Dear Colleagues,
The Pan African Lawyers Union has passionately pursued its mandated activities throughout the year 2023 and through your unwavering support and participation has made last year a huge success. The highlight of last year was our annual conference held in Livingstone in Zambia in early July. The overarching theme for the annual conference was the role of the legal profession in the management of the sovereign debt crisis of African states was a radiant success both in terms of participation, exchange of opinions, thought-provoking discussions and comprehensive recommendations.
The Union during its annual conference also launched the THULANI MASEKO Honorary Award which will awarded each year to individuals for their commitment to human rights. Another key highlight of the PALU 2023 annual conference was a memorandum of understanding with the National Bar Association, one of the oldest organizations of lawyers in the United States of America, which will allow us to carry out programmes of mutual interest for our members.
The Union has also continued to amplify the voice of the legal profession throughout the continent and beyond, by actively participating and collaborating in important dialogues, assemblies and advocacy activities with fellow sister organizations.
Let me thank the council, the executive committee, the secretariat, the partners and all our members for the efforts and sacrifices made in 2023.
I think that the time has come to work on more rapprochement with our collective and individual members to make the Pan African Lawyers Union a truly citizen-oriented association as its constitution suggests.
Increased awareness of the various national bars to collect the greatest number of members and to encourage their effective involvement in continental activities affecting their livelihoods, seems to us to be the focus of the Union this year and in the next coming. The inclusion of all will give as many lawyers as possible, the opportunity to seize the opportunities available and will give us the means to meet the challenges that arise.
There are many opportunities at hand including the widening of the BRICS to certain African countries expected in January 2024, and without forgetting the continued implementation of the continental free trade area.
The challenges also remain numerous arising from questions around the rule of law, restrictions on the civic space and governance from numerous parts of our continent.
We must also seek to make the most out of the partnerships that we have amongst ourselves to provide ourselves with the means to offer our members essential continuous training which would equip them with the necessary skills to capitalise on new professional opportunities that may arise.
The next annual conference will take place in Morocco and is expected to reunite and strengthen the legal fraternity through the pursuit and exchange of noble ideals. At the request of the lawyers’ club of Morocco, the Marrakech Bar Association offered to co-host the Union’s annual conference in May 2024 in the imperial city. Preparations are already underway to ensure a highly engaging and memorable conference.
In the meantime, on behalf of the Pan African Lawyers Union, I would like to wish the entire legal community on the continent and all of its members, the best wishes for health, prosperity and longevity.
Happy New Year 2024.
The President
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