Khanyo Mkhize (2014 -15)
Associate Legal Officer, Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC), African Union Commission
Prior to joining PROLAW I worked as a corporate employment lawyer in Johannesburg, South Africa. During PROLAW I gained academic and practical experience in, inter alia, stakeholder engagement, project design and management, proposal preparation, and practice of assessments.
After completing PROLAW, I worked as an Associate Research Consultant, in Public Health at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in Rome and in The Hague. IDLO’s sole mandate is advancing the rule of law. The Public Health department focuses on HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and falsified medicines. I organized interregional consultations, expert meetings, and other large scale events. I drafted, edited and reviewed meeting and program reports. I researched potential donors and possible program partners in various regions. In addition, I conducted a global survey on various organizations’ approach to the NCD pandemic and prepared a report which was presented to the UN interagency task force on NCDs. PROLAW enabled me to transition from corporate law to a new and exciting area of work. All the skills I gained through PROLAW were essential for this position and I was able to apply them practically.
I currently work as an Associate Legal Officer at the African Union Commission with the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The objectives of the OLC are to ensure the legal safety of the African Union (AU) and to protect the legal interests of the organization. In this position, I assist the Legal Counsel in conducting elections in all organs of the AU, provide legal advisory and institutional affairs services to the AU, draft treaties and bilateral agreements, preparing draft rules of procedure and advising AU organs, specialized agencies and institutions as well as organize various conferences. The rule of law knowledge I gained in PROLAW is instrumental in this position. In addition, PROLAW was essential in assisting me to build long lasting and strong relationships during my studies, contacts which continue to add value in my career as I carry on my work.