Nairobi, Kenya, 14th – 29th September 2020: The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) in collaboration with the African Natural Resources Centre (ECNR) - AfDB, the University of Nairobi, and Makerere University, are organizing an online training conference on integrating environmental, social and sustainability considerations in natural resource contracts negotiations for East African public and private sector legal experts. .
A total of 50 persons are participating in consecutive six-day sessions, between 14th September and 29th September 2020, of an online training conference on integrating environmental, social and sustainability considerations in natural resource contracts negotiations, hosted by the University of Nairobi with the support of Makerere University. The participants have been selected from the public and private sector in Kenya and Uganda and represent stakeholders in the natural resources sector in the respective countries.
This training is part of the ALSF mission to build sustainable legal capacity of African countries, including in negotiation of complex commercial contracts and other related sovereign transactions.
The need for the training arose after recent oil discoveries in Uganda and Kenya which offer significant prospects for economic growth and development of the countries and the East African region, and could transform the region into a major player in the oil sector if the appropriate linkages to local economies and environmental and social governance are promoted. To facilitate this, it is important to enhance the capacities of public and private sector legal experts and lawyers involved in petroleum sector transactions on the relevance of environmental and social issues in natural resource contracts at various stages, i.e. contracting, implementation, civil and monitoring of compliance, and resolution of disputes.
In his remarks at the commencement of the training, the Director of the ALSF, Mr. Stephen Karangizi, noted that the training programme had been specifically designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills required to ensure that investments in the extractives sector are not made at the expense of the environment and human rights, and he underscored the support of the ALSF for the training which will contribute to sustainable development in Africa.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, Prof. Stephen Kiama Gitahi, in his keynote speech acknowledged the importance of the cooperation between Kenya and Uganda for deepening of knowledge on strategic sustainable development priorities, and emphasised continued collaboration between the various stakeholders so that economic activities are consistent with protection of the environment and social interests.
The online conference will be followed by two High-Level Policy Dialogues in October to allow the trainees to have a dialogue and interact with high-level policy makers and other stakeholders responsible for making and implementing laws and policies that impact the extractives and environment sectors.
Created by the African Development Bank in 2010, the ALSF supports governments in negotiating complex commercial transactions by providing legal and technical assistance in oil and gas, mining and energy sector transactions, as well as in public-private partnership projects, and for sovereign debt management and creditor litigation.