Strengthening the Rule of Law: key to unlocking Africa's potential

Advancing the rule of law in Africa is complex and not uniform across all jurisdictions.

The continent has long struggled with the problems caused by an underdeveloped rule of law. As the continent grows economically there is appetite for investment, which makes access to justice and clear legal structures key to unlocking Africa’s potential.

Strengthening the rule of law in Africa is, therefore, crucial for supporting the continent’s growth and the wellbeing of its people. By improving transparency and accountability, countries can begin to stamp out corruption. And by investing in more legal resources, countries can also increase access to justice, providing greater fairness and equality.

LexisNexis and Africa Legal are proud to announce the launch of a ground-breaking new report.

This shines a light on the trends, barriers and aspirations for the rule of law across Africa. We sourced the views of legal professionals in 24 African nations to understand what the rule of law means in practice and its current level of development. They included private practice lawyers, in-house counsel, government employees and members of the judiciary.

The survey reveals the major hurdles that African countries need to overcome to improve the rule of law, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on development, who has the most responsibility for advancing the rule of law and how it is likely to change over the next five years.

This fascinating report unearths where in Africa lawyers are most hopeful for the strengthening of the rule of law, what the greatest hurdles are to this, and who they believe has the greatest role to play in driving forward a rule of law agenda.

Trends, barriers and aspirations for the Rule of Law in Africa from 24 jurisdictions.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

  • 52% of respondents rank corruption as the number one impediment to the rule of law in Africa
  • Just under half (48%) rank an underdeveloped rule of law in their home jurisdiction as their organisation’s greatest challenge
  • 6% of respondents believe that the provision of justice is equal in their home jurisdiction
  • 40% of respondents believe the rule of law would strengthen in their home market across the next five years

The inaugural report, Advancing the Rule of Law in Africa 2022