Moyo –first African to lead IBA in 74 years

Sternford Moyo

By Staff Reporter
Prominent Zimbabwean lawyer and Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) board member, Sternford Moyo, is the new International Bar Association (IBA) president.

The Zimbabwean veteran lawyer becomes the first African lawyer to lead the IBA in its 74-year-old history after taking over Brazil’s Horacio Bernardes Neto.

Specialising in mining, corporate and commercial law, Moyo is chairman and Senior partner of Harare law firm Scanlen and Holderness.

He will be deputised by Spanish lawyer Almudena Arpón de Mendívil –a partner with Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, where she leads the Corporate Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group in Spain.

Moyo’s firm was one of the founder members of the pan-African network LEXAfrica and also a member of Meritas.
In a statement yesterday, IBA said: “Sternford Moyo, Chairman and Senior Partner of law firm Scanlen and Holderness, is the new President of the International Bar Association (IBA). Hailing from Zimbabwe, Mr Moyo is the first IBA President of African descent in the history of the 74-year-old organisation. He succeeds Brazil’s Horacio Bernardes Neto with a two-year tenure through to 31 December 2022.”

Prior to being elected as president, Moyo held numerous senior IBA positions that include, Council Member, Management Board Member, Advisory Board Member and Chair of the African Regional Forum, Deputy Secretary-General for Southern Africa, Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Trustee of IBA-established entities, such as the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and eye witness to Atrocities, and member of the Task Force on Illicit Financial Flows, Poverty and Human Rights.

Commenting on his appointment, Moyo vowed to work rigorously to achieve IBA objectives, among them, to protect the rule of law and effective administration of justice.

Moyo also said the objectives and areas of focus to expand IBA’s scope during his tenure, were developing effective anti-corruption strategies and use of digital resources for knowledge distribution to all lawyers including those at entry level.

“As I take over as President of our Association, I am pleased to say that I stand on a platform of excellent work done by my predecessors and the employees of the Association. My role shall be to work towards deepening the fulfilment of the objectives of our association and increasing diversity, eliminating all forms of discrimination in the practice of law and administration of justice. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my predecessors and employees of the Association for the solid platform from which I shall be working,” he said.

Moyo has also held various leadership positions in the country.
He was once a bar leader in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.

In 1990, Moyo was selected by the United States Information Services to be part of a programme that helped young African leaders to familiarise with the American legal system and its background.

Established in 1947 as an organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies, IBA has a membership base of more than 80 000 individual international lawyers from across the world, 190 bar associations and law societies from more than 170 countries.

IBA plays a priority role in key developments concerning international law reform as well as shaping the future of the legal profession across the world.

Other members of the IBA management comment are from Australia, France, United States, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Sweden, Romania, Ireland, Britain and Malaysia among others.

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