Hogan Lovells creates critical dialogue on Africa's economic recovery at eighth annual Africa Forum

Panellists were optimistic about the continent’s development through trade, Education, Technology, creativity, and partnerships.

London, 21 October 2021 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells yesterday held its eighth annual Africa Forum, themed “Africa Connected”; the platform’s aim was to foster business-critical conversation necessary for Africa's recovery, growth, and sustainability. The Forum, a leading conference for business and economic development in Africa, boasted a prestigious line-up of speakers and panellists, including business leaders and key decision-makers across Africa.

The 2021 event took a hybrid format in London, on a dedicated virtual platform. Panellists shared in-depth knowledge and expertise on doing business in Africa, as well as insights into how the private and public sectors can minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the panellists were; Alastair Long, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, UK Department for International Trade; John Lewis, CEO of Aggreko; Janet Rogan, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Middle East and Africa; Samatar Omar Elmi, Chief ICT Specialist of the African Development Bank Group; Olufemi Daniel, VC AU Policy and Regulatory Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA NITDA) Nigeria; Betre Gizaw, Legal and Regulatory Lead at Paystack; Jesus Mantas, Managing Partner at IBM; Liz Lloyd, Chief Impact Officer of CDC; Damilola Agbaje, Investment Principal, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM); and Gordon Welsh, Head of the Business Group and Executive Committee Member for UK Export Finance, to name a few.

The Forum agenda featured various themed sessions, each analysing key topics for the continent’s future, including the CEO Corner, which was led by industry stalwarts who have unrivalled experience on the continent across a range of sectors. 

The session on clean energy transition discussed Africa’s voyage to clean energy and the factors stalling the transition. Panellists also examined Africa’s climate adaptation, climate financing, and carbon capture. This year’s regional debate examined the long-term impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and some of the opportunities it provides for public and private sector collaboration in improving Africa’s development.

In a session focusing on how Africa has been shaped by technology, panellists agreed that technology and innovation have pushed the growth of Africa’s economy in recent years, so much so that governments on the continent have had to develop regulatory frameworks guiding activities in the sector. The experts expect more innovation to come, especially in FinTech.

In a similar vein, the session on sustainable financing discussed global engagement, Africa’s outlook on the conversation, and how sustainable financing can be driven by technology.

Hogan Lovells continues to be at the forefront of developing innovative tool kits for financial institutions, borrowers, and investee companies to onboard some of the necessary disciplines and processes related to the sustainable finance drive. 

Speaking on the impact of the forum, Head of Hogan Lovells Africa Practice, Andrew Skipper, said, “We are proud to be part of the discussion to improve the paradigm in Africa. Each of the sessions was insightful and speak to the fact that with effective partnerships, the private and public sectors can make a positive impact on the journey to growth and recovery. The continent is opening to structures and platforms that will give citizens access to improved social equality through impact investing and financial inclusion. This can be seen in the influx of entrepreneurs investing on the continent.  With the AfCFTA agreement, there is also a huge expectation for growth through intra Africa trade. Moreover, the continent is embracing technology, and this is a significant factor for investment opportunities and sustainable development. Leveraging connections across the various industries and sectors, Africa will also witness an acceleration in achieving the Social Development Goals.”

 


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