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The 9th Advocates Africa Conference was held 9-14 August in Abuja, Nigeria, hosted by the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON). Over 500 advocates and family members attended from across the continent, including from Ethipia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, Togo, Mali, and Nigeria, among other nations. With the theme Jubilee Africa, Intergirty & Restoration, the conference was an exciting time of fellowship and excellent legal workshops and speakers. To see a few photos from the conference click here (coming soon). Additional photos of the conference and video of may become available from CLASFON.
In 1999 a group of Lawyers from Africa met in the United States and started a network which at the time was called African Christian Lawyers Network (ACLN). By 2005 the network had grown with contacts in over 35 countries in Africa. In the same year at a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa ACLN changed its name to Advocates Africa electing its first Board and adopting a constitution.
Advocates Africa has grown to a 43 country strong network of Christian lawyers, advocates, judicial officers and law students organized into national associations.
With the financial assistance from Advocates International, members of Advocates Africa have positively and effectively influenced the destiny of the nations of Africa through constructive programs that mobilize and empower civil society. They have engaged with people at grass-roots level to provide legal education and training on issues of democracy, human rights, good governance, rule of law etc., while at the same time participating in developing and influencing political and legal systems in both the public and private sectors.
THE GAMBIA: In May 2010, Nigeria’s Dr. Bankole Sodipo, the President of Advocates Africa, and Ethiopian Misgana Kifle, coordinator for Advocates Africa, attended the 47th session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights held in The Gambia. In addition to many excellent networking opportunities with delegates from 53 nations, they were able to present Advocates Africa’s position on the family.
KENYA: The 250-member Kenyan Christian Lawyers Fellowship has been very active in the Kenyan Constitutional Review Process addressing such crucial issues as the definition of marriage, family and when life begins.
ETHIOPIA: The 200-member Ethiopian Christian Lawyers Fellowship successfully addressed proposed laws affecting churches that would have injected the State into the internal workings of churches and their financial decisions. The proposed law also sought to limit revenues received by churches and missions from outside Ethiopia to 10% of the church budget, which would have cut off a major source of funds for many ministries.
SENEGAL: Advocates Africa is active in relief/aid activities in many areas including a program assisting the health and education of 5,000 street children in Senegal each year.
RWANDA: In partnership with World Vision, Lawyers of Hope in Rwanda launched a 3‑year legal education project and opened a legal aid clinic with special focus on orphans.