NBA-SBL KICKS OFF 16 ANNUAL CONFAB WITH WELCOME DINNER IN ABUJA

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The cream of the Nigerian Business Law community was joined by distinguished stakeholders from various walks of life at a Welcome Dinner held to mark the commencement of the 2022 Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) at the prestigious Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

NEWSWIRE Law & Events Magazine correspondent in Abuja reports that the event featured welcome speeches by the Chairman of the NBA-SBL, Mr. Ayuli Jemide and the Chair of the Conference Planning Committee for this year’s event, Mr. Chike Obianwu.

The highlight of the evening was an illuminating address on the future of startups in Africa, and the urgent imperative of creating an enabling environment for their emergence and sustainable growth, by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Enterprises Agency, Kosi Antiwaa Yankey-Ayeh.

Weaving her personal story as a former financial analyst on Wall Street in the USA with a passion for her home country and the future of its youth, with that of Ghana’s quest to build an economic profile in which startups not only thrive but drive Ghana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh issued a clarion call to governments, regulatory agencies and organisations like the NBA and especially its Business Law Section, to ensure that laws are not only put in place that help boost Nigeria’s ease of doing business, but also that such laws are rigorously implemented and enforced.

‘There is fire on the mountain!’ Yankey-Ayeh stressed again and again in the course of her address, as she cited grim statistics regarding the youths of Africa and their sheer numbers, their prospects in the labour market, and their overall life prospects.

Hailing Nigeria and S/Africa as ‘shining lights’ in the African startup firmament, Yankey-Ayeh called on African economies to leverage on technology as the great enabler for modern business, especially in a world that was forced to learn some salutary lessons by the Covid 19 pandemic, and still coping with the shock occasioned by the ongoing war in Ukraine. Even more importantly, she said, African economies must undergird their entrepreneurial ecosystems with strong and progressive laws.

“We must do drastic things,” the Ghanaian economist said. “We must tackle youth unemployment. Africa’s population under 35 will soon hit a billion. That means that almost half the world’s youth are African.” To put this huge youth population to work, she added, governments need to shore up the entrepreneurial and social ecosystem by leveraging on the talent and ingenuity of our young people – 10 to 12 million of who enter the labour market each year, improve the Ease of Doing Business profile in Africa; and create more globally connected businesses in line with the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) with access to technology and funding.

Progress on all these fronts, Yankey-Ayeh concluded, rests squarely on laws and their proper implementation, and called on the NBA-SBL to continue to be a catalyst in fine tuning and perfecting that environment.

The rest of the Welcome Dinner was devoted to fine dining and wining, as well as great music and networking, as delegates prepared their minds for the intense intellectual exchanges to begin the next day, Thursday, July 21, 2022.

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