Zambia to host inaugural IBA women business lawyers’ event in Africa

Zambia is to host the first International Bar Association (IBA) Legal Practice Division (LPD) Women Business Lawyers Initiative programme to be held in Africa. Titled, African women in law rising the event will take place in Livingstone from 21–22 April 2015, in partnership with the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ).

Welcome remarks and the keynote address are to be delivered, respectively, by George Kangwa Musole Chisanga, President of the Law Association of Zambia, and Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula Deputy Governor, Administration at the Bank of Zambia, and winner of the IBA 2014 Woman Lawyer of the Year Award who commented, ‘I am honoured to have been asked to deliver the keynote speech for this unique event. We should continue striving to advance opportunities for women within the legal profession through such initiatives and I look forward to sharing my own experiences and learning from the other speakers and delegates present.’

A chief aim of the event African women in law rising is to highlight issues of particular relevance to women lawyers, including: whether the concept of risk avoidance influences female lawyers’ decision-making in relation to career paths and practice areas; whether there are practice areas considered to be male-dominated or dangerous for female practitioners resulting in fewer women lawyers getting involved; why there are so few women advocates; and overcoming gender roles and stereotypes to network effectively with both men and women.

The programme will also cover non gender-specific topics including:  what to do to improve advocacy skills to become outstanding in court; how to build a reputation and a vibrant brand on the internet; an overview of the practice areas increasing in importance and creating a demand for experienced legal practitioners; developing and retaining associates that are valuable to both the firm and to clients; and what to do to move from being a locally recognised firm to an internationally recognised firm.

Supported by the IBA African Regional Forum, African women in law rising has attracted high-level speakers from countries across Africa including, the host nation, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The Forum’s Chair, Sternford Moyo, commented, ‘It is critical that from the local, to the regional, to the global level that the position of women lawyers is strengthened. In this respect, the IBA’s Women Business Lawyers Initiativeprovides a forum for women, and men, to work towards building capacity central to benefitting the legal profession as a whole, and raising the consciousness of society on gender equality.’ He added, ‘With lawyers attending from all parts of Africa, from key firms,  industry and the judiciary, this event promises also to provide valuable networking, which can only amplify action towards equal opportunities.’

The Vice-President of the Law Association of Zambia Linda Kasonde said, ‘The Law Association of Zambia is proud to host the first African edition of this valuable IBA Initiative in Livingstone and we look forward to welcoming both male and female legal practitioners.’ She added, ‘This important event aims to empower and educate female commercial lawyers, as well as raise awareness and understanding of issues commonly faced by women practitioners. It will be a fascinating dialogue and a career-enhancing experience.’

African women in law rising will take place in Livingstone, Zambia, from 21–22 April 2015. To register for this event click here.

Journalists intending to report from the event should apply for press accreditation to



Notes to the Editor

  1. The IBA LPD Women Business Lawyers Initiative programme was conceived by Sylvia Khatcherian, IBA LPD Council Member. It aims to provide women lawyers with resources to enhance their international commercial law practices by strengthening their knowledge base of international commercial law; developing their international practices and enhancing their awareness of global standards and trends in commercial practice.
  2. The first event of the Initiative was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 4–5 March 2014.
  3. Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula, the Deputy Governor, Administration at the Bank of Zambia was awarded the IBA Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award in 2014.
  4. Relevant links:
    • (Zimbabwe) Beatrice Mtetwa talks to the IBA. Click here for the interview.
    • (Zimbabwe) Click here to watch the London launch of the documentary film Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law.
    • (Ghana) Betty Mould-Idrissu, former Minister for Education and former Attorney General and Minister for Justice talks to the IBA. Click here to watch the video.
    • Joy Ezeilo, the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, talks to the IBA. Click here to watch the interview.
    • (African Development Bank) Click here to watch the IBA webcast interview with Kalidou Gadio, General Counsel, African Development Bank.
    • IBA Global Insight magazine provides features and articles on all areas of law, business and human rights, with comment from around the world. Search ‘Africa’ on this page:

  5. The International Bar Association (IBA), established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Through its global membership of individual lawyers, law firms, bar associations and law societies it influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.

    The IBA’s administrative office is in London. Regional offices are located in: São Paulo, Brazil; Seoul, South Korea; and Washington DC, US, while the International Bar Association’s International Criminal Court Programme (IBA ICC) is managed from an office in The Hague.
    The International Bar Association’s  (IBAHRI) works to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.

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