Tanzania: Legal Services Facility Appoints New CEO

LEGAL Services Facility (LSF) yesterday announced the appointment of Lulu Ng'wanakilala as its new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Kees Groenendijk who led the organisation since its inception in 2011.

Ms Ng'wanakilala, who holds a Masters' Degree in International Law and Human Rights from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom and Bachelor of Law from the University of Dar es Salaam, will among other things oversee ongoing institutional reforms at LSF, which seeks to broaden legal aid provision to continually enable millions of poor women and men in Tanzania to access legal aid services.

She assumes leadership of the non-profit organisation that to date has facilitated the active presence of paralegals, which work to provide free legal aid and education in all districts of the mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar while also financially and technically supporting regional mentor organisations that provide oversight to the paralegals, as well as a variety of other implementing partners.

In anticipation of the new CEO and reflecting on LSF's work over the last eight years, Groenendijk, the outgoing CEO, said: "From its very start with enabling support of development partners- DANIDA and DfID and the government-L SF's mission has been to establish an environment where access to legal services for the poor, particularly women, is both easy and reliable.

To achieve this, we have created a large network of around 3,000 active paralegals across the country whose commitment interprets into visible positive changes to the lives of marginalised people".

"Ng'wanakilala brings into LSF fresh impetus in terms of innovative and inspirational leadership, as well as broad experience and knowledge in vital disciplines and capacities that are crucial for moving this organisation forward, making her the ideal person to occupy the helm of LSF", Groenendijk added.

In welcoming the new CEO, LSF's Board Chairperson Dr Benson Bana pointed to the dynamic environment of the provision of legal aid services around the country saying: "Guaranteeing sustainable legal aid services is at the core of what defines LSF's mission.

Over these few years this organisation has transformed the lives of countless ordinary citizens while putting emphasis on uplifting women who are traditionally less advantaged".

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