kenya. She was also a project manager and legal sector specialist at the Ministry of Finance and worked as a legal officer in the Trade and Development Bank (formerly PTA Bank). She began her career as a partner at Hamilton, Harrison and Mathew Advocates, a law firm based in Nairobi.
Ambassador Arve Ofstad is a Norwegian national and economist with extensive experience in development, research and aid policy issues. Ambassador Ofstad previously served as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Zambia, and as Norway’s Deputy Head of Mission in Khartoum, Sudan. Ambassador Ofstad has also held several senior positions in the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), including as a Policy Director, State and Peace Building and Development Economics, Head of Unit for Development Strategies - Poverty Reduction and Peace Building, and as Senior Advisor, Unit of Development Analysis.
The Board reviewed and discussed various institutional matters and activities, policies and procedures, as well as the progress made in the implementation of ALSF’s operations. The Board took note of the strong performance of the ALSF team so far in 2020 and commended the ALSF for continuing to conduct projects in a professional and efficient manner despite the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, the Facility has produced a series of articles entitled “ALSF Covid-19 Response Series” to inform and support African governments and ALSF’s partners in managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ALSF Board also took note of the Governing Council’s approval of the recommendation to extend the life of the Facility, and of the decision to extend the ALSF Treaty for an initial 10-year period, which could then lead to the establishment of a permanent institution. The Board also reviewed the financial statements of the Facility and gave direction on how to enhance implementation of the ALSF projects as they continue to increase in number and spread across the continent. The Management Board noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the ALSF is well on the way to meet its targets for project approvals for 2020, while the number of requests for assistance received from African governments remain stable. The projects continued to show good results during the year, contributing significantly to the sustainable development of its Regional Member Countries (RMCs).
The members also provided further strategic guidance on key institutional and operational matters that will ensure that the Facility responds adequately and efficiently to the needs of the Regional Member Countries in the years ahead.
In their closing remarks, the Board members encouraged the ALSF management to continue to be innovative and strategic, to focus on delivering impact, and adapt to new opportunities in the rapidly changing environments of the Regional Member Countries.
The ALSF’s Management Board is responsible for the efficient and effective conduct of all operations of the Facility, as well as the approval of its Budget and appointment of its Director. It comprises five members of high integrity and competence, who act in their individual capacity, and are appointed by the Governing Council for a three-year, non-renewable term. The current members of the Board include the Chairperson Gaston Kenfack (Cameroon), Eva Jhala (Zambia), Nimatou Feliho (Benin), Christine Anyango Agimba (Kenya) and Ambassador Arve Ofstad (Norway).
About the ALSF
Created by the African Development Bank in 2010, the ALSF supports governments in negotiating complex commercial transactions, providing legal and technical assistance in public-private partnership projects across the oil and gas, mining and energy sectors, and covering sovereign debt issues and creditor litigation.
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