By Josephine Akaerr, Special Correspondent
The governing board of the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) has met to review its progress over the past year, noting its strong performance in providing solutions to its clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board approved the Facility’s draft annual report and 2020 financial statements, endorsing the extension of the Facility’s mandate, and noting that its services remained relevant and in high demand.
The board commended ALSF’s strong 2020 performance, particularly its response to clients during the C-OVID-19 pandemic, including servicing of debt and contract renegotiations. Director and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Karangizi said the ALSF would continue to support African countries to respond to the pandemic through its emergency support facilities and online capacity-building resources, among others.
Since its establishment in 2008, the ALSF has supported more than 290 projects in 45 countries.
The ALSF received approved 39 projects in the sovereign debt, extractives, and power sectors. These included providing legal and technical support to Somalia in negotiations leading to the cancellation of about 58 per cent of the country’s debt owed to commercial creditors.
The Facility also supported green energy projects such as Eswatini’s first competitive procurement process to develop a 40 MW solar PV facility, and Gabon’s development of three hydropower plants with a total generation capacity of about 125 MW. The Board commended the ALSF’s timely support in helping African countries to deal with the pandemic’s challenges.
Kenfack Gaston, expressed the governing body’s commitment to supporting the management and staff of the ALSF to ensure that it continues to deliver results and achieve its objectives.
Created by the African Development Bank in 2008, the ALSF provides legal and technical assistance to support African governments in negotiating complex commercial transactions in the oil and gas, mining, and energy sectors, as well as in public-private partnership projects and addressing sovereign debt and creditor litigation issues.