Legal services in rural areas in Africa

In the last decade the ICJ has organized a series of workshops and seminars to encourage the development of legal services in rural areas in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In Africa, training programmes focused on promoting the concept of paralegals in East, West, Central and Southern Africa.

These programmes generated interest among the participants and led to the need to provide support for the development of legal services projects over the same period.

The primary objective of these projects was the training of paralegals to act as a bridge between lawyers (who are usually based in the towns and cities) and the urban and rural poor.

A manual for paralegal trainers was published by the ICJ in 1994.

Given the growth in the number of organizations now training paralegals and providing various forms of legal services, the evaluation was inspired by the need to take stock of what has been accomplished so far so as to assist the ICJ in determining its focus for the future.

Three consultants, Ms. Amy Tsanga, Mr. Moussa Sogo and Ms. Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson were engaged to carry out the evaluation in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

The evaluation findings are presented in two separate sections. The first section gives an overall assessment of the developments and outlines areas of need, whilst the second part is an outline of the activities of each of the organizations visited.

The far-reaching recommendations which have been made to the ICJ will guide the organizations activities in this sphere in the near future.

legal services in rural areas in Africa-thematic report-1997-eng (full text in English, PDF)

ReportsThematic reports