At the start of 2008, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is launching new country offices in three African countries that show promise for reform. A trio of new country directors—Mathieu Ndongo-Koni in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Yolande Fouda in Cameroon, and Kenneth Anderson in Ethiopia—have been recruited to oversee the programs as they promote the rule of law in Africa, a region where ABA ROLI’s work is expanding.
Mathieu Ndongo-Koni will oversee a project to give victims of gender-based violence access to justice in the DRC. The project will respond to the large-scale rape crisis in the country by providing support to local legal infrastructure, conducting targeted prosecutions, and assisting victims through a referral network with local health services NGOs. Ndongo-Koni believes this will “open a window of hope for the thousands of people in the region traumatized by conflict.”
In Cameroon, Yolande Fouda will direct a program that will develop a legal framework for prosecuting human traffickers. This framework will incorporate both international statutes and domestic offences. Prosecutors and judges will then be trained to use this manual when dealing with human-trafficking offenses.
In Ethiopia, Kenneth Anderson will coordinate a capacity building program for the country’s legal community. The program’s first focus will be comprehensive curricular reform and development for Ethiopian law schools. The second focus will be improving training for judges by providing support to judicial training institutes. “I am extremely excited about the opportunity to lead this new ABA ROLI program,” says Anderson. “This program will promote the continued development of Ethiopia’s judiciary and legal education system, but ultimately the beneficiaries will be the country’s citizens.”
For more information, contact Andrew McPherson, Program Officer for Africa [email protected].