For the first time ever, the deans of Africa’s and China’s law schools gathered for the Sino-African Law Deans’ Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Cornell Law Professor Muna Ndulo delivered the opening keynote address on the first day of the inaugural conference.
“There are growing relations between Africa and China and there is need to underpin these relations with an understanding of the parties’ legal systems,” says Ndulo, who is also Director of the Institute for African Development at Cornell University.
“There are not just growing economic relations. At this conference, I saw exchanges of different ideas regarding legal education and the challenges that are being faced by schools from the two regions. The parties recognized their mutual interests in the field to curriculum development, teaching, research and student and faculty exchanges.”
At the conference, which took place on March 27-28 at the Kramer School of Law at the University of Cape Town, presentations explored the reform of Sino-African legal education in an era of globalization. Topics included “The Political Context of Legal Education in Africa and China” and “Challenges Facing China and Africa in the Area of Research."
Thirty-five deans from Africa and China's leading law schools attended, including representatives from Renmin University of China Law School, Shanghai University Law School, the University of Nigeria, and the University of Namibia.
While in South Africa, Ndulo also spoke at the University of Cape Town's All Africa House about the role of academic engagement in the future of African development.