BrandArena: Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to give keynote address at Hogan Lovells 7th Africa Forum

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to give keynote address at Hogan Lovells 7th Africa Forum

Global law firm Hogan Lovells is honoured to announce that Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will be part of their line-up of prestigious panellists and speakers at the seventh annual Hogan Lovells Africa Forum. This highly anticipated event, which will be held virtually on Monday 20 July, 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. Panellists 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 favour, as well as disruptive changes in 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 H.E. Tarek Ahmed Ibrahim Adel, Ambassador of Egypt to the United Kingdom and H.E. Dr Fatimata Dia, Ambassador of Senegal to the United Kingdom, will explore and discuss this topic.

“For the past seven years, Africa Forum has been a platform for some of the best minds on the continent to come together and discuss how Africa can best grow and thrive across industries and sectors,” notes Skipper. “We at Hogan Lovells are excited to host our very first online Africa Forum, which has been held both in the UK and in Africa in previous years. This 2020 version of our event is particularly pertinent, as the continent has been presented with further challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to many robust and fruitful discussions at this year’s Africa Forum.”

For more information and to register for Africa Forum, please go to:

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