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IUEA launches Legal Tech Project to boost innovations in Africa’s Legal Landscape

Officials at the launch of the International University of East Africa (IUEA) LegalTech Project and the African Journal of Legal Issues in Technology and Innovation (AJLITI).

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The International University of East Africa (IUEA) Friday launched the #IUEALegalTechProject, an ambitious initiative that aims to revolutionize the legal sector and address legal challenges here and beyond Africa.

The project, a brainchild of the Faculty of Law, seeks to harness the potential of LegalTech and LawTech to make legal services more efficient, accessible, and affordable.

“LegalTech and LawTech have the power to transform the legal sector by making legal services more efficient, accessible and affordable. Yet meaningful innovation in this space has so far been limited in most African countries, said Mr Emmanuel Sebijjo Ssemmanda, the Dean, Faculty of Law at IUEA

Acknowledging the limited progress in LegalTech across most African countries, Mr Ssemmanda says the IUEA LegalTech Project aims to create an ecosystem for developing technological solutions that address real challenges in legal practice and access to justice.

“By tapping into the talent and creativity of students, faculty, innovators, and partners, the project envisions a future where impactful LegalTech innovations improve lives and change the way legal professionals operate,” he noted.

The Dean Faculty of Law at IUEA, Mr Emmanuel Sebijjo Ssemmanda (standing) speaking at the launch of the Legal Tech Project

One of the key aspects of the IUEA Legal Tech Project is its focus on providing experiential learning opportunities for students. Ssemanda says with technology and entrepreneurship integrated into their legal education, students will be able to gain hands-on experience in developing technology solutions that directly respond to real problems in the legal field.

The project according to him also aims to elevate the status of IUEA as a leader in technology and innovation. “By fostering interdisciplinary research at the intersection of law and technology, the Faculty of Law will play a crucial role in shaping the curriculum to equip students with vital LegalTech knowledge and skills,” he said.

In addition to benefiting students, Ssemanda says the project will also support innovators and entrepreneurs by providing infrastructure, mentorship, and expertise through its LegalTech incubator to help turn innovative ideas into scalable legal solutions.

IUEA officials at the launch of the University LegalTech Project and the African Journal of Legal Issues in Technology and Innovation (AJLITI).

Speaking at the same launch, Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa, the IUEA Vice-Chancellor applauded the Faculty of Law for the initiative brought to the institution and said this kind of innovation further elevates their height as a technology university of choice on the globe.

“As a collective Africans are seen as laggards in tech but this puts us at the forefront. This is the kind of Innovation IUEA introduces as the Technological University of Choice not just in Africa but the world” – Prof. Emeka said on Friday.

Prof Akaezuwa implored the legal practitioners to adapt to the changing technology and urged the students to be innovative and approach the profession with technology and as the market demands.

“We shall not wait for Google and other search engines to think for us, we bring the innovations in law and we are introducing this in a new curriculum,” he emphasized.

Prof Emeka, the Vice Chancellor speaking at the launch of the IUEA LegalTech Project and the African Journal of Legal Issues in Technology and Innovation (AJLITI).

During the same event, the University also commissioned the African Journal of Legal Issues in Technology and Innovation, the first of its kind on the continent which will serve as a platform for scholars and experts to explore critical legal and technological issues specific to Africa.

Covering topics such as cyberlaw, data governance, intellectual property, and e-commerce, the journal aims to contribute to thoughtful discussions and debates about how technology is reshaping African societies, economies, and legal systems.

The African Journal of Legal Issues in Technology and Innovation is committed to providing rigorous academic research and analysis that informs policymaking and shapes legal reforms in African countries. By spotlighting African voices and experiences, the journal seeks to ensure that technological advances benefit all citizens on the continent in an ethical, equitable, and sustainable manner.

Dean Faculty of Law, Mr Emmanuel Sebijjo Ssemmanda (L) hands the journal to IUEA Council Chairperson Ambassador Moses Kiwe Sebunya (R)

The IUEA council led by its Chairperson, Ambassador Moses Kiwe Sebunya congratulated all those involved in making this vision a reality with notable appreciation to the authors and Editors-in-Chief, who tirelessly contributed to the journal’s success.

Crucial to the success of the IUEA LegalTech Project is collaboration with diverse stakeholders within and outside the university. Leveraging expertise, funding, and networks through strategic partnerships will ensure the sustainability and far-reaching impact of the initiative.

The project’s broader vision includes pushing the boundaries of legal education and practice in the modern era. With a focus on catalyzing innovation that addresses Africa’s legal problems, the Faculty of Law at IUEA is eager to make a significant contribution to the community by researching new solutions and better approaches to existing challenges.

The University says with a united effort, it endeavours to lead the way in technological innovation, making a lasting impact on the legal landscape and paving the path for a more just and technologically empowered future in the region.

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