Africa Week 2019

Africa continues to attract global attention. With the recent signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the region will become the world’s largest free trade area: a unified market with a combined GDP of USD2.5 trillion and a population of over 1.2 billion.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are on the rise; reforms aimed at improving business conditions are underway; and the rapid spread of digital technologies is improving connectivity, transforming industries and creating significant opportunity for governments and businesses alike. In a difficult global economic environment however Africa is facing unique challenges.

Join us from the 26-28 November for Africa Week, a series of events bringing together global and regional businesses, financiers, investors, policy makers and thought leaders for an insightful and honest debate of the key issues shaping Africa and its prospects for growth.   

$ 1768.1 bn
Combined GDP of Africa

*The World Bank: GDP (US $ Current) Africa: World Bank national accounts data, and OECD National Accounts data files.

of the world's 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa
$ 0 tn
Africa's predicted consumer spending in 2020
0 bn
the number of Africans of working age in 2040


Hear from an impressive line-up of speakers and engage with industry peers over a dynamic three-day programme of events. Our registration page allows you to select the events of greatest relevance to your business. 

On Tuesday 26 November, we give you the opportunity to meet 1:1 with representatives from DLA Piper Africa’s 20 member firms, in addition to lawyers from our Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia and US businesses who regularly advise clients on their interests in the continent.



9:00 – 17:00

A day in Africa: 1:1 client meeting opportunities
Meetings by appointment only
A day providing you with the opportunity to meet with representatives from DLA Piper Africa’s 20 member firms, in addition to business sector representatives from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the US. 

8.30 – 10.00

Employment speed meetings

Official opening of the employment speed meeting session provided by Tim Marshall, Global Co-Chair Employment, DLA Piper. 

In 15 minute meeting rotations, delegates will be given the opportunity to connect with and ask questions of our team of dedicated employment lawyers from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe – lawyers who understand the local employment and immigration law requirements, as well as the cultural contexts of the African markets relevant to your business.

Meeting places are limited so RSVP early to secure time with your preferred country representatives.

19:00 – 22:00

WIN GC Supper Club Dinner

By invitation only 

Africa and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The dash to digitalise

On Wednesday 27 November join us for Africa and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The dash to digitalise. Presented in conjunction with JK Associates, this thought-provoking day of sessions will explore the impact technology is having on the African business landscape, with topics such as venture capital and entrepreneurship; telecommunications; FinTech; AI and big data.

8:30 – 9.00Registration
9:00 – 9:15

Welcome and introduction

  • William Maema, DLA Piper Africa, Kenya
  • Joel Kibazo, Founding Partner, JK Associates
9.15 – 9.35

Keynote address

Fope Adelowo, Senior Vice President, Helios Investments

9.35 – 9.55

Keynote address

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-Founder,

9:55 – 10.35

In conversation with our keynotes

What does the future hold for digital transformation in Africa?  What should African leaders do to enable and facilitate the growth of technological development?

Moderator: Sandra Oyewole, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Nigeria

10:35 – 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:45

Venture capital: The turn of the tide

Funding has long been a challenge for African startups. All signs are pointing to change, with the venture capital market heating up. More funds are being launched with a specific focus on African startups and the investments are bigger and bolder than before. Is this the end for traditional growth capital? What will be the impact on tech entrepreneurship? Is it sustainable or will it end in tears?

Moderator: Chris Baird, Partner, DLA Piper


  • Alina Truhina, Chief Strategy Officer, Founders Factory Africa
  • Maarten Weehuizen, Non-Executive Director, Zazu Africa
  • Ameya Upadhyay, Principal, Flourish
  • Alexia Alexandropoulou, Research Associate, AVCA
11:45 – 12:30

Telecoms leapfrogging: Who is jumping over who in Africa?

The rapid spread of mobile technology in Africa was said to be an example of “leapfrogging” – rapid economic development facilitated by adopting the latest technology (mobile) and ignoring dated copper landlines. More recently, however, the mature markets in Europe and the US have seen significant investment in terrestrial fibreoptic broadband. What does this mean for Africa’s telecommunications industry? Has it now itself been “leapfrogged” and if so, how should it respond?

