Promotion of 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: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Tunisia
Overall term: 2018 to 2020


The aims of the Agenda 2030, in particular Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16.3, 16.5 and 16.9, and the necessity of Member States to contextualise the Goals in their national framework provide orientation for the alignment of national policies in the areas of the rule of law, fighting corruption and legal identity. The 17 sustainable development goals are political goals of the United Nations (UN) that are intended to secure sustainable development at the economic, social and ecological levels. The goals were based on the development process of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and became effective on 1 January 2016 for a period of 15 years (until 2030).

In contrast to the MDGs, which applied in particular to developing countries, the SDGs apply to all countries. However, in many countries committed to the 2030 Agenda, the planning and implementation of SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and other relevant SDGs fall short of the progress that could be achieved. National strategies for the further development of law and justice must set out clear priorities for transnational dialogue, legal identity and access to justice and judicial integrity. The targets of SDG 16 can only be achieved if the links between the Sustainable Development Goals are recognised and in compliance with the principles of the Agenda 2030.

The principle of leaving no one behind (LNOB) requires development cooperation projects to take a targeted approach. At the same time, deficits in the rule of law must be seen in a development context. Legal security, legal identity, access to justice and a functioning judiciary free of corruption are cumulative prerequisites for realising fundamental rights and for the peaceful development of states.


In the context of international exchange on the rule of law and justice, selected partners and German development cooperation align their work more effectively with the Agenda 2030.


In three fields of activity, the project combines different but closely related topics with rule of law promotion, aiming to bring about changes at various impact levels (supraregional, national and local). One focus is on cooperation with the justice system (SDG 16) and holding a transnational series of conferences.

Field of activity 1: ‘Transnational discussion on the rule of law’
In particular the BMZ ‘Rule of Law, Justice and Development’ conference series and cooperation with the Judicial Integrity Group (JIG) to involve the promotion of an international exchange of experiences about rule of law by selected partners and the German development cooperation. This also includes transnational exchange as well as launching reform initiatives in the fields of activity, one of these being gender equality.

Field of activity 2: ‘Access to justice and legal frameworks for entrepreneurs’
Building on the fundamental right to legal identity, this field of activity supports international sharing of experiences and capacity building in two areas: legal frameworks for entrepreneurs and improved access to justice.

Field of activity 3: ‘Cooperation with trustworthy, reform-oriented legal experts’
In the ‘Judicial integrity’ field of activity, the project cooperates with the judiciary in the selected African reform partner countries as well as with the UNODC Global Judicial Integrity Network and the globally active JIG. For example, the project promotes the dissemination of the ‘Bangalore Principles’ and at the same time also aims to compare judicial ethics with other regional approaches in Latin America and Asia. The project in particular helps the African reform partner countries in the context of regional and international experience-sharing to develop their standards and enter into a dialogue with the German and European judiciary. This dialogue follows on from the process of implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and in particular Art. 11 of the UNCAC, in order to promote the integrity of judges and legal experts in national justice systems.