The African Legal Support Facility, which is an initiative created to help governments avert losses from business deals, saved African countries $4bn in the last three years.
The African Development Bank said this in a statement titled ‘African Legal Support Facility celebrates achievements as it begins new 14-year mandate.’
The statement read, “African leaders on Wednesday lauded the African Legal Support Facility for helping governments avert billions of dollars in losses from business deals, and urged it to extend support to tackling illicit financial flows.”
It added, “At a high-level conference to review the facility’s achievements over the last decade, speakers, including experts and business leaders, expressed confidence that the African Legal Support Facility was well-placed to advance Africa’s asset recovery and repatriation.”
A former President of South Africa and current chair of the African Union’s high-level panel on illicit financial flows from Africa, Thabo Mbeki, said, “The African Legal Support Facility has already established its place as what might be called a front-line fighter to secure for Africa its resources. The Facility must assist African countries to negotiate fair and balanced contracts to eliminate opportunities for illicit receipt, use, or transfer of funds.”
AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, underscored the need for the facility.
“The bleeding of Africa’s natural resources, weak regulations and limited capacity for review and negotiations have shortchanged many African countries, especially low-income countries, including transition and fragile states,” he said.
The statement added that since its establishment in 2008, the African Legal Support Facility had provided expert legal advice and technical assistance to African countries in negotiating complex commercial transactions, including creditor litigation.