The Harvard African Law Association (HALA) is a student organization at the Harvard Law School. The mission of HALA is to unite African students and students interested in Africa, and increase awareness of legal, social and economic issues that shape and concern the continent of Africa.

We plan to build on the momentum we have generated from previous years as we move into the new school year, and we will keep you up to date on upcoming HALA events and activities through emails and updates to the website, so be sure to check back now and again. We appreciate your support of HALA and look forward to seeing you around this year!

Get on our listserve and Find us on Facebook for the most up to date event information at https://www.facebook.com/HarvardAfricaLaw


November 19, 2014 – Goldman Sachs Harvard Law School Reception

Goldman Sachs, in conjunction with the Harvard African Law Association (HALA), is organizing a Harvard Law Reception on Wednesday November 19, 2014. The event will be held from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, at WCC 1015 at the Harvard Law School. The reception will be a networking event the purpose of which is to enable you find out more about available opportunities at Goldman Sachs. At the event, you will learn about Goldman Sachs’ culture and how to navigate the recruiting process. Additionally, you will get the opportunity to meet and network with Goldman Sachs professionals. A partner from Goldman Sachs’ Asia Pacific Division, Lisa Opoku, will be in attendance.

Non-pizza dinner will be provided. To find out more about Goldman Sachs, please visit http://www.goldmansachs.com/ Space for this event is limited, so please use the link below to register for the event. Should you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact HALA at hala@mail.law.harvard.edu. The registration link is provided below.



November 5, 2014 – HALA Social Mixer

Are you aching to meet other African enthusiasts and get to know your fellow Harvard African Law Association (HALA) members better? Look no further. HALA will be hosting its inaugural Social Mixer for this academic year, on Wednesday November 5, 2014. The event will take place at the WCC Pub.

Please join us for what promises to be an exciting event. There will be drink tickets and snacks. Additional activities will include fun board games, and a brief trivia to test knowledge of our beloved continent. See you there.

Date: Wednesday November 5, 2014
Venue: WCC Pub
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00pm

October 31, 2014 – Harvard Law and International Development Symposium

For further details, see http://www3.law.harvard.edu/orgs/lids/2014-symposium/


Rebuilding from Emergency to Development

Date: Friday, October 31, 2014

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East BC

Promoting growth, stability, and long-term development in countries arising from violent conflict poses a particular challenge. Countries arising from conflict have often had basic infrastructure and institutions destroyed, poor prospects for economic growth, and face lack of security and rule of law.  The fall LIDS Symposium will bring together speakers to highlight barriers that countries from Rwanda to Afghanistan have faced in the process of transition, as well as the best practices employed in moving forward — including in promoting economic growth and development, institutionalizing the rule of law, and implementing justice and security sector reform.

Lunch will begin at 12pm with the Keynote Speaker, Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, and former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in Rwanda.  Other notable panelists hail from the UN, World Bank, USAID, The Asia Foundation, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, and Namati.  The two panels will be followed by an evening reception with speakers in the Hark.

October 23, 2014 – Transforming a Generation

Event: Transforming a Generation: Improving Health, Education, and Quality of Life in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Humanitarian and Basketball Legend Dikembe Mutombo.

The Harvard Law School International Legal Studies (ILS), in conjunction with the Harvard African Law Association (HALA), and the Law and International Development Society of Harvard Law School (LIDS) will be hosting humanitarian and basketball legend Dikembe Mutombo on Thursday October 23, 2014, at Milstein East B, Wasserstein Hall, Harvard Law School. The event will take place from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. For more information, contact ils@law.harvard.edu

October 4, 2014 – Nigerian Independence Day Gala and After-Party

The Harvard African Law Association, in collaboration with the Harvard College Nigerian Students Association, cordially invite you to the 5th Annual Nigerian Independence Day Celebration to be held on Saturday October 4, 2014.

Where: Gala-Wasserstein Hall; After Party-SOCH Penthouse
When: 6:30pm-9pm; 10pm-2am

African Dance
Spoken Word
Keynote address

Tickets: Gala-$10, After Party $5
Combined ticket $12 when bought in Advance (contact tonyenokwe@college.harvard.edu)

“After Party only” tickets available only to Harvard students. Off campus students must combine both Gala and After Party tickets.

Make sure to check out the After Party, which will feature African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean music.




