Echoes from the field

Akere Muna appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the African Legal Support Facility

With the choice of Akere Muna as Goodwill Ambassador, a new era begins for the ALSF. This marks a new chapter in its commitment to build sustainable legal capacity on the African continent.

A new era is dawning for the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF), with the selection of Akere Muna, an eminent lawyer and international legal consultant, as Goodwill Ambassador. He was appointed by the Governing Council of the ALSF for a term of three years. A first time in the history of the young institution.

As a renowned lawyer, a fervent defender of transparency and committed to the fight against corruption, in joining the ALSF Mr Muna will now embody Africa’s endeavours to establish economic justice, promote equity in international contracts, and equip African governments with the legal skills required in complex negotiations environments.

Mr. Muna will not only actively promote the organisation in carrying out his duties, but also assist the ALSF in mobilising resources to make its services accessible to its member countries. With his vast network and expertise, he is expected to inspire other leading figures on the continent to firmly engage alongside the ALSF in its pan-African ambitions.

The ALSF was created in 2008 with the support of the African Development Bank, to support African countries in negotiating complex debt and natural resources and investment transactions. The organisation plays a crucial role in levelling the legal playing field for African nations and their counterparties. The organisation stands as a pioneer in the legal arsenal of African states and is uniquely positioned to restore a fairness in the exploitation of the continent's natural resources and to assist African countries to effectively manage their sovereign debt.

Akere Muna, Barrister-at-law, highly regarded lawyer

Barrister-at-law, high level lawyer, Akere Muna has a well-established reputation and is a reputed activist lawyer. His past professional experiences include many major African institutions and causes. He is a former President of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), the Cameroon Bar Association, and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union. Mr. Muna is the founder of Transparency International (TI) Cameroon and a former Vice-Chair of Transparency International’s global Board. He is a former member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Advisory Group for Sub-Saharan Africa and the first ever Commissioner of the Sanctions Commission of the African Development Bank (AfDB). As international legal consultant, he has advised many African countries on governance and anti-corruption, including the governments of Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Muna’s participation in key initiatives such as the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) underline his commitment to good governance. His expertise also extends to fighting against illicit financial flows (IFFs) as shown by his active involvement in the adoption by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in February 2020 of the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR), which serves as a continental policy and advocacy instrument aimed at identifying and repatriating financial resources lost through illicit capital flight and flows, including assets from Africa's natural resources, to support the continent's development agenda.

With this appointment, the ALSF firmly believes that Muna's expertise, network and voice will amplify its action and visibility on the various member countries and on the international stage.

Commenting on the appointment by the Governing Council, the Chairperson, Mr. Stephane Mousset, affirmed that “With Muna by our side, we strengthen our front in terms of our ability to generate goodwill and supportin favour of the Facility in its efforts to accomplish its unique mandate. His vision, network and wealth of experience will not only reinforce the ALSF’s management but also benefit our beneficiaries and partners through the institutionalization of a constructive dialogue.

For his part, Mr Muna embraced the challenge, noting: “I understand the scale of the task that awaits me, and I am ready to tackle it with all the necessary commitment and rigour. Our unity and solidarity will allow us to succeed in making a significant difference in the protection of Africa's legal interests”.

More than 300 projects supported, 12,500 actors trained

Though recently established, the ALSF has already made its mark on the African landscape, receiving multiple requests from African countries for legal and technical advice and capacity building in key sectors including natural resources, sovereign finance, infrastructure Private Public Partnerships (PPPs), and energy. To date the Facility has approved more than USD 120 million in funding for more than 300 projects across 50 African countries. These initiatives cover critical areas such as creditor disputes, debt restructuring and complex contract negotiation, and have resulted in savings and public revenues estimated at around USD 15 billion. The ALSF’s intervention have also facilitated private investments of around USD 20 billion, while providing relevant training for more than 12,500 African legal professionals and government officials.

Under its current ambitious Medium-Term Strategy 2023-2027, the ALSF is expanding its activities to deepen the impact of its interventions. In 2023 alone, the ALSF accounted for 50 approvals with funding of about USD 16.1 million, encompassing advisory services and capacity building projects. These actions led to significant government savings, amounting to USD 14.8 billion, and the training of more than 1,200 African lawyers and government officials.

After an initial fourteen (14)-year term, the decision of the ALSF Governing Council to extend the term of the organisation for an additional fourteen (14) years up to 2036 reflects the commitment to intensify the ALSF support and broaden its impact on the continent.