Templars, in collaboration with Baker McKenzie’s International Commercial & Trade Practice Group, hosted an interactive breakfast session focusing on issues relating to cross regional trade in Africa and specifically, Nigeria and the implications of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The event was opened by Dayo Okusami, while the welcome address was by Olumide Akpata, both Partners at Templars. Herman Warren, a Director at The Economist, kicked off with an economic overview on Cross Regional Trade in Africa.

The economic overview was followed by a panel session moderated by Mattias Hedwall, Partner and Global Chair, International Commercial & Trade, Baker McKenzie. Other panelists were Virusha Subban, Partner and Head of Indirect Tax, Baker McKenzie, Kerry Contini, Partner, International Trade Practice Group, Baker McKenzie, Ijeoma Uju, Partner, Corporate & Commercial Practice Group, Templars, Professor Jonathan Aremu, Professor of International Economic Relations, Covenant University, Nigeria and Jesuseun Fatoyinbo, Head of Trade, Stanbic IBTC Plc.

The panelists discussed issues surrounding global geopolitical concerns such as trade wars and Brexit; global & local legal/regulatory hurdles including export controls, customs & excise duties; and perspectives on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement in relation to Nigeria. The session was certainly characterized by a great deal of knowledge exchange with key learnings from other economic environments and a resolution of the many opportunities which the agreement presents the African continent if properly implemented.

This event follows another recent collaboration with Baker McKenzie where the firms hosted a roundtable on the Nigerian power sector that addressed the challenges operators faced within the sector as well as exploring appropriate and effective solutions.