The TY Danjuma Foundation has launched a $5 million endowment at the Centre for Comparative Law in Africa, University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa to fund African scholars’ research in Law and Policy Development in Africa.
The fund, known as the ‘TY Danjuma Fund for Law and Policy Development in Africa,’ is an endowment in perpetuity to support research, capacity building, African knowledge production and information generation for the advancement of well researched initiatives in the law and policy environment for development in Africa.
Speaking during the formal signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Lagos, the founder of the foundation, General TY Danjuma (rtd), said he was invited by the university to endow a fund that will finance legal research in Africa.
“My donation is to the university for all African countries not just Nigeria. The University of Cape Town will administer the fund, they will make sure that only the interest earned on the endowment will be spent on research every year, so the endowment is in perpetuity.”
He said the initiative was in recognition of the need to engender researches and studies that are capable of engendering positive development of African countries especially in the area of law.
He said the fund would assist scholars who need it to further their studies in exploring new way through which African countries could develop their legal system to make them competitive across the world.
“When this issue was first brought to me, I was really not interested because I felt already we have enough lawyers across the continent and we have so many laws that are not being implemented. But when the issue was raised among the board members of the foundation, I was surprised that everyone supported it. And I had to agree that since it is for the development of Africa, we will do it. The only condition we put in there is that the first beneficiary of this gesture must be a Nigerian scholar.”
The fund would engender long-term collaboration between the Centre for Comparative Law in Africa and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, which is expected to make available its resource base for scholars selected to benefit from the endowment.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr. Max Price, described the endowment as a step in the right direction because it would enable African scholars to start looking at aspects of comparative laws.
“For us at the University of Cape Town, our Centre for Comparative Law in Africa draws on the strengths of comparative methodology to research into the multifaceted field of law on the continent. Thus, we realise the need to develop a continental approach to law and its development since the experience of an African country can benefit another country.”