By David A. Yates
Former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Global law firm Hogan Lovells has announce that Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will form part of its line-up of prestigious panelists and speakers at the seventh annual Hogan Lovells Africa Forum. Hogan Lovells is an American-British law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington, D.C.
It was formed on May 1, 2010 by the merger of the American law firm of Hogan & Hartson and the British law firm Lovells.
Hogan Lovells has around 2,800 lawyers working in more than 40 offices in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
In 2013, Hogan Lovells was the eleventh largest law firm in the world by revenues, earning around US$1.8 billion (£1.1 billion) that year. By 2017, the firm had risen to 7th worldwide with gross revenues exceeding US$2 billion. Hogan Lovells claims specialization in government regulatory, litigation, commercial litigation and arbitration, corporate, finance, and intellectual property.
This highly anticipated event, which will be held virtually on Monday, July 20, will delve deep into business-critical dialogues surrounding Africa’s growth and sustainability.
“We at Hogan Lovells are very excited to have so many influential and respected individuals from different industries join our discussions at this year’s Africa Forum,” says Andrew Skipper, Head of Hogan Lovells Africa Practice. “We are particularly thrilled to have President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as part of our event, as she is a global leader of freedom, peace, justice, women’s empowerment, and democratic rule.
As Africa’s first democratically-elected female head of state, she led Liberia from 2006 to 2018 through reconciliation and recovery following the nation’s decade-long civil war, as well as the Ebola Crisis, winning international acclaim for achieving economic, social, and political change.”
This year’s Africa Forum comes in the midst of the global pandemic, COVID-19, which has had and will continue to have, a fundamental impact on the way we do business in Africa, from Africa, and across Africa.
The additional burden of climate change, which the continent is one of the most vulnerable to – although it contributes the least to global warming – makes the issue of sustainability a relevant focus area for how Africa’s industries can grow.
The event will consist of a number of sessions, all having Africa and its growth as their focus.
These sessions will include: Championing Africa – this panel, which will include Rakesh Wahi, Co-founder & Vice Chairman at ABN Group (CNBC Africa & Forbes Africa) will address questions like,
“How do you grow in a sustainable way regardless of the size of your business?” and “How do you promote a positive narrative for Africa in a constantly evolving market place especially in a time of global crisis?” Financing for impact – Financial institutions the world over are increasingly turning to investments that embed sustainability, meet SDG and ESG targets, and have a positive impact on all stakeholders.
Africa should be benefiting from this growing appetite and the continent doesn’t lack opportunities. Panelists for this session will include Ibukun Adebayo, Director and Co-Head Emerging Markets at London Stock Exchange Group; Christopher Kirigua, Regional Head of Sustainable Finance for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank; and Nieros Oyegun, Head of Network – The Africa List at CDC Managing risk in times of uncertainty – This session will examine the importance of managing risks in light of the current state of the global economy following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The discussion will cover lessons learned from managing COVID-19 related risks – what has worked well and what strategies can be used for dealing with risk allocation for past, present, and future projects in a sustainable way.
Africa beyond COVID: the role of government and the public sector in defining and delivering a new positive and sustainable narrative – Africa is arguably disproportionately impacted by climate change and while demographics are working in our favor, as well as disruptive changes in the global supply chain that could result in less reliance on international suppliers, how can government and external investor countries balance the need to develop with the need for sustainability? Four prominent public officials from wide-ranging parts of the continent, including Tarek Ahmed Ibrahim Adel, Ambassador of Egypt to the United Kingdom, and Dr. Fatimata Dia, Ambassador of Senegal to the United Kingdom, will explore and discuss this topic.
In another development, President Sirleaf has recently joined the Board of Directors for the Mastercard Foundation.
The Foundation works with young people in Africa and Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work.
It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world and has had a significant impact through its work to promote financial inclusion and create a more equitable world.
In announcing the appointment, Board Chair Zein M. Abdalla said: “President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a global leader for women’s empowerment. The depth of her knowledge on the continent and experience on the world stage will be invaluable as we work to enable 30 million young women and men in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.”
Madam Sirleaf highlighted the alignment between the Mastercard Foundation’s mission and her work through the EJS Center and other activities to advance equity and inclusion across Africa: “The Mastercard Foundation is committed to equity and inclusivity, and their approach to working with others involves deep listening, collaboration, and respect. These are values that I commend and share. I look forward to working with the Foundation’s Board and senior management team to ensure we continue to drive sustainable and meaningful change on the continent.”
Source Daily Observer.