African jurists attending training courses in Rome: “Law equals development”

Suggestions, sharing and proposals during the opening ceremony at the seat of Unidroit.

ROME – Transparency, compatibility and reliability of legal systems are decisive elements in favour of investment and shared growth: this theme is at the centre of the training course which is being held at the International Institute for the Unificationf of Private law (Unidroit), addressed to 22 jurists from 17 African countries.


These issues are being tackled at Villa Aldobrandini, seat of the multilateral organisation, founded in Rome in 1926.

“Let’s hope that the participants can make the instruments their own, receiving useful information and at the same sharing some with us”, said Ignacio Tirado, Secretary-General of Unidroit, after the speech of the President, Maria Chiara Malaguti.

It was the first day of the second edition of the International Program for Law and Development, an initiative aimed at State judges, lawyers, and drafters of legislative texts from African countries.


“We want to establish ties with those that come here and with their countries”, continued Tirado. “Africa is a strategic continent for us for various reasons: our 65 Member States represent 90% of world gross domestic product but only four are from the continent”; South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, and Tunisia are already part of Unidroit.


In the meeting room at the grand opening, there were participants from Algeria and Tanzania, Zambia and Somalia, Malawi, and Ghana. Devisha Vythelingum, a lawyer from Mauritius, said: “Unfortunately my country is still not a Member State of Unidroit, but when I return to Port Louis, I will try to share as much as possible of this experience to favour membership”.

Mohame Dielo, Vice-President of the High Court of Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso: “It is hard to adjudicate in some cases, as national laws are not precise,” declared the magistrate to the press agent of DIRE,

“but the Unidroit Principles can be a very useful reference”.


Regarding private international law as an instrument to prevent problems and, at the same time, “guarantee equality of conditions between the parties”, explained Marco Giungi, Head of the Unit for Strategies and Multilateral Global Processes for Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The director read a message from Vice-Minister Edmondo Cirielli, quoting the “Piano Mattei” announced by the Italian government and highlighting that “what is happening in Africa has direct consequences in Europe and vice versa”.

Another matter that arose among the more than 20 ambassadors present during the opening ceremony at Villa Aldobrandini, was the following: “The unification of international law is important, first of all for investments”, according to H.E. Dr Naser Al Belooshi, Ambassador of Bahrain in Italy.


Makane Moise Mbengue, Professor of Law at the International Law School of the University of Geneva, provided interesting ideas via videoconference. “We must be rule makers and not only rule takers” was his appeal, calling for an exchange of mutual benefit bringing, at the same time, a sub-Saharan and pan African point of view.

“Africa must build bridges with that which has been done on a world level” says Mbengue: “The more countries that join Unidroit, the better it will be”.

For the original article in Italian and video from press agency DIRE, please click  here

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