KATS participated in the LEX Africa African Business Outlook Seminar in London, in the United Kingdom, on the 17th May, 2019. The firm was represented by Alice Namuli Blazevic, who is a Partner.
LEXAfrica is a legal alliance of leading law firms in Africa in over twenty countries and is Africa’s largest legal alliance. Each member is an independent law firm whose key focus is on general corporate and commercial law as well as litigation and dispute resolution. In essence, LEXAfrica is a one stop shop; if you have any business transaction or litigation matter in Africa, its handled.
KATS is honoured to be the LEXAfrica member firm in Uganda.
There were various topics for discussion of potential interest to foreign investors in Africa at the seminar:
One of them was ‘Indigenization, local content, local partner and other requirements for foreign investors’. The discussants, LEXAfrica members from Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa opined on the current trend in business, where African governments are increasingly trying to leverage more local benefits from foreign investors. These run the gamut from expecting investors to have local shareholders, procure from local suppliers, promote skills transfers to locals, land ownership restrictions for foreigners. The panel advised on various approaches adopted by African governments and future trends and developments.
A panel consisting of speakers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe discussed ‘Developments and future trends in Competition Law in Africa’. African Competition Law is developing rapidly, for instance there have been amendments to the South African Competition Act, and there are new competition laws in Nigeria, Angola and Botswana. Regional authorities such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Competition Commission are becoming increasingly important and cooperation between regulators is increasing.
Our Alice expounded on ‘Developments in African Cyber Law, Block Chain and Artificial Intelligence’. She emphasized the tremendous business opportunities availed by the fourth industrial revolution in Africa.
A panel with discussants from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and London deliberated on ‘Recent developments and challenges in African Insolvency and Business Restructuring Law’. They remarked that the ability to foreclose and extract value in a distressed debt situation is both a challenge and risk for investors, financial institutions and other creditors in emerging markets. The panel also discussed differences as well as reforms to harmonize insolvency and restructuring regimes across Africa.
All in all, it was an interactive and informative seminar. Make plans to be there next year.