Hogan Lovells leads dialogue on energy, technology and logistics as catalyst for growth in West Africa
28 May 2021 – As part of to the firm’s commitment to advancing resilient sustainable-led growth in Africa, Hogan Lovells held the West African edition of its inaugural Africa Business Leaders series to explore key sectors and industries projected to spearhead Africa’s economic recovery. Private sector experts and investors across the sub-region, led by core members of Hogan Lovells Africa practice, gathered virtually on May 19 to discuss the prospects for Africa’s economic revival.
Facilitated by Andrew Skipper, Head of Africa practice at Hogan Lovells, the session featured thought leaders who shared industry knowledge to help facilitate growth in West Africa. Among them was Yvonne Mhango, Head of Research - Africa, Renaissance Capital who shared insight into the current state of the region and avenues for growth.
Arun Velusami, partner in Hogan Lovells energy and natural resources group, spoke extensively on the recent challenges that have confronted the continent since the pandemic and how they have affected the Infrastructure and Energy sectors in Africa. Arun is highly experienced and has advised governments and developers in a variety of energy projects with particular focus on power projects in Africa, including renewable energy, thermal, and hydro-power projects.
Former Prime Minister of Benin and Co-Chair of SouthBridge, Lionel Zinsou, spoke at the fireside chat on financing African economies and the impact on the population. He shared that the private sector is a major contributor to job creation and the most important power behind sustainable growth in Africa. Speaking further, he stated that infrastructure and logistics remain key areas for investment in Africa to unlock productivity.
A panel consisting of Oti Ikomi, Chief Executive Officer, Proton Energy; Joseph Alain Saraka, Chief Strategy Officer, ARISE; Michelle Patrick-Akinrinade, Investment Advisor - Anglophone West Africa, U.S International Development Finance Corporation (DFC); and Sangu Delle, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Health Holdings discussed the new paradigm for Africa and what it means to the different business activities in the continent.
The Africa Business Series continues with East Africa on 16 June and will explore new investment opportunities in the Agriculture sector and provide insight into the new wave of investments in technology and data infrastructure in the region. The North Africa and Southern Africa events will be held in July and November 2021 respectively. The former will invite leading industrialists and investors for discussion and debate on the future, while discussing the booming manufacturing ecosystem in the region, and the latter will welcome private sector leaders operating in tourism, hospitality and FMCG to draw a plan for economic recovery as well as analyse the services sector in the region.
Speaking on the West African edition, Head of Africa practice at Hogan Lovells, Andrew Skipper said, “The insights shared from these industry leaders have proven that Africa continues to increase its potential for growth. Dialogues like this help to build affinity between private sector leaders and investors while examining growth prospects for Africa. At Hogan Lovells, we continue to be committed to understanding, operating in, investing in and respecting the continent, and we are excited to champion the journey to economic recovery and sustainable growth. Infrastructure, renewable energy and technology are key sectors to the economies in West Africa and with consistent collaboration and support, the region will get back to full recovery in alignment with the needs of its citizens, business and Government’’.