On Friday, the International University of East Africa (IUEA) announced the commencement of the #IUEALegalTechProject, a forward-thinking initiative targeting the advancement of the legal sector across Africa and potentially wider.
The concept originated from the Faculty of Law at IUEA, with the goal of leveraging the potential of LegalTech and LawTech to enhance efficiency and accessibility and reduce the cost of legal services.
Emmanuel Sebijjo Ssemmanda, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at IUEA, underlined the transformative power of LegalTech and LawTech. However, he acknowledged that progress has been slow in most African nations, which the IUEA LegalTech Project aspires to rectify. Its goal is to establish a nurturing environment for the creation of tech solutions to address real-world legal issues and improve access to justice.
Ssemmanda highlighted that the project plans to utilize the skills and innovation of students, faculty, innovators, and partners to create impactful LegalTech solutions that will change both lives and the modus operandi of legal professionals.
A significant element of the IUEA Legal Tech Project is its emphasis on experiential learning for students. Incorporating technology and entrepreneurship into legal education, students will acquire first-hand experience in developing technological solutions for genuine challenges in the legal industry.
Ssemmanda further mentioned the project\’s intent to position IUEA as a leading figure in technology and innovation. Through fostering interdisciplinary research at the nexus of law and technology, the Faculty of Law will play a pivotal role in tailoring the curriculum to arm students with essential LegalTech knowledge and skills.
The project also plans to support innovators and entrepreneurs by offering infrastructure, mentorship, and expertise via its LegalTech incubator, aimed at transforming innovative ideas into scalable legal solutions.
The sustainability and impact of the IUEA LegalTech Project rely heavily on collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders both within and outside the university. Strategic partnerships will be vital for securing expertise, funding, and networks.
The project\’s wider vision entails pushing the boundaries of legal education and practice in the contemporary era. By focusing on stimulating innovation to address Africa\’s legal issues, the Faculty of Law at IUEA is committed to offering a significant contribution to the community through exploring novel solutions and improved approaches to existing challenges.
The Vice-Chancellor of IUEA, Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa, praised the Faculty of Law for the initiative and expressed that such innovation further solidifies the institution\’s status as a leading technology university globally.
At the same event, the African Journal of Legal Issues in Technology and Innovation (AJLITI) was also inaugurated. This first-of-its-kind academic journal will act as a platform for scholars and experts to explore crucial legal and technological issues specific to Africa.
The journal covers a range of relevant topics such as cyberlaw, data governance, intellectual property, and e-commerce, and aims to contribute to insightful discussions and debates on how technology is reshaping African societies, economies, and legal systems.
The AJLITI is dedicated to providing thorough academic research and analysis that informs policy decisions and shapes legal reforms in African countries. It aims to spotlight African voices and experiences to ensure that technological advances are beneficial to all citizens in an ethical, fair, and sustainable manner.