African lawyers are set to get full representation in the International Bar Association (IBA) after years of trying raise their profile.
The 980 African members of the international organisation have set up a working group to finalise a formal network. They are likely to follow the model of the IBA's Latin American steering group.
At this year's annual IBA conference in Vancouver, over 100 African lawyers attended a session on investment and corporate law in Africa, chaired by Lee Muthoga of Kenyan firm Muthoga Gaturu & Co.
Giles Ridley, partner at Slaughter and May and chair of the IBA's business organisation committee, attended the session. "On broader issues, the African speakers squarely addressed the subjects of forgiveness of third world debt and standards of public life in both developing and developed countries," he said.
In April next year, the IBA has organised a regional conference to be held in Accra, Ghana, called "Meeting the challenges of practising the law in the 21st century".