Supporting the Rule of Law and Justice in Africa

Project description

Title: Promotion of the Rule of Law and Justice in Africa
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Supraregional Africa focusing on reform partner countries
Overall term: 2018 to 2021



The rule of law and a transparent justice system lay the foundations for inclusive and fair development. In many countries in Africa, there is a need for action to ensure compliance with the principles of the rule of law and justice.

In this regard, internationally recognised goals provide clearly defined guidelines, as is the case with the 2030 Agenda, in particular the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16.3, 16.5 and 16.9 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), and the African Union's 2063 Agenda ‘The Africa We Want’ (Aspiration 3).

These goals are broken down and adapted to the local context within the national frameworks of the member states. In addition, the regional project is incorporated into the 2017 initiative launched by the G20 finance ministers to promote private investment in Africa (Compact with Africa) and thus offers opportunities to improve the legislation in selected partner countries.


Through international dialogue on the rule of law and justice, selected partner institutions and German development cooperation bring their work more consistently into line with the 2030 Agenda.


The project focuses on the African reform partner countries Ghana, Côte d‘Ivoire and Tunisia. In four complementary fields of action, the project covers several topics related to promoting the rule of law. 

Transnational discussion on the rule of law:
The project supports this field of action through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development's (BMZ) 'Rule of Law, Justice and Development' conference series. This is carried out in cooperation with the Judicial Integrity Group (JIG) – a loose association of constitutional judges from OECD and developing countries. In this way, the project promotes an international exchange of experience on the rule of law.

Legal identity:
This field of action supports the modernisation and digitalisation of civil registration systems. It also promotes dialogue between partner countries on digital aspects of registering births.

Access to justice and a legal framework for entrepreneurs.
Building on the fundamental right to legal identity, this field of action deals with improving access to justice and the legal framework for entrepreneurs.

Cooperation with trustworthy, reform-oriented legal experts:
In this field of activity, the project cooperates with the judiciary in the reform partner countries, the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Global Judicial Integrity Network and the globally active JIG. In this way, the project promotes the dissemination of the Bangalore Principles, which are globally accepted standards for the creation of integrity in the judiciary. The programme helps Ghana, Tunisia and Côte d'Ivoire to develop their own standards and enter into dialogue with the German and European judiciary. 


The project has organised several dialogue platforms, including two BMZ conferences in the ‘Rule of Law, Justice and Development’ series, a Community of Practice of Tunisian and German judges, a network of lawyers and judges in Côte d‘Ivoire and a webinar for lawyers with the Ghanaian and Nigerian Bar Associations.