Zambia to host inaugural IBA women business lawyers’ event in Africa

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Zambia is to host the first International Bar Association (IBA) Legal Practice Division (LPD) Women Business Lawyers Initiative programme to be held in Africa. Titled, ‘African women in law rising’ the event will take place in Livingstone from 21–22 April 2015, in partnership with the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ).

Welcome remarks and the keynote address are to be delivered, respectively, by George Kangwa Musole Chisanga, President of the Law Association of Zambia, and Dr Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula Deputy Governor, Administration at the Bank of Zambia, and winner of the IBA 2014 Woman Lawyer of the Year Award who commented, ‘I am honoured to have been asked to deliver the keynote speech for this unique event. We should continue striving to advance opportunities for women within the legal profession through such initiatives and I look forward to sharing my own experiences and learning from the other speakers and delegates present.’

A chief aim of the event African women in law rising is to highlight issues of particular relevance to women lawyers, including: whether the concept of risk avoidance influences female lawyers’ decision-making in relation to career paths and practice areas; whether there are practice areas considered to be male-dominated or dangerous for female practitioners resulting in fewer women lawyers getting involved; why there are so few women advocates; and overcoming gender roles and stereotypes to network effectively with both men and women.

The programme will also cover non gender-specific topics including:  what to do to improve advocacy skills to become outstanding in court; how to build a reputation and a vibrant brand on the internet; an overview of the practice areas increasing in importance and creating a demand for experienced legal practitioners; developing and retaining associates that are valuable to both the firm and to clients; and what to do to move from being a locally recognised firm to an internationally recognised firm.

Supported by the IBA African Regional Forum, African women in law rising has attracted high-level speakers from countries across Africa including, the host nation, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The Forum’s Chair, Sternford Moyo, commented, ‘It is critical that from the local, to the regional, to the global level that the position of women lawyers is strengthened. In this respect, the IBA’s Women Business Lawyers Initiative provides a forum for women, and men, to work towards building capacity central to benefitting the legal profession as a whole, and raising the consciousness of society on gender equality.’ He added, ‘With lawyers attending from all parts of Africa, from key firms,  industry and the judiciary, this event promises also to provide valuable networking, which can only amplify action towards equal opportunities.’

The Vice-President of the Law Association of Zambia Linda Kasonde said, ‘The Law Association of Zambia is proud to host the first African edition of this valuable IBA Initiative in Livingstone and we look forward to welcoming both male and female legal practitioners.’ She added, ‘This important event aims to empower and educate female commercial lawyers, as well as raise awareness and understanding of issues commonly faced by women practitioners. It will be a fascinating dialogue and a career-enhancing experience.’

African women in law rising will take place in Livingstone, Zambia, from 21–22 April 2015. To register for this event click here.www.ibanet.org/Legal_Projects_Team/Women_Business_Lawyers_Initiative_Africa.aspx

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