Songezo Mabece

“Having international qualifications helps me distinguish myself in the field.”
Songezo Mabece
“Having international qualifications helps me distinguish myself in the field.”

Songezo Mabece

LLM, Government Procurement Law, Class of '18

Songezo Mabece is passionate about economic and social development in his native South Africa. An accomplished lawyer who serves as Legal Counsel at South Africa's Competition Commission, he chose to enhance his skills by pursuing an advanced degree in government procurement law, with the support of his employer.

As he researched LLM programs in Europe and the United States, Mabece found himself assessing other programs against the LLM Program in Government Procurement Law at GW Law. "I couldn't find a serious competitor against this program," he says. The combination of the program's stellar reputation and pioneering faculty in the field, along with GW’s location in Washington, D.C., across the street from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, made GW an easy choice for him.

Once he arrived at GW, he found a lively, challenging academic environment.                    "I particularly enjoy the participatory elements of the classes and the chance to practice through class assignments,” he says. “The professors here are active in the industry: That's just live law—you can’t get any better than that." He's equally impressed with the depth of the course content and with the variety of voices present in the classroom from classmates to professors and outside practitioners. He has been fully engaged in the life of the law here at GW, holding an internship at the World Bank, doing pro bono work with the Gulf Recovery Network in New Orleans during winter break, and developing a first-ever seminar series with Professor Karen Thornton that will focus on government contracts.

Mabece says that not only has he gained knowledge and increased perspective in the classroom, he has gained connections with classmates from around the world. "Over the course of my career, whether I have dealings in the Middle East or Europe or Latin America or elsewhere on the African continent, I'll know someone to call because of our GW connection."

After Mabece graduates from GW Law in spring 2018, he will return to his job at the Competition Commission. He looks forward to implementing what he's learned and believes it will serve his country well. "The tangible benefits of having strong government procurement policy cannot be overstated, especially in a young democracy such as South Africa's," Mabece explains. "It means that hospitals are built to specifications and on time; that the right textbooks arrive and get to kids on time; that roads connecting rural to urban areas are built well, to specifications, and on time. These contracts affect real people. Lives depend on this."