Swithin J. Munyantwali
Vice Chairman and Co-Founder
As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confronted with many new cross-cutting challenges to effective corporate and public governance, not least in the fields of regulatory compliance, finance, and the role and rule of law in a functioning economy. Like in the rest of the world, South Africa and the surrounding African continent are grappling with these issues, and as I write there is an expectation that a vaccine to COVID-19 will reverse the decline that global economies are currently facing, providing opportunities for significant changes in public and corporate governance and expanding social services.
The establishment of the ILI-South African Centre for Excellence (ILI/SACE) is timely. As our Chairman, Professor Don Wallace, mentions below, the Institute Law Institute, ILI/SACE’s parent organization, has been involved for many decades in building African institutions and those of developing countries worldwide for many decades; we bring this experience to addressing the challenges of South Africa’s private and public institutions, as well as for the rest of Africa. We have always been of the conviction that know-how is the bridge to advancement; knowledgeable institutions foster economic development. The evidence of this is in the hitherto underdeveloped economies of South East Asia, which were not long ago at the same level of development as Africa. That development is an indication that rapid economic and related changes are possible for Africa and that Africa will be able to claim its rightful place as a global economic powerhouse on the global scene. After all, Africa has many unparalleled advantages: we are well endowed with abundant natural resources, excellent climate and fertile land, a growing youth population, and a substantial market, to mention but a few.
As Professor Smith states below, the programs we shall offer in 2021 and beyond are carefully selected to address our unique challenges – ultimately, lifting the level of decision-making so that the best solutions to the most pressing problems we face can be found; this will be complemented by a stronger rule of law regime, underscored by good governance. With this we can lay the groundwork for the 21st century to be Africa’s Century.
In delivering our mandate, we are partnering with world class universities in the United States and South Africa to offer rich and varied programs. Our collaborations will provide a perfect combination of North-South expertise to inform our interventions.
We look forward to welcoming you to ILI-SACE; together we can transform Africa!
Professor David N. Smith
Vice President for Academic Affairs
The ILI /South African Centre for Excellence is committed to providing groundbreaking and state-of-the-art executive education for Africa’s lawyers, business managers and government regulators. Our goal is to expose professionals to best practices from around the globe and to help them to adapt to the dramatic changes in law, finance, business, technology, and government regulation that are occurring in Africa and elsewhere. And, importantly, we plan to bring lawyers, business executives, and regulators together in many courses to study and work collaboratively and to gain insights into each other’s professional worlds.
For lawyers, our goal is not simply to teach about recent developments in the law, as important as that is, but also to generate new skills and ways of thinking -- to encourage creative problem-solving and thinking across disciplines. Lawyers must learn how business managers and entrepreneurs think and operate. They need financial literacy and business literacy. They need project management, data analysis, and leadership skills. They need the foresight and ability to deal with disruptive forces. And they need to understand the growing role of new technology (including artificial intelligence) that is affecting so many aspects of life, including how law firms themselves function. Business managers, in turn, need many of the same skills and need to be kept abreast of recent developments in law in order to understand their purpose and the likely impact of laws and regulations -- and to figure out how best to integrate lawyers and compliance officers into management and planning. Regulators need to understand how regulations affect business in practice and how regulations work as part of the legal process.
Finally, a concern for combating corruption and fostering ethics and social responsibility runs through many of our courses. A humorist once wrote that “good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” Bad judgment -- among lawyers, business executives and regulators -- has led to major corporate failures around the world, including, in this century, multiple accounting frauds and the events and deceptions leading up to the 2008 global financial collapse. Through courses like Financial Literacy for Lawyers and many others we will together figure out how to avoid bad experiences and develop good judgment.
I hope you will join us on this exciting journey.
Don Wallace Jr
Chairman and Co-Founder
Since 1955 the International Law Institute (ILI) has promoted the rule of law and its many applications to governance, finance and law itself. Starting with Europe after the devastation of World War II, we have for almost half a century turned our attention to the special conditions of developing countries, and especially those of Africa. In 1997 we established the African Center for Legal Excellence (ACLE) in Kampala. While particularly active in East Africa, we also reached out to other parts of the continent. Now, with our establishment in South Africa, with its many strengths and advances, we will diversify and deepen our programs, for lawyers, business executives and personnel, and the numerous actors in the public sector. Through training, education, advice and capacity building we wish to deepen skills and encourage achievement, initially in the private and public sectors of South Africa, then in SADC, in Africa and other regions of the globe.
We look forward to many years of achievement.