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KNUST team of women law students wins Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition

Left to right: Ms. Afia Owusuwaa Banahene; Ms. Anita Enyonam Dei; Dean of the Faculty of Law at KNUST, Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa; Ms. Majida Issah Abah; KNUST Faculty of Law coach/trainer, Mr. Ezekiel Osei; KNUST Faculty of Law Registrar, Mrs. Abigail Dzama Anderson

The recently concluded 31st Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, held between 25 and 30 July 2022, at the British University in Egypt (BUE) brought together Africa’s law faculties to argue hypothetical cases on human rights in Africa. The cases focused on internet intermediary liability, climate change, and human trafficking. The competition is held in English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic to comprehensively cover the different regions represented. The final winners of this year’s competition among 38 English-speaking universities were an all-female star team – Majida Issah Abah, Afia Owusuwaa Banahene, and Anita Enyonam Dei – from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), located in Kumasi, Ghana.

Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, Dean of the Faculty of Law at KNUST, expressed excitement for the students’ victory and noted that, “in 2009, when the KNUST Faculty of Law Team qualified to the final stage of the competition which resulted in our team being runners-up, we had all female members. After 13 years of being first runners-up, another team of brilliant, eloquent, and smart women has won the final stage of the competition. Consistently, our female students have proven that they are champions of legal education and critical thinking. I am really proud of our ladies.”

Left to right: Ms. Anita Enyonam Dei, Ms. Afia Owusuwaa Banahene, and Ms. Majida Issah Abah

One of this year’s KNUST Faculty of Law team members, Ms. Afia Owusuwaa Banahene shared: “I have nurtured this dream since I was in my first year. Today, I am living my dream and I can only give glory to whom glory is due, God. This win means a lot to me; it means that I can achieve all that I have set my mind to no matter how distant they may seem.”

Ms. Majida Issah Abah shared: “This win means so much to me; it means that reading law is a step in the right direction for me – especially so when I am a Muslim and the stereotypes you face when you encounter very conservative Muslims who find out that you are a law student.”

Beyond their win, the students are happy to have nurtured strong bonds with the other students they met at the competition. Ms. Anita Enyonam Dei shared: “Joining the moot team might just be one of the best things to ever happen to me and help me change that mindset. It reminds me that if I work hard enough, my biggest dreams might actually become a reality. Right now, this win means a lot to me and I just thank God for an opportunity to do this and meet so many people around the continent.”

All three students have expressed an interest in pursuing further studies and ultimately working with international organizations in the future – we, at IAWL, are anticipating the bright future that lies ahead for them. Congratulations!


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