The inaugural Francophone Africa Business Summit (FABS) 2024, organised by Epena Law, concluded on February 29th, 2024, at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, Themed “Investing in Francophone Africa: Playbook and Opportunities,” marked a significant milestone in enhancing business synergies between Anglophone and Francophone Africa.

The summit commenced with a warm welcome address by Johanna Monthe, Managing Partner of Epena Law, followed by an inspiring opening speech by Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani. The event brought together esteemed speakers and industry specialists from both Anglophone and Francophone African markets to explore pivotal issues and opportunities in sectors critical to Africa’s growth.

One of the highlight panels of the summit, the Institution Panel, delved into the theme of “Crossing Borders & Uniting Markets: Nigeria-Francophone Africa Relations.” Esteemed panelists including Hon. Biodun Ogunleye (Commissioner Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources), Rock Bashala (Coordinator of the Business Climate Unit, DRC Presidency), and Aissata Lam (Director General, Investment Promotion Agency of Mauritania) engaged in insightful discussions contributing to the discourse on fostering economic collaboration between the regions.

Another engaging panel, the Investment Panel, focused on “Roadmap and Toolkits for Investing in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa,” featuring distinguished resource persons including Alhaji Sada Ladan Baki (Group Executive Director Export, Dangote Industries), Serge Thiémélé (Chairman of the Board, Phoenix Capital Management), and Solange Amichia (Managing Director, CEPICI – The Investment Promotion Agency of Cote d’Ivoire).

The summit also addressed opportunities for collaboration in agriculture, with the Agriculture panel discussing “Opportunities for Collaborations to Achieve Regional Food Self-Sufficiency.” Ada Osakwe (Founder of Nulli Foods), Wilfrid Korsaga (MD, ARM Agribusiness), and Lucine Hapi (Managing Director, USAID|DRC Investment Activity) shared valuable insights on achieving food self-sufficiency in the region.

Distinguished panels showcased a spectrum of investment avenues, including but not limited to Real Estate & Construction, FMCG & Distribution, Infrastructure, Energy & Natural Resources. Each session provided valuable insights, fostering constructive dialogue, and catalysing potential partnerships across linguistic and cultural borders.

A notable highlight of the event was the presence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, whose insightful and inspiring speech captivated the audience, offering valuable perspectives on driving collective growth and prosperity among African countries.

The Francophone Africa Business Summit (FABS) 2024 proved to be a resounding success, fostering robust business relationships and paving the way for future collaborations between Anglophone and Francophone African markets. Epena Law extends its gratitude to all participants, speakers, and sponsors for their contributions to making this event a memorable and impactful one.

About Epena Law:

Epena Law, a corporate law firm headquartered in Cameroon with offices in Abidjan, and London, and a presence in Nigeria has 39 years of cumulative experience facilitating major transactions throughout Francophone and Anglophone Africa. The firm’s unique expertise at the intersection of Africa’s diverse legal systems and business environments, allows them to seamlessly smooth complexities inherent to cross-border expansions, thereby serving as a gateway connecting international investors to overlooked opportunities across Africa.