2014 African Development Conference

2014 African Development Conference



Wasserstein Hall
Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Africa is at a decisive moment in its history. The continent boasts macroeconomic resilience that was aptly sustained during and after the global financial crisis. As the continent with the youngest population and a growing middle class, Africa promises to be a competitive emerging market and a powerhouse for the world’s sustainable growth. Africa has been charting a path of structural transformation that has unleashed visible benefits of growth. However, in order to quickly converge with the world’s rate of human and economic development, the continent urgently needs to consolidate past successes and embark on a smarter and more sustainable development path.

The 5th Annual Harvard African Development Conference (ADC) takes place at an auspicious moment, shortly after and before the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the African Union (AU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), respectively. The Golden Jubilee of Africa’s premier development and governance institutions is therefore a unique chance to reflect on the journey thus far and take stock of trends, challenges, and opportunities as well as forecast prospects for the future.

This year’s edition of the Harvard ADC will bring together influential players to further the debate and share progressive policies and practices for a better future for Africa. The conference is designed to support Africa’s expedited structural transformation by offering a platform that advances intellectual and practical debate and enhances partnerships between governments and investors in rebranding and reshaping Africa in the international development arena. This reshaping will require a comprehensive evaluation of development with considerations from the fields of law, government, technology, health, education, design, media, and more.

The Harvard ADC, which will take place on March 28th and 29th 2014, is organized by a coalition of African student groups from various Harvard University schools: Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Law School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Harvard College. The conference will bring together distinguished players working towards Africa’s development including visionary policy makers, innovative business leaders and philanthropists, accomplished academics and students, and proactive leaders of civil society organizations. As such, this conference aims to contribute effectively to development debate, policy and implementation led by the AfDB (Africa’s Strategy 2013 – 2023) and the AU (Africa Agenda 2063).

This year’s edition of the ADC is organized in two main parts: (i) an “I Am A Professional African (IAAPA)” networking mixer organized in collaboration with Face2Face Africa on the evening of Friday March 28th 2014 at the Sheraton Commander Hotel and; (ii) a full-day panel and plenary conference on Saturday March 29th 2014 at the Harvard Law School.

Day two will commence with a high-level panel discussion about the pre-requisites for an Africa’s transformation agenda that will be delivered by four leading development executives. The conference will then break into eleven (11) thematic panel sessions presented below. Finally, the conference will conclude with a plenary session that will summarize key recommendations from the panels and discuss specific cross-sectorial implications in order to address the question posed by the theme of this year’s conference—“An agenda for Africa’s development: What do we want?”

The Harvard ADC is expected to enhance the perception of Africa as a rising region and highlight its strategic importance in a global world. The conference will also produce a report of the proceedings, capturing the key participants’ contributions Africa’s transformation. The report, a product of Harvard’s ADC, will be transmitted to participating development institutions and the wider public through the conference’s website.
Keynote Speaker:

His Excellency Raila Odinga
Prime Minister of Kenya (2008 – 2013)







Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 4.20.49 PM

4th Annual Harvard African Development Conference is here!

Visible Change in Africa: One Innovation at a Time

March 8th-9th, 2013;
Sheraton Commander & Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Building
Website: http://www3.law.harvard.edu/orgs/hadconference/

The African student organizations of Harvard University are excited to have you attend this year’s Development Conference, entitled “Visible Change in Africa: One Innovation at a Time.” This year, the discussions will be centered on highlighting innovative practical projects and development programs that have been established in various African nations and the visible impact generated from such endeavors.

Attendees can look forward to panels on:

- Economic Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs,

- Opportunities for Fashion and Entertainment Law in Africa,

- Re-conceptualizing Education in Protracted Crises,

- Leveraging Existing Resources for Change in Public-Private Partnerships,

- China and Brazil in the African economy, and

- Building Sustainable Heath Systems to Move Beyond Disease Based Aid.

The HADC is a multidisciplinary conference put on by a collaboration of our gracious and generous sponsors and African Student Groups at:

Harvard Law School
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Harvard College
Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard Medical School

HASA Africa Night: Faces of Africa
April 7, 2013;
Dinner & Mixer at 5:00pm; Main Show at 6:00pm;
Location TBA

Join HASA for a night of African food, people, performances, laughter, love, joy and general Africanness.


