Gerald Abila is a finalist for the Schwab Foundation 2024 Social Innovation Awards. He's an Attorney and Social Entrepreneur known for his works in using digital technologies to make the law readily available.
He believes that access to law and justice are the fundamental building blocks of a just, equitable and thriving society in which human rights are respected; and that technology has a significant role to play in building a society where people are aware of their human rights, duties and obligations.
Today, he leads a team at BarefootLaw, a non-profit organisation based in Uganda which utilizes technology and innovative approaches to bridge the gap between people and the legal system. BarefootLaw offers legal support through various platforms, including mobile phones and the internet, making legal information more accessible to a wider audience in Uganda, and across Africa. Their vision is in a world where everyone has ready access to the law, and can use it to peacefully prevent, and resolve problems they face.
He has been named a Legal Rebel by the American Bar Association for using technology to transform global legal practice. Other honors include the 100 leading Legal Consultants and Strategists in the world by the Law Dragon in New York, Echoing Green Fellow, Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, Young Achiever Award for Leadership and Social Enterprise, and a Laurette of the Africa Development Prize by the King Baudouin Foundation.
He was recently named a Rainer Arnhold Fellow by the Mulago Foundation which invests in leaders bringing positive impact across the world.
In addition to his work with BarefootLaw, Gerald likes to write, teach and advocate for the ethical use of new technologies, including Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in achieving development goals.
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- Non-profit Social Enterprise
- Areas of Impact
Through innovative use of digital technology, BarefootLaw’s work is to empower people to develop legal solutions for their justice needs. BarefootLaw does this first by broadcasting simplified legal information to the public through multiple channels, including mobile phones, the internet, radio and community outreach programmes. Beneficiaries with specific legal cases then contact BarefootLaw through the same channel where they are aided in resolving legal issues and disputes pro bono, through a full-time team of trained attorneys, supported by Winnie, an artificial intelligence (AI) lawyer. BarefootLaw’s goal is to reach 50 million people in Africa by 2030.