On 1 December 2018, the Max Planck Foundation held its final conference at the Sudanese National Assembly buildings in Omdurman for the project “Strengthening the Legal Capacities of the Sudanese National Legislature” funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
The conference marked the completion of the programme designed to strengthen the legal capacities of members of the National Assembly and Council of States in the area of comparative constitutional law. Throughout the 19-month programme, the Foundation had implemented eight capacity-building workshops for Members of Parliament to build their capacity on relevant constitutional topics including elections law, human rights and systems of governance.
High-ranking political Sudanese figures such as leaders and executive chairpersons of the major political parties (governmental as well as opposition), international diplomats, notable academics and civil-society representatives alongside Parliamentarians who had participated in the previous workshops were invited to attend by the Foundation.
The event gave the Foundation the opportunity to present the results of the whole project to this inclusive audience with support from Mr Holger Tillmann, the Deputy Head of Mission to the German Embassy in Khartoum. The Foundation’s Managing Director and Head of Project, Professor Dr Rüdiger Wolfrum’s presentation emphasised the Foundation’s role with respect to the capacity building collaboration with the Sudanese institutions. In addition, from the parliamentary side, the Deputy Speaker of the Sudanese Parliament, Dr Badria Suleiman, presented on the positive experience the Members of Parliament had themselves during the training. She particularly highlighted the fact that the workshops and chosen topics were pertinent to the current Sudanese situation as they were organised in a timely manner that greatly benefitted the deliberations in Parliament. At the end, the participants as well as representatives of the various Sudanese political parties had the opportunity to comment and discuss the Foundation’s work as well as the current reforms and the political situation in the country.
Not only did the conference constitute a successful conclusion of the overall programme; it also paved the way for the continuation of fruitful discussions and capacity building activities in 2019.