Moderator: Mike Conradi, Partner, DLA Piper


  • Byron Clatterbuck, CEO, SEACOM
  • David Eurin, Chief Strategy Officer, Liquid Telecom
  • Lanre Kolade, Group CEO, CSquared
  • Gertrude Wamala Karugaba, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Uganda
12:30 – 13:30Networking Lunch 
13:30 – 14:15

FinTech: Innovations in payments, and beyond!

Africa’s FinTech revolution has seen rapid growth in mobile payments and platforms. Will growth in payments continue to dominate and what will growth look like going forward?  What other FinTech trends and innovations can we expect to see?  What will be the role of AI, blockchain or wider digital transformation in this space and what are the key regulatory and commercial considerations?

Moderator: Anthony Day, Partner, DLA Piper


  • Harold Bosse, Vice President, Product Development and Innovation, Mastercard
  • Anthony Oduwole, Co-Founder, VertoFX
  • Bryony Widdup, Partner, DLA Piper
14:15 – 15:00

Closing keynote: Africa: Seizing the AI opportunity

Mike Bugembe, Founder, Future Tech Heroes

Q&A facilitated by: Mark O’Conor, Partner, DLA Piper

15:00Conference close and afternoon tea

Africa: The future of trade and investment

On Thursday 28 November, we return for an insightful look at Africa: the future of trade and investment. Facilitated by Lanre Akinola, editor of Nurmara and former editor of This Is Africa at the Financial Times and African Business and held in conjunction with Kina Advisory, the one day event will include sessions on AfTCA, Brexit, sustainable partnerships, managing bribery and corruption, financing solutions, energy sources, the infrastructure gap and ESG. The day will conclude with a CEO session sponsored by Invest Africa before our evening gala drinks reception.



8.30 – 9:00


9:00 – 9.10


Lanre Akinola, Editor, Nurmara

9:10 – 9:40

Keynote address: Africa’s future

Tom Ilube CBE, CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity plc

9:40 – 10:20

Africa’s Continental Free Trade Agreement: A cause for celebration or caution?

At a time of economic uncertainty, Africa has displayed global leadership by establishing what is set to become the world’s largest free trade area since the establishment of the WTO. Can Africa’s Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) live up to its promises? What is the likely impact on international trade and investment? And what hurdles will need to be overcome?

Moderator: Lanre Akinola, Editor, Nurmara


  • Dr Theo Acheampong, Senior Analyst Country Risk – Sub-Saharan Africa IHS Markit
  • Naa Aku Jäätma, Senior Economist for Africa, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe (SMBCE)
  • Joel Kibazo, Founding Partner, JK Associates
  • Michael Ostrove, Partner, DLA Piper

10.20 – 11.00

The UK and Africa in the post-Brexit era

A conversation with H.E Mr Nabil Ben Khedher, Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia, London.

11.00 – 11:30

Coffee break

11.30 – 12.15

Finance as an enabler for opportunity: Finding the right solutions for Africa

There are several financing mismatches in Africa: The needs of mid-size companies versus the needs of SMEs looking to grow and the debt requirements of their potential creditors; the credit capabilities of local banks versus the credit capabilities of local African companies; the size of available deals versus the target investment size of funds; and the currency issues inherent in the activities of certain African companies versus the risk appetite of investors. What will it take for these mismatches to align? What stumbling blocks need to be overcome? What financing solutions could potentially offer a way forward?

Moderator: Lanre Akinola, Editor, Nurmara


  • Jurgen Heppe, Executive Vice President, Standard Bank Group
  • Fola Fagbule, Senior Vice President and Head of Financial Advisory Unit, Africa Finance Corporation
  • Jackie Pennington, Partner, DLA Piper South Africa

12:15 – 13:00

Prospering through collaboration: Building sustainable partnerships for the future

As regulation and national ambitions for the development of local industries in significant and strategic sectors increase, international businesses recognize the growing importance of building long-term sustainable relationships with local partners and suppliers. But what does this mean in practice? How do you identify local companies with the technical and financial ability to be partners or suppliers? What strategies can you put in place to ensure that local partners and suppliers are able to comply with the same international standards expected of international businesses? 

