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General News of Monday, 29 June 2020

Source: Abdul Rauf Kadir, contributor

Ghanaian military officer and lawyer achieves double academic honours at Georgetown Law

Captain Jamal Tonzua has an LL.M in in Energy and Environmental Law Captain Jamal Tonzua has an LL.M in in Energy and Environmental Law

Captain Jamal Tonzua, a young legal officer of the Ghana Armed Forces received double academic honours—Distinction and the Dean’s List—in his advanced legal studies and specialization at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C., USA.

He now wields a master of laws (LL.M.) in Energy and Environmental Law (Distinction) and a certificate in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (Distinction).

During his United Nations Fellowship at Georgetown Law, he was a Research Assistant at the Georgetown Climate Center and he received A+ in all his research papers: Climate Federalism; Arbitration Reforms on Investor-State Dispute Settlement; and Climate Resilience of Energy Infrastructure. Prior to his new academic accolades, Captain Tonzua received the prestigious United Nations International Law Fellowship, which provided him with specializations in public international law at The Hague, as part of his capacity-building projects for his public service and teaching interests.

While at The Hague, he participated in International Law Courses at The Hague Academy of International Law. During his time at Georgetown Law he was admitted to the membership of several prestigious professional bodies such as the International Bar Association, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the African Society of International Law and the American Bar Association.

Captain Tonzua presents a uniquely inspiring story of excellence that started in Bawku, in the Upper East Region of Ghana. He graduated in the top 1% of his school with Eight 1s (Distinction). That performance earned him a seat in the competitive science programme at the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School (PRESEC-Legon). At the end of his time at PRESEC-Legon, he earned another distinction and he also won the first position in the 2003 National Essay Competition on Information Communications Technology (jointly organized by the African Youth Initiative and under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications).

By virtue of those outcomes, he represented Ghana’s Youth on the Presidential delegation to the 2003 World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva. He also received a government scholarship to pursue studies in public health in the Kingdom of Morocco. He later completed his foundational legal studies (LL.B.) with honours, and he received the W.C. Ekow Daniels Award representing the Most Promising Alumnus (Legal Educator).

Upon his call to the Ghanaian Bar, he worked as a Junior Associate at Ghana’s leading law firm—Bentsi-Enchill Letsa and Ankomah—where he worked on international petroleum transactions and advised on international an arbitration case at the International Center on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

He has also worked at an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Mountcrest University College where he has mentored five generations of law candidates, many of who are now lawyers.

Based on the extraordinary honour that Captain Tonzua has brought to the nation and to the Ghana Armed Forces, it will not come as a surprise if the Armed Forces Council publicly honours him, to encourage young professionals to cultivate a culture of excellence and to direct their talents towards public service.

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