HALA Spring Break Trip
Spring break dates are March 16 – 24, 2013
[actual dates for trip may vary]


15th Annual Africa Business Conference
Redefining Africa –  The Emergence of a New African Story?
February 15th-17th, 2013; Harvard Business School 

The Africa Business Conference at HBS is the one of the largest student-run events focused on business in Africa. It brings together about 1,000 participants and is the ultimate networking opportunity for business and community leaders, corporate sponsors, students, educators from around the world, and anyone passionate about business opportunities in Africa. This year will mark the 15th year anniversary of the conference and promises to be a spectacular event.

Website for last years conference: http://www.hbsafricaconference.com/

Rebuilding the Legal System after the Fall of a Government
November 28, 2012; 12:00pm – 1:00pm; WCC 2004

Historically and very recently, the African continent has seen a number of momentous and sometimes volatile regime changes. Using contemporary examples like Libya, Tunisia, and the Two Sudans, speakers will address potential challenges and strategies to institute rule of law and achieve legal reform in these situations.

Getting to Zero: AIDS Charity Dinner Panel

What: Three course dinner, panel speakers and live entertainment
When: November 30, 2012, 6:00 PM
Where: 2036 Milstein East B, Harvard Law School, 1585 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02138
Featured Speakers: Dr. Rolande Hodel (AIDSFreeAFRICA), Wendy Arnold (West Africa AIDS Foundation) & Beatrice Wainaina-Adiedo (MRA-Africa)
Entertainment: DJ Ceazer & Drummer Hicham Mhammedi Alaoui
Proceeds: 100% of proceeds will go to AIDSFreeAfrica [Total proceeds were over $2,000]
Attire: Cocktail dress
Co-Sponsors: The Harvard Law School Milbank Tweed Fund, BLSA, WLA, LIDS, ABC, HASA, HCLA and Advocates for Human Rights.

Visit our facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/174120096061948/


Boston-Area African Clubs – Cross School Mixer
Thursday, November 15; 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm; John Harvard’s

Please join the Fletcher Africana Club in an networking event with other Africana  chapters from the Boston based schools MIT Sloan, HKS, HBS, HLS, HSPH, HGSE, HMS and Tufts Ubuntu. We are all co-sponsoring the event as a great opportunity to  interact and network with Africa oriented minds and unwind in a cosy  atmosphere. Appetizer’s will be served!
Please RSVP so we know how many will come: http://africana-grad-boston.eventbrite.com/

Mali Health Organizing Project Cocktail Reception and Fundraiser
Friday, November 16, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Cambridge College, 100 Massachusetts Avenue Room 152

The Mali Health Organizing Project is transforming maternal and child health through community empowerment in West Africa. We hope you will join us for an evening of cocktails, live Malian music, conversation, and an opportunity to learn more about Mali Health from our Executive Director, Kris Ansin.
Please RSVP by November 10th to lauren at malihealth.org. Donations are appreciated, but not required.

Student Activities Fair
Thursday, September 20, 2012, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Milstein East

Welcome to HLS, JD ’15 and LL.M. ’13!  HALA will have a table at the 2012 Student Activities Fair.  Please stop by to meet our executive board and discuss our plans for the upcoming school year.  You will also get the opportunity to join our e-mail list so that we can keep you updated about HALA activities!

First HALA General Body meeting
Wednesday, September 26 2012, 12-1pm. WCC B010.

Come enjoy some African food and learn about how you can get involved in HALA this year. 

Center For African Studies (CAS) Welcome Reception
Thursday, September 27 2012,4-6pm. Thompson Room, Barker Center.

Join the Center for African Studies (CAS) for a welcome event for or all new African students at Harvard.

All-Harvard Africa Mixer.
Friday, October 19 2012. 8-10pm. Ticknor Lounge.

Welcome to Harvard! Enjoy free food, African music, and new friends. Sponsored by African student organizations across Harvard community 



Wednesday, October 11 2011Taking Root: A Tribute to Wangari Maathai Film screening in honor of the late Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya.

Thursday, October 13 2011: Africa Poetry  Featuring musical performances and poetry readings from distinguished poets such as Afaa Michael Weaver and Ifeanyi Menkiti.Night.

Wednesday, October 26 2011African Election Security Lecture by General Agyemfra, a UN security expert who has overseen elections in Nigeria, Sudan, and most recently, Liberia.

Wednesday, November 16 2011: Protecting Human Rights Under Sharia Law: A Conversation with Hauwa Ibrahim.  Featuring Sakharav-prize winning activist and lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim, renowned for her representation of Amina Lawal.

