In 2014, two UK solicitors’ firms, Ashfords and Freeth Cartwright, donated a large volume of law reports and text books to the UK Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network. These were shipped to the University of Makeni for free by Dawnus, an international construction company from Wales which was working in Sierra Leone.
A letter from the Vice Chancellor of UNIMAK said that the books would “help to put the law directly into the hands of future practitioners and will make a lasting impact on the quality of legal education in Sierra Leone for many years”. As the books were delivered during the Ebola outbreak, he added “it has helped to raise our spirits at a time of great challenge for the University and our nation”.
A second, larger shipment is being sent to UNIMAK in 2016 by the Network in partnership with the Makeni Trust Fund.
The shipment includes 125 boxes of law reports and practitioner and student law books collected from donations from Lincoln’s Inn Library, the University of Kent Law Clinic, the Law Society Library, White & Case, Higgs & Sons, the International Law Book Facility, Maitland Chambers, Francis Taylor Building, and others.
The chairman of the Network’s steering group, barrister Richard Honey, and the Network’s Secretary, Momo Turay, visited UNIMAK in December 2015 to inspect the library and to speak to the students.
The students were very grateful indeed for the assistance with their library. The two shipments together will create possibly the best law library in Sierra Leone and will transform the teaching of law at the University by enabling the students to research and discuss the law in ways which were simply impossible before.