Thomson Reuters, Books For Africa Commit To $1.2 Million Venture
Donations aim to help establish Rule of Law, support democracy in African nations
EAGAN, Minn., USA, — This afternoon Thomson Reuters announced a $1.2 million agreement with Books For Africa’s Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative. The Minnesota-based organizations will provide up to 15 law libraries, along with teaching and international law texts, to law schools and governing institutions in Africa over the next several years. In addition, Thomson Reuters plans to donate funds to offset the shipping costs of the legal texts and will continue to provide advertising, logistical and printing support to Books For Africa and the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative.
These contributions are intended to support the establishment of solid governing institutions and the Rule of Law in Africa’s emerging democracies. The Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative is co-chaired by former Vice President Walter Mondale and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
“The Rule of Law – including the right to vote in free and fair elections, or the right to establish a business without the threat of militia rule or extortion – is something that we often take for granted. But it’s our faith in the Rule of Law that allows us to build strong businesses, establish smart schools and provide quality health care to people across Minnesota and the United States,” said former Vice President Mondale.“This partnership will help Africa’s emerging democracies strengthen their governments by giving the next generation of lawyers, civil servants and government leaders the tools necessary to create and sustain the stable democracies we take for granted.”
“Today only nine African nations are considered ‘free’ democracies, but another 23 countries are working hard to establish sound democracies and growing economies on the continent,” said Lane Ayres, director of the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative. “This partnership aims to support those emerging democracies in creating fair, just and prosperous nations by providing the tools and resources necessary to further the Rule of Law.”
This partnership builds on more than three years of collaboration between Books For Africa and Thomson Reuters. To date, Thomson Reuters has contributed more than 3,500 legal texts and 50,000 general interest books to legal and public schools across 12 African nations through its work with Books For Africa.
In addition to legal texts – including teaching law libraries to law schools and treatise collections and human rights titles for governments, bar associations and NGOs in African countries – each year Thomson Reuters also will support the shipment of one shipping container – nearly 22,000 books – of general interest books to fill the desks and shelves at public schools and libraries across Africa.
“We are grateful to be a part of this important initiative to provide Africa’s future lawyers, civil servants and leaders with the information and tools needed to establish stable and prosperous democracies,” said Peter Warwick, chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters, Legal. “Our new commitment to Books For Africa strengthens our partnership and our efforts to enhance the Rule of Law worldwide.”
In addition to supporting Books For Africa’s Law & Democracy Initiative, Thomson Reuters offers many significant programs to advance the legal professional’s contributions to the Rule of Law. Two of these programs are:
* TrustLaw, a program of the Thomson Reuters foundation that pairs local, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with lawyers and legal professionals willing to offer pro-bono services.
* Do Justice, a Thomson Reuters, Legal program that provides attorneys doing pro-bono work with free access to Westlaw, its market leading legal research service. Last year, the program donated more than $20 million worth of Westlaw access to attorneys to support their work on behalf of organizations and individuals who could not otherwise afford legal counsel.
For more information about Books For Africa’s Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative and its agreement with Thomson Reuters visit www.booksforafrica.org/law.html.
For more information about Thomson Reuters, Legal’s contributions to the legal community, visit http://thomsonreuters.com/products_services/legal/corporate_responsibility/global_social_justice/
About Books For Africa
Books For Africa, a 22 year old non-profit organization based in Minnesota, is the world’s largest shipper of donated school and library books to the African continent. A key component of Books For Africa is The Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative, which provides legal texts for African law students, bar associations and other legal recipients.
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets, powered by the world’s most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs 55,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.
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