The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and the Netherlands’ Ministry for Trade and Development Cooperation have signed a financing agreement of six million euros.
It is to be disbursed over a three-year period.
In a statement by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday, the ALSF Director, Stephen Karangizi, thanked the Netherlands for its strong support over the years.
He said the funding is to support the ALSF’s work in providing legal and technical services to low-income countries to give them more impact in commercial dealings.
ALSF was created by AfDB in 2010 and the facility supports governments in negotiating complex commercial transactions.
It also provides 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.
Karingizi said the assistance would help ALSF to better respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and help countries to recover much faster to enhance sustainable inclusive development in Africa.
He noted that the Netherlands, since 2013, has cumulatively provided 15.5 million euros to support African countries to conclude equitable and sustainable contracts and achieve fair litigation outcomes to ensure maximum economic value of their resources.
According to him, the funds provided by the Netherlands enabled the ALSF to successfully assist many African governments to strengthen their legal expertise and negotiating capacities.
“This is particularly in the areas of natural resources and extractives, investment agreements and Public-Private Partnerships.
“The assistance also included large-scale infrastructure and other related complex commercial and business transactions
“The funds also assisted in the negotiations of sovereign debt transactions to prevent debt distress in the respective African states,” he said.
Karingizi noted that with the additional funding, the ALSF could continue to provide technical legal assistance to African countries to strengthen their legal expertise and negotiating capacity in matters pertaining to debt management and litigation.