Hannibal Egbe Uwaifo (Esq.)

President of the African Bar Association

On behalf of the African Bar Association (AFBA), I am pleased to invite and welcome you to the Programs of the 2023 Annual Conference holding at the Main Main Campus of the University of South Africa, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa from 6 – 10, August 2023.

I am particularly delighted to inform you that for the first time in the history of the AFBA, an institution not a Bar or Law Society as is always the case has taken up the Mantle to be the main host of our annual discourse. The University of South Africa (UNISA), in Partnership with the South African Bar Association (SABA) are the proud hosts of the 2023 annual Conference.

The African Bar Association is grateful to Prof. Puleng LenkaBula Principal & Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa, Prof. O.J Kole with his team at the College of Laws and Prof. Tukishi Manamela and his hardworking LOC of the UNISA team. Special appreciation to the President of the South African Bar Association Adv. Bart Ford, Adv. Dexter Ryneveldt, Adv. Romeo Nthambeleni, Adv. Laura Mbhaleili and the rest of the team from SABA. You all made this to happen.

Colleagues, I can assure you that there’s more to this, UNISA is celebrating 150 years of Service to Africa and the World while SABA celebrates years of sound advocacy and excellent Legal services. We all have one thing or the other to celebrate about our Profession as Lawyers and I am glad that we can all share these joys together at our annual Conference in Pretoria this year.

The theme of this year’s Conference enables us to rediscover our relevance in unravelling Africa’s Greatness and march to self-sufficiency. Inter and intra African trade forms the basis of this bold assertion. The enactment of the African Continental free trade Area provides the needed tonic to fasttrack Africa’s march to economic self-sufficiency and Lawyers as the custodians of the Law, equity and justice have a key role to play in considering the complex Legal issues involved and those that will arise. Municipal, Regional and Continental judicial apparatuses will be tested. Our locked borders will be tested and Africa’s ability to move from the past to a new era of self-confidence and self-dependence will be a new dawn.

The discourse has more areas of concern ranging from the Rule of Law, Human rights, International Criminal Justice, insecurity and conflict, the Military and other Security Agencies, Aviation, Taxation, Oil and Gas, the crisis in the Congo to democratic Elections, access to Justice and more.

For five (5) days, some of the best and brightest minds will gather inside the University of South Africa a setting known for her excellence in 150 years. Sound Legal submissions will be made. Networking will be at its peak and new friends, new businesses and new Partnerships will be built, some to part no more. Sunset will provide an avenue for wining and dining with lots of music in the rainbow Country and more to devour. Entertainment will be at its Peak. Everyone will be at home in the land of the Great Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Democratic President, South Africa will be home to all of us.

And when we are through, memories will linger on. Wouldn’t you rather be in Pretoria, venue of the 2023 annual Conference of the African Bar Association. 

Please join us. Welcome, Bienvenue, Bem-vindo, Marhaban.