The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF or Facility) is an international organisation hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Facility is dedicated to providing legal advice and technical assistance to African countries in the structuring and negotiation of complex commercial transactions, creditor litigation and other related sovereign transactions. The ALSF also develops and proposes innovative tools for capacity building and knowledge management. (www.alsf.academy). Membership to the ALSF is open to all sovereign nations and international organizations or institutions.
The ALSF was established in 2008, principally in response to challenges facing by African countries, especially Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), fragile states, and post-conflict countries, in dealing with aggressive and intransigent creditors or vulture funds. The need for the Facility was originally proposed by African finance ministers in their board meeting at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in June 2003. Moreover, the Group of Eight (G8) recognized the lawsuits instituted by vulture funds against Regional Member Countries (RMCs) as a threat to the debt relief arrangement agreed in Gleneagles in 2005. At the same time, the ECA supported the calls of its countries’ finance ministers for the rapid establishment of a technical legal assistance facility to help countries deal with issues related to creditor litigation, in particular, to pre-empt and avoid lawsuits, and reform national debt relief laws. In 2008, the ALSF was established by treaty, which entered into force on 22 December, 2008, as an independent and public international institution to support its regional member countries (“RMCs”) in addressing sovereign debt issues and negotiating effective extractives and other complex commercial contracts and to develop their legal capacity in these matters. The inclusion of advisory and capacity building assistance for other complex commercial transactions relating to extractives and natural resources, infrastructure, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), and related commercial agreements was deemed complementary to the sovereign debt mandate, to enable countries derive maximum benefits from such contracts and to avoid entering into contracts that lead to unsustainable debt.
The goal of the Facility is to remove asymmetric technical capacities and level the field of legal expertise among parties to litigation and negotiations. The Facility provides legal advice and capacity building to African countries on vulture fund litigation, complex commercial negotiations and related sovereign transactions. Through all of its activities the Facility aims to build additional legal capacity on the African continent.
The mission of the ALSF is to provide legal advice and capacity building to African countries on complex commercial negotiations and related sovereign transactions and vulture fund litigation.
The ALSF is founded on the values of respect for the rule of law, equity, transparency and good governance. These values are grounded on its African ‘character’ as the ALSF is partner of all African countries and respects the diversity of the continent. ALSF’s team is committed to uphold ethics, accountability excellence, professionalism, probity and a team working spirit.