Global law firm Hogan Lovells roundtable discussion forum for General Counsel which aims to review preparedness of African region for Brexit and African Continental Free Trade Agreement, has identified the need for the continent to position itself to be able to compete in the global marketplace.
The forum discussed hot topics affecting regional and global businesses which also provided a platform for GC’s from key industry players to discuss global legal practices and trends as well as explore the issues and opportunities within the across various sectors.
The panel of speakers included Hogan Lovells London-based partners Andrew Skipper, Head of Hogan Lovells Africa practice, Arun Velusami, energy and projects specialist and Sarah Shaw, who focuses on cross boarder M&A.
The roundtable discussions focused on current topics and developments such as: Brexit and its impact on cross-border trade for African companies; and the implication of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on businesses in Africa.
Speaking at the event, Andrew Skipper, Hogan Lovells partner and head of the firm’s Africa practice highlighted the importance of gaining an understanding of the overall impact Brexit may have on their businesses and stressed the need to be vigilant and prepared. With so much global uncertainty, Africa will become increasingly attractive to foreign investors, but African businesses must ensure they are well positioned to operate in a global marketplace, and this is where firms like ours can help.
He underlined that AfCFTA could be a key driver for many local companies to expand and grow across territories as trade barriers are removed. This is crucial to trade development.
“This is our inaugural GC roundtable in Lagos and we are happy it has been a huge success. The event was organised to discuss global best practices, examine the looming impact of Brexit and cross-border trade for African companies, and to establish solutions that can lead to sustainable growth; and we happy to have had engaging discussions that will shape the way organizations address these key issues going forward.
“We believe that General Counsels are increasingly the agents of change at institutions, their roles have become more expansive; and discussions such as these will help the industry achieve progressive processes that lead to growth. We look forward to hosting more engagements like this with other leading players in the African market.” he added.