Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Babatunde Edwards is in Johannesburg, South Africa to serve as the Keynote Speaker in the Annual African Bar Association Conference.

The  Chief Justice will address over 200 participants across the African Continent at this year’s African Bar Association from 6 to 10 August 2023 under the theme: Building the Legal Profession in Africa Under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

AFBA was established in 1971 as a professional body to unite lawyers and national legal associations in Africa. It is a federation of national legal associations, corporate and unincorporated legal entities, and individual lawyers, and it has its permanent secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria. Its primary objectives include the following:

• Formulating policies to reposition the continent’s socioeconomic and political development.

• Encouraging adherence to the rule of law and vibrant independence of the judiciary in all member states and on the continent at large

• Improving the standard of legal practice through comparative research into the laws in Africa.

• Protecting fundamental human rights within the member states of AFBA.

• Advancing standards of legal practice, rule of law, good corporate governance, and protection of human rights on the continent.

• Promoting and supporting the legal process for resolving international disputes.

High-profile keynote speakers and presenters are anticipated to attend the conference, including participants drawn from the legal profession, academics, and several current and former African heads of state.

The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been invited as a special guest of honour to declare the conference open today 7 August 2023.

This collaborative conference will advance the vision of shaping Africa’s future and contribute to promoting and advancing the rule of law, socioeconomic development, and economic and political stability on the African continent. The conference is expected to take a nuanced-yet-critical view of African trade and the evolving regime under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to evaluate the current dynamics and prospects of the regime.