From the Editors
By Linda Kasonde and Kimathi Kuenyehia
The African Regional Forum Co-Editors introduce the December 2018 e-bulletin and thank those who continue to contribute to the ARF.
Interview with outgoing Chair of the African Regional Forum
By Linda Kasonde and Kimathi Kuenyehia
The newly appointed Justice Nene Amegatcher speaks to the ARF co-editors about the IBA, the key to being a successful lawyer, his term as Chair of the ARF and the future of the Forum.
The secret recording of a conversation: a violation of the right to privacy?
By Michael Okyere Karikari-Yeboah
This article examines the thorny issue of interference in private communications by a person who is party to the conversation. It examines a recent unreported decision by the Supreme Court of Ghana.
Contracting with electronic agents under Nigerian law
By Akinkunmi Akinwunmi
This article analyses the issue of legality and enforceability of contracts formed by electronic agents, and the provisions of the Electronic Transaction Bill, which seeks to confer legal personality on electronic agents.
Cybercrimes Bill: hacking, cracking, disclosing and other unlawful online activities
By Soriah Kaingu
The article gives an overview of the new Cybercrimes Bill adopted by South Africa in November 2018. The Bill designates certain actions as offences to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems.
Riding the tech wave: lessons from the 2018 IBA Annual Conference
By Soriah Kaingu
The author outlines three main points to take away from the ‘From M-Pesa to Legal Tech’ session hosted by the ARF at the IBA 2018 Annual Conference held in Rome, Italy, in October: get over you fear, learn and collaborate.
Law Firm Management Committee and African Regional Forum joint scholarship
By Isaac Aburam Lartey
This is the winning essay of from the competition to select young African lawyers to attend the 2018 IBA Annual Conference in Rome. The question was: Is the 21st-century lawyer a professional, a businessperson providing a professional service, or just a businessperson?
Affirming the right to protest in South Africa
By Nzwisisai Dyirakumunda
This article outlines the case of Phumeza Mlungwana and Others v The State and Others
, which confirmed the declaration of invalidity of Section 12(1)(a) of the Regulation of Gatherings Act 2015 of 1993 to the extent that it limits the fundamental right to assemble entrenched in Section 17 of the Constitution.
The IBA and King’s College London Executive LLM
By Jeanette Couvaras
This article provides some insight and detail into the Executive LLM programme offered by King’s College London in conjunction with the International Bar Association. It is based on the author’s experience so far.
Cryptocurency and blockchain technology – a legal and regulatory perspective
By Leonard Nkole Kalinde
The emergence of cryptocurrencies has questioned the paradigm of state-supported fiat currencies and the dominant role that central banks and conventional financial institutions play in the operation of the financial system. The disruptive potential of both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is significant, although the risks and weaknesses of both are easily lost in the hype surrounding them. This paper argues that any policy response to cryptocurrencies will need to strike an appropriate balance between forcefully addressing risks and abuses while avoiding over-regulation that could stifle innovation.
Deciding the governing law and court of jurisdiction in a cross-border commercial agreement
By Ifeoluwa Gbarada
The choice of law and jurisdiction in a commercial agreement assumes even greater importance in cross-border transactions as a wrong choice can pose a serious disadvantage to a party in the enforceability of the terms of a commercial contract. This article highlights the key implications that commercial lawyers must painstakingly consider in their choice of laws and jurisdiction.
The definition hindering the attainment of social protection for all employees in Africa
By Chanda Chungu
Most pieces of labour legislation across the African continent define an employee as one who works or offers services to an employer under a contract of employment. The need for a contract to qualify as an employee has presented a hurdle to the vast majority of workers in Africa who work in the informal economy. The repercussions are that only the minority of workers who have contracts have access to social protection legislation, and many workers are left vulnerable and marginalised.
Freedom of expression and the regulation of social media in Zambia
By Sangwani Patrick Ng’ambi
The past couple of years have seen some African governments muzzle the use of social media, either through imposition of fees and taxes or through the blacking out of the internet. The Zambian government is no exception to this trend. On 5 July 2018, the Zambian Communications Minister announced government plans to enforce new rules to regulate social media. These regulations raise questions as to where this leaves freedom of expression in Zambia. This is an especially critical question in a country where freedom of expression is already heavily regulated.
A view on tech for the African legal sector
By Nankunda Katangaza
In Africa, there is growing interest in the deployment of technology in the legal services sector following significant innovations in the financial, education, transport and health sectors. The rising African tech sector also needs legal expertise to design and implement an enabling legislative and regulatory framework. The new Africa Legal Tech Network aims to stimulate creativity in legal technology entrepreneurship and connect lawyers with tech to contribute to transformation and growth on the continent.
