• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Investing in Africa: Nigeria’s LawPavilion joins IBA to promote FDIs

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Nigeria’s leading legal resource company, LawPavilion was spotted at the just concluded ‘Investing in Africa’ Conference organised by the International Bar Association (IBA) in New York.

The company, which was one of the frontline sponsors at this significant event themed,  “Investing in Africa Conference – Opportunities for Businesses and the Lawyers who Counsel Them”, was there to showcase Nigeria’s technological know-how to the rest of the world – establishing the country  as skilled and efficient to the investing public.

Speaking about LawPavilion’s presence at the conference, Managing Director, Ope Olugasa, explained that the company’s decision to be Headline Sponsor was predicated on the need for the Nigerian legal community to be ably represented at a forum where the profitability of Africa is discussed. “It is high time we joined the conversation and let our voices be heard. Investments must not be only for the benefit of the investor. Local communities are entitled to enjoy the benefit of such investments. The best way to do that is to have legal practitioners who understand the intricacies and mind-sets of investors to be able to correctly advise them whilst ensuring maximum benefits to our country,” he said.

The conference explored and identified challenges associated with tapping into Africa’s growth, including availability of information and tools to unlock Africa’s regulatory doors, and also have a firm grasp of the risks associated with investing and operating in sub-Saharan Africa. Discussions centred on areas of investment in Africa, businesses/industries enjoying patronage of foreign direct investment (FDI), investor challenges around Africa and the risks and benefits associated with investing in Africa.

The speakers and discussants touched on Africa’s investment trends and how they affect commercial enterprises and their lawyers; Recent deals in sectors of rapid growth, including agribusiness, finance, IT, media and entertainment and consumer products/retail; Recent deals in nature sectors, including oil and gas, mining, telecommunications and power-related infrastructure; Risk mitigation and how law firms can augment their presence in Africa.

Participants also raised questions regarding, “Who was funding Africa’s growth?” – they spoke of private equity, capital markets, foreign and African banks, and multilateral institutions.

At a special session for law firms and how they can augment their presence in Africa, it was revealed that about 80% of the legal services consumed by businesses operating in Africa is carried out by Law Firms in New York, London and other sophisticated locations; only 20% of the demand is supplied by African law firms.

“It is apparent that lawyers and Law firms operating in Africa need to quickly amplify the level and sophistication of their practice by leveraging on technology and advanced knowledge,” Olugasa observed. He also stated that a vast awareness of the regulatory framework within local economies is also a great gain for the African legal practitioner.

One of the products showcased at the conference was the LawPavilion Solicitors Toolkit (STK). The STK is a first of its kind product from the stables of Grace Info Tech Limited, owners of the LawPavilion brand. The STK software is targeted significantly at Legal Practitioners who work in commercial/corporate circles. The solution also contains Forms and Agreements in templates, which are editable whilst keeping the original boilerplate.

As Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria received significant attention at the conference, with participants from across the world taking advantage of a great opportunity to network and meet with business executives and legal practitioners from Nigeria and other jurisdictions, who represented clients with interests or prospects in Africa.

Nigeria’s seamless transition to a new government was commended, with participants from other jurisdictions expressing high expectations from the new government. The conference established increased prospects of FDI flow into Nigeria.