Zanzibar, January 22-24, 2024 - The Judicial Institute for Africa (Jifa) proudly spearheaded the inaugural annual general meeting (AGM) and conference of the African Network of Judicial Trainers (ANJT) in Zanzibar this past week. The three-day event, attended by representatives from 19 African nations, showcased a steadfast commitment to fostering collaboration and addressing shared challenges in judicial training, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the rule of law across the continent.

During the AGM, ANJT welcomed two new members to the organisation. By an overwhelming majority vote, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire joined the ranks of ANJT member countries. The AGM also saw the election of a new chairperson for the organisation, Senegal’s director of local justice and the promotion of access to the law, Gueye Mademba.

Distinguished voices at the event included Mathilda Twomey, academic head of Jifa, who underscored the importance of the Bangalore Principles and proposed a significant addition - a 7th value: courage.

In addition, Zelalem Teferra from the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights unveiled plans for an upcoming online human rights course, a collaborative effort between Jifa, the African Court and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, set to launch in 2024.

Mariya Badeva from the African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII) provided valuable insights into the power of judicial analytics, using TanzLII as an example resource. TanzLII, a free online platform supported by the judiciary of Tanzania in collaboration with AfricanLII and Laws.Africa, serves as a model for leveraging data-driven decision-making to inform policy formulation and enhance judicial training. This approach aims to harness the power of judicial data, delivering insights that significantly impact and benefit the administration of justice.

A milestone achievement of the conference was the launch of ANJT's inaugural project: a shared ethics manual on judicial training for trainers, emphasising the organisation's commitment to high standards and shared values.

The ANJT conference marks a transformative step towards a more just and prosperous Africa, where unity, collaboration, and innovative solutions stand as the driving forces shaping the future of judicial training on the continent. Embracing collaboration, ANJT remains dedicated to building robust, independent judiciaries, paving the way for economic growth and investment across Africa.


Vanja Karth

JIFA: Secretariat of the ANJT