Republic of Guinea – examining changes in the law and politics to promote foreign investment
By Marc Weitz
An examination into the Republic of Guinea’s investment laws and political climate for foreign investors, this article discusses investor protections and monitoring under the 2015 investment code, recent political changes, the state of corruption along with efforts to combat it, as well as recommendations for things to watch for in the future.
From the Editor - African Regional Forum, January 2017
A thank you note from outgoing Newsletter Editor of the IBA African Regional Forum, Anthony Atata
A case for the legal profession’s involvement in governance - African Regional Forum, December 2016
By Evans Monari. The Constitution of Kenya was promulgated in 2010 with the hope of a revolutionised and revamped socio-economic and political landscape for the country.
An appraisal of the roles of the judiciary in a democratic dispensation - African Regional Forum, December 2016
By Dr Olaide Abass Gbadamosi. The issue of the efficient administration of justice is fundamental in any democratic society. Judges have an indispensable role as the unbiased interpreters of the law and dispensers of justice.
Competition policies and laws for a growing Africa - African Regional Forum, May 2016
By Michael Tekie and Didimos Getachew. The development of regional competition regimes is a commendable and encouraging start to a long journey towards regional and continental economic integration in Africa and may hold the key to the development of competitive markets on the continent.
Investment interest continuing to grow in Kenya - African Regional Forum, May 2016
By Paras Sha. In the past few years, Kenya has seen a large increase in investment activity and deal interest. Kenya has long been the preferred entry point for investors looking for deals in the East African region. Financial, telecommunications, real estate and energy sectors have all seen significant activity.
Is ADR a knell for litigation in Africa or a partner, and how far has it gone so far? - African Regional Forum, May 2016
By Bereket Alemayehu Hagos. The practice of settling disputes through ADR is underdeveloped in Africa, although customary dispute resolution methods, which are akin to ADR, were previously rampant throughout the continent. As such, the majority of disputes are currently resolved through litigation. Nonetheless, Africa has been experiencing some positive outcomes in using ADR methods.
ADR, your client's partner in civil disputes: a South African perspective - African Regional Forum, May 2016
By Donald Dinnie and Hannes Marais. In South Africa, there has been an increased awareness of ADR as a viable alternative to the litigation of commercial disputes. But beware, ADR may not always be the right choice.
Getting a clearer picture – what defines a foreign company? - African Regional Forum newsletter article, October 2015
By Oluwadamilola Odetola and Obawunmi Afolake. As Africa becomes an increasingly attractive hub for foreign investment, it is pertinent to determine what exactly makes a company ‘foreign’, with particular focus on emerging African economics.
The requirements for foreign companies intending to carry on business in Nigeria - African Regional Forum newsletter article, October 2015
By Oyebade St Matthew-Daniel. This article provides an overview of the requirements for foreign companies intending to carry on business in Nigeria. Specifically it deals with the laws provided by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and Nigerian Investment Promotional Act (NIPA) in relation to the incorporation of foreign companies, requirements of incorporation and exemptions from incorporation.
Foreign law firms moving into Angola and Mozambique - African Regional Forum newsletter article, October 2015
By Claudia Santos Cruz. As interest in emerging African economies continues to grow, can international law firms help develop local legal markets?
Cybercrime challenges to investment in Africa: a case study of Nigeria - African Regional Forum newsletter article, October 2015
By Toyin Tella-Binuyo. The growth of the internet and new information technology has seen an upsurge in security threats. This article assesses the challenges posed to investment in Africa by new technologies, focusing on Nigeria and its recently passed cybercrime bill.
Revisiting bilateral trade agreements between African and non-African states - African Regional Forum newsletter article, October 2015
By V B Olagbegi-Oloba and Oluwadamilola Odetola. It has been long settled that global markets offer vast commercial opportunities that far outweigh opportunities that exist within a domestic economy. Africa has abundant natural resources yet it remains the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent. One of the major ways through which African states can boost their economies is through development-oriented and well-implemented bilateral trade contracts and agreements.
Is the Nigerian Bar Association measuring up to the demands of local lawyers? - African Regional Forum newsletter article, October 2015
By Oluseyi Adejuyigbe. Nigeria is unarguably the largest country in Africa, with a population of more than 170 million people. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) commands a membership of more than 50,000 lawyers. This article will focus on the NBA as a case study of a local bar association in Africa and examine the content of its programmes and operations to ascertain whether the aspirations of its members are being met.