Atiku M. Jafar, Chairman of the International Council and Member of the Board of Trustees of the African Law Students’ Association (ALSA), and Sohayla King, Customer Success Manager at Africa Legal, recently spoke about the significance of working together to build the capacity of Africa’s legal student community.
Established in 2013, ALSA is an international, non-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan and non-political organisation run by and for Africa’s undergraduate, postgraduate and recent graduate law students who desire to achieve academic, professional and personal excellence in addition to their conventional law studies.
ALSA seeks to bridge the gap among African law students, develop their existing skills and help them acquire new ones, while creating an avenue for law students to interact and network. The association will equip them for a professional life in an international environment through mutual understanding, intercultural cooperation and inter-African solidarity, all driven by the core values of unity and pan-Africanism.
Africa Legal has similar goals of growing the legal community and upskilling students and professionals by offering affordable online courses, career advice, legal insights and analyses, and work opportunities across the continent.
“One of the reasons I joined Africa Legal was because of its online learning initiative,” said King. “I wanted to provide socio-economic benefits to people on the African continent. And education and access to education is a part of that, so here I am.”
Jafar expressed a similar sentiment. “The quality of legal education is very, very close to my heart. And I’ve spoken and written extensively about that. The quality of education and the overall perception of the profession across the continent is something I strive to improve.”
Jafar’s own education and development within the legal community have empowered him to further partnerships with other pan-African organisations. As the former national president of the Law Students’ Association of Nigeria, in charge of about 55 000 law students across 40-plus universities, Jafar has seen the enormous growth people can achieve if properly harnessed and coordinated. “This is about the opportunity to connect legal education to development, the opportunity to mobilise the capacity and intellectual mindset of law students, to contribute to legal education, foster mutual understanding and contribute to the social responsibility of law students on the continent,” he said.
For now ALSA and Africa Legal are working to improve the employability of law students across the continent through its two free graduate development courses and career advice series. The current suite of courses, encompassing CV writing and interview preparation, marks the beginning of the organisations’ partnership to enhance the capacity and skills of our community.
The future for this partnership is bright, with new courses, advice, opportunities and discounts that will be available to both the ALSA and Africa Legal communities. “Africa Legal has the connections, resources and mechanics to implement that. I think this development meets our shared core objectives of broadening the knowledge of law across the continent, and serving as intermediaries between law students and the legal services industry,” Jafar commented.
For more information on this development, read our partnership announcement here.
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