Moderator: Lanre Akinola, Editor, Nurmara


  • Preston Mendenhall, Executive Vice President, Rendeavour
  • William Pollen, Director, Invest in Africa
  • Keren Pybus, Co-founder of Ethical Apparel Africa (EAA)

13:00 – 14:00

Networking lunch

14:00 – 14:45

A more transparent Africa: Proactive strategies for managing bribery and corruption  

Africa is the lowest scoring region on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, however the majority of people feel optimistic that they, as citizens, can make a difference in the fight against corruption. In this session, hear from organizations who have a vested interest in the region and from DLA Piper’s global investigations team as to the steps that can be taken to manage the issues bribery and corruption present.

Moderator: Adam Vause, Global Co-Chair of Investigations, DLA Piper


  • Mouhamed Kebe, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Senegal
  • Patrick Rappo, Partner, DLA Piper
  • Antonio Suarez-Martinez, Head of UK Litigation and Assistant General Counsel, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ashleigh Woolf, Chief Legal Officer, Lonrho

Old vs New Energy: how do renewables fare against fossil fuels?

There is a well-documented power gap in Africa that can be filled using the plethora of fossil fuels (coal, as well as oil and gas) or the newer methods such as harnessing solar, wind and other renewables sources. But what’s best for Africa and is that aligned with what’s best for the environment? The panel will discuss the opportunities and realities of closing Africa’s power gap.

Moderator: Jamie MacDonald, Director, DLA Piper


  • Iain Macaulay, Head of Project Finance – Infrastructure, CDC
  • Deepak Khilnani, Chairman and CEO, Powergas Africa
  • Beatrice Nyabira, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Kenya
  • Andrew Robison, European Head, Commodity Structured Trade Finance, HSBC Bank Plc

14:45 – 15:30

Africa’s infrastructure gap: What’s it going to take?

It is widely acknowledged that Africa is in dire need of infrastructure projects and spending, not only to sustain the growth that many countries are experiencing, but also to allow Africa’s recently signed Continental Free Trade Agreement to reach its full potential and boost intra-African trade. Yet, year-on-year, investment in African infrastructure falls short. What will it take for investments to make a bigger impact and reduce the gap?

Moderator: Nacim Bounouara, Partner, DLA Piper


  • Emi Bell-Gam, Legal Advisor, UK Export Finance
  • Marco Serena, Head of Development Impact, PIDG
  • Misbah Uddin, Managing Director, Ankura
  • Parwana Zahib-Majed, Legal Director, DLA Piper

Developing sustainable energy and natural resource projects: Implementing ESG in practice

As investors and lenders pay increasing attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, they are moving from ESG as a set of screening criteria toward on-going assessment of ESG performance. What measures can project sponsors and others involved in project development implement to ensure that they are able to meet investor, lender and stakeholder expectations?

Moderator: Rosalind Kainyah, Managing Director, Kina Advisory


  • Jack Cunningham,  Sustainability, Policy & Risk Director, Gemfields
  • Rhys Davies, Partner, DLA Piper
  • Chris Goodwin-Hudson, Founder, Watchman
  • Carla McRoberts, Managing Director, Veracity Worldwide

15:30 – 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 – 17:00

CEO Conversations: Sponsored by Invest Africa

Tom Hickey (Chief Executive of recently launched, Boru Energy), Akinwole Omoboriowo II. (Chairman and CEO of Genesis Energy) and Alan Palmer (CEO Foods, Honeywell Group) share their views on what it takes to drive business success in Africa.


17:00 – 17:15

Conference close

Lanre Akinola, Editor, Nurmara

17:15 – 20:00

Gala Drinks Reception: The Great Jollof War

By invitation


New speakers are being added daily, please check back regularly.

H.E. Mr. Nabil Ben Khedher

Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji

Co-Founder of

Fope Adelowo

Senior Vice President, Helios Investment Partners

Mike Bugembe

Founder, Future Tech Heroes

Tom Ilube

CEO, Crossword Cyberecurity plc

Lanre Akinola

Lanre Akinola

Editor, Nurmara

Dr. Theo Acheampong

Senior Analyst Country Risk – Sub-Saharan Africa, IHS Markit

Alexia Alexandropoulou

Research Associate, AVCA

Chris Baird

Partner, DLA Piper

Emi Bell-Gam

Legal Advisor, UK Export Finance

Harold Bosse

Vice President, Product Development and Innovation, Mastercard

Nacim Bounouara

Partner, DLA Piper

Byron Clatterbuck


Mike Conradi

Partner, DLA Piper

Rhys Davies

Partner, DLA Piper


Thank you for attending our 5th annual Africa Week!


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