The African Bar Association (AFBA) has stated that this year’s annual conference will serve as avenue for policy makers, captains of industry, judicial officers, business men and women, politicians, administrators in Africa among others to chart a way forward to some of the challenges confronting the continent. However, the body has admonished African leaders to be more serious in the fight against corruption and bad governance, adding that the easy access government officials have to public fund is unacceptable and baneful to the Africa’s wheel of progress.
Speaking ahead of AFBA’s 2022 Annual Conference proposed to hold August 7 to 11 in Bingu International Convention Centre, Lilongwe, Republic of Malawi, at a press conference in Lagos. President of AFBA, Hannibal Egbe Uwaifo, said the upcoming conference with the theme: ‘Instituting an Enduring Legacy of Transparent and Accountable Governance in Africa: Basic Issues and Roadmap’, “will create avenue for policy makers, captains of industry, judicial officers, business men and women, politicians, administrators among others the opportunity to chart a way forward in solving some of the challenges Africa is facing as a continent.”
He noted that AFBA, which was founded in 1971 as a fearless voice of the legal profession, seeks to take the African legal community to the global stage, encourage fraternity among lawyers, defend the legal profession, the principle of the rule of law, encourage cross border practice and accountability in Africa.
Uwaifo hinted that over 1,500 participants (including law students) are expected to grace the occasion from different part of Africa and across globe. He said: “We are also going to look at issues such as terrorism and insecurity in Africa as one of the contributing factor to bad governance, as well as international humanitarian law and peacekeeping.
“The conference will also focus on the state of rule of law in Africa and how to achieve transparent election on the continent, and how to tackle corruption and other deficiency in governance in Africa among other issues,” he said.
He disclosed that prior to the conference, the association would organised a training workshop in partnership with Nigeria Defence Headquarters on issue of security among other topics, adding that Africa is passing through a phase of conflict across the continent, our thinking is that if we have good governance, most of the issues that lead to this conflict will not be there.”
The association president, who lauded the Nigerian military hierarchy, most especially the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) for their support and efforts to liberate Nigeria from terrorism, said no African leaders can boastfully of winning war against corruption, because government officials in Africa still have free access to public funds, adding that leaders across Africa continent must make concerted efforts to tamed the monster called corruption for the continent to move forward.
According to him, “African leaders must put in place mechanism that will prevent public officials from having free accessing to public funds. When government officials realise how difficult and the implications of accessing public funds for personal gain, it will to some extent discourage them from engage in such shameful act.”