Rule of Law for Development Program


Buhlebenkosi Nxumalo

LL.M. in Rule of Law for Development 2016
Knowledge Management and Learning Consultant
International Land Coalition (ILC)
Italy
Data as of April 2018

 

Q: Why Loyola's Rule of Law for Development program?
A: I was interested in Loyola's Rule of Law for Development program because it nurtured my desire to use law for development in Africa. I am interested in working towards the eradication of poverty and inequality through legal, economic and social change. The program's multidisciplinary nature allowed me to focuses on topics such as the theory and history of development, development policy and best practices in development.

Q: What did you like best about the program?
A: The program has expanded my view of development from being strictly centered on governments' responsibilities towards citizens. The program matched my interest in exploring social and economic change options, led by non-state actors such as the private sector, minorities, local communities and social movements in modern-day development discourse. The program's holistic approach to development law takes into account legal pluralism in the developing countries and embraces multiculturalism and its influence on development.

Q: Can you provide some examples of where you specifically used your training at Loyola to carry out a task or project at your current work?
A: I am currently working as a knowledge management and learning consultant at the International Land Coalition (ILC), a global alliance of grassroots, civil society, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations based in Rome, Italy. My work entails research and documentation of the best practices of ILC members in defending land rights, and facilitating peer-to-peer learning within the membership and with partner organisations.

Q: What did your thesis or capstone project focus on?
A: My thesis paper focused on the effects of Indigenization Laws in Zimbabwe on the diamond mining sector. The paper is a comparative analysis of Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa and investigates methods used by the three governments to promote black ownership of shares in the mining sector. Although written from a multi-stakeholder perspective, the paper focused on the role of the private sector in development, and found that the laws' application in Zimbabwe were not beneficial to most stakeholders. In conclusion, the paper suggested policy changes, and advocated for smart regulation as the most transparent, inclusive, evidence-based and least burdensome regulatory option.

Q: Can you provide an example of where you built on or utilized your thesis or capstone project after graduating from Loyola?
A: My thesis and work constantly overlap: where mining is concerned, land grabbing is almost inevitable. The ILC works to prevent and remedy land grabbing, respecting traditional land use rights, and to ensure that all large-scale initiatives that involve the use of land, and other natural resources comply with human rights and environmental obligations.

Q: What advice can you give prospective students interested in applying to the Rule of Law for Development program?
A: The program has given me an opportunity to improve my skillset as a development practitioner. I learned new and best practices in the development law field; and also gained a good theoretical and jurisprudential grounding. The course is multi-dimensional, covering different socio-cultural, political and economic contexts that a rule of law practitioner might work in. The introduction of the Master in Jurisprudence is evidence of the multi-faceted nature of the program, and takes into account the holistic nature of development law and development in general. Most importantly, the program gives students a unique opportunity to connect with their network of development practitioners around the world. This is a unique opportunity that the student wouldn't ordinarily find easily. Students can learn from influential professionals and can also contribute their innovative ideas to program partners and lecturers.

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