Thursday, December 1 2011: Getting to Zero: AIDS Charity Dinner.  Celebration of World AIDS Day Featuring 3 course meal, guest speaker Prof. Mark Barnes (executive director of Harvard AIDS programs in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Botswana).  Proceeds went to Village Health Works, a clinic in Rwanda.

Tuesday, February 21 2012Fighting for Gay Rights in Uganda. Discussion with Ugandan gay rights Activist Val Kalende and former Human Rights Watch director Scott Long one year after the murder of activist David Kato.

Friday, February 24 2012Tastes of the Diaspora. Arts and culture night featuring African, Caribbean, and soul food in honor of black history month; proceeds go to the Africa Summit’s charity work in Namibia. 

Friday-Saturday, March 23-24, 2012: Harvard African Development Conference 2012.

Harvard African Development Conference 2012 was a success! We appreciate and thank everybody who came out to the events and for all the individuals and groups across the Harvard schools and in the community who worked hard to bring the conference to fruition. We also thank all the speakers and panelists who came from all over the world and furthered our goals of hearing, sharing, and thinking more critically and creatively about Development of and for Africa.

View conference details.

View more pictures.


Highlights from 2010-2011

October 14, 2010: A New Dawn: Reflections on Kenya’s New Legal Order

This panel featured a discussion with African LLM and SJD students who took part in either designing or analyzing Kenya’s constitution, which was promulgated in August of 2010.   Panelists and members of the Harvard community engaged in an interactive debate about what Kenya’s constitutional reform signaled for the nation’s future.

November 1, 2010: Successes and Challenges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

HALA welcomed Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa, a sitting judge with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, for dinner and a discussion about her work with the ICTR.  Over a dinner attended by over thirty students, Judge Bossa discussed the legal challenges to prosecuting those responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other grave violations of international law in Rwanda. Judge Bossa also provided students with an overview of her paper on her experiences with the ICTR.

November 18, 2010: Role of Financial Institutions in Promoting African Development

HALA cosponsored this exciting discussion with Tony Elumelu, former Chairman of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) and member of the World Economic Forum Council.  Mr. Elumelu discussed the role of financial institutions such as the UBA in contributing to Africa’s continuing development.

November 19, 2010: Stones of Hope: A Dialogue between Duncan Kennedy and Jeffrey Sachs

Renowned international development scholars Duncan Kennedy and Jeffrey Sachs spoke to the Harvard community on the occasion of the release of Professor Lucie White and Jeremy Perelman’s new book Stones of Hope: How African Activists Reclaim Human Rights to Challenge Global Poverty.  The book features case studies and commentary on approaches to advocating economic and social rights in Africa.

February 1, 2011: Speaker Event with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana

In our spring semester kickoff event, Justice Georgina Wood, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana gave a talk to select members of the Harvard and MIT community.  Over lunch, Justice Wood discussed the legal frameworks currently in place that make Ghana a premier investment destination.

February 3, 2011: What Follows South Sudan’s Independence?

Rebecca Hamilton, a former lawyer with the International Criminal Court, spoke to the Harvard Law School community about her new book, “Fighting for Darfur,” a critical examination of the impact of the Darfur advocacy movement.  Her talk focused on human rights advocacy in Darfur and her analysis of Africa’s newest nation, South Sudan.

February 14, 2011: The Dark Side of Chocolate: Child Labor and Trafficking in Africa

Last Valentine’s Day, students were invited to an exclusive screening of the documentary “The Dark Side of Chocolate,” a film that exposes the exploitation of African children to harvest chocolate.

February 24, 2011: Taste of Diaspora Charity Event

HALA and the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) joined forces at Conga Lounge in Harvard Square to celebrate African culture and raise money for the Hinga Kawa Women’s Coffee Co-op in Rwanda.  The event featured great food, live music, and African dance performances.

March 7, 2011: The State of Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Members of Israel at Heart, an organization composed of Ethiopian students living in Israel, spoke to HALA and the Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA) about their experiences integrating into Israeli society.  The discussion was moderated by SJD student Jonatan Arbel.

March 26, 2011: Harvard African Development Conference

Over two-hundred people attended Harvard’s annual African Development Conference, which featured renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs, Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, and the Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Tegenework Gettu.  The conference featured over five panels on topics ranging from food security, theories of development, to the current business and investment climate in Africa.  See http://hlsorgs.com/hadconference/ for more information.

In addition, HALA hosted numerous social events and co-sponsored African-related events organized by other student groups.