Tag Archives: gtlaw

The African Development Bank’s Annual Meeting: The Importance of Agribusiness in Africa

The African Development Bank (ADB) held its Annual Meeting in India this month, the first time ADB has held this meeting outside of the African continent.  During his keynote address, ADB President Akinwunmi Adesina highlighted the importance of agribusiness to the continued transformation of economies across the continent.  To those who know him and those … Continue Reading

August Trade Mission to Ethiopia and Kenya

Greenberg Traurig participated in the Corporate Council on Africa’s Trade Mission to Ethiopia and Kenya during the week of August 15. While a primary focus of the trip was the agribusiness sector, private investment in manufacturing and infrastructure (including power) were also identified as vital to each economy. Vicky McPherson, a shareholder based in Washington, D.C. and … Continue Reading

African Economies Looking Beyond Oil and Gas in Response to the Collapse of the Commodities Market

The first quarter of 2016 has proven to be difficult with few bright spots across Sub-Saharan Africa economies. According to Africa’s Pulse, the World Bank’s twice-yearly analysis of economic trends and the latest data for the region, economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa slowed in 2015 to its lowest rates since 2009 with GDP growth averaging … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Hosts Event on International Arbitration in Africa

Greenberg Traurig hosted the Third Annual Penn State International Arbitration Day at its Washington, D.C. office on March 11, 2016.  This event was a day-long conference entitled “The Future of International Arbitration in Africa” and was co-sponsored by Penn State Law School, Penn State School of International Affairs, the American Society of International Law, and … Continue Reading

African Technology Startups Gaining Attention

The increasingly noticeable discussions of the tech boom taking shape across Africa were recently further bolstered by news about startup financings on the continent. A 2015 survey revealed that African tech startups raised at least $185 million for the year. A total amount that includes undisclosed financings would likely be much higher. This year already … Continue Reading

Funding Opportunities in Clean Energy from USTDA

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is accepting proposals for sustainable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa in support of the implementation of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. Power Africa’s goals include expanding clean energy on the continent to increase power generation capacity and create new electricity connections for millions of people who lack reliable … Continue Reading

Hitachi settlements highlight importance of anticorruption compliance programs and cooperation with regulators

On December 4, 2015, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) announced that it reached an agreement with Hitachi, Ltd. (Hitachi) that debars the company from participating in AfDB projects for twelve months with conditional release. The debarment was the result of an investigation by AfDB’s Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department (IACD) concerning bribery allegations against Hitachi … Continue Reading

Impact Investing Makes a Huge Leap Forward with OPIC’s investment in LeapFrog Investments

The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has helped the impact investing sector over a major threshold with its recent $200 million commitment to fund manager LeapFrog Investments. With that investment, LeapFrog has claimed status as the first billion-dollar group dedicated to equity impact investing. LeapFrog also states that it has the distinction of being … Continue Reading

Modern Slavery Reporting Obligations

The UK’s Modern Slavery Act has imposed far reaching reporting requirements on companies to produce an annual statement explaining the steps they have taken to eliminate modern slavery in their businesses, and also within their supply chains. The concept of modern slavery encompasses a range of exploitative behaviour including slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, … Continue Reading

Loan Market Association’s East Africa, Nigeria and Zambia facility agreement update

On 1 October 2015, the Loan Market Association (LMA) published a revised version of its single currency secured and unsecured term facility agreement for use in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), Nigeria and Zambia. The amendments incorporate recent changes in law and market practice updates in the relevant jurisdictions. The accompanying user guide has … Continue Reading

Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Continues as Two Key Arrests Are Made in a Widening Graft Investigation

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is pressing forward with his crackdown on corruption and is sending a clear message that corruption no longer will be “business as usual” in his country. During his September 28th speech before the U.N. General Assembly, President Buhari urged the international community to step up its efforts to locate and return … Continue Reading

China Africa Joint Arbitration Centre Established in Johannesburg

Highlighting the accelerating pace of trade and investment between China and Africa, a new international arbitration center has been established to resolve commercial disputes between Chinese and African parties. The center, which will be called the China Africa Joint Arbitration Centre (CAJAC), will reportedly begin accepting cases in Johannesburg in October 2015 and has future … Continue Reading

The US-EAC Cooperation Agreement and Expanded Opportunities in Africa

Since launching this blog in August 2014, many members of Greenberg Traurig’s Africa Practice have delivered a number of useful posts about the investment potential and pitfalls awaiting those of us interested in doing business in Africa. Posts about treaty regimes in many Africa countries provide useful introductions to the legal landscapes in many African … Continue Reading

The Growing African Transportation Frontier: Lessons from an ABA Section of International Law Panel

The American Bar Association Section of International Law held its 2015 Spring Meeting from April 28 to May 2, 2015, in Washington, DC.  In keeping with the theme of the meeting, “The Times They Are A-Changin’: The New Lyrics of International Law and Practice,” I served as the program chair and moderator of a panel … Continue Reading

South Africa’s Non-Resident Entertainment Royalty or Similar Payment Withholdings

There has been a lot of uncertainty with regard to withholding taxes imposed by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on cross-border payments made by South Africans to offshore recipients, and the ambiguous administrative and compliance procedures relating thereto. Based on the information available directly from SARS, any amounts received for the imparting of any … Continue Reading

Foreign Venture Capital Investments in Sub-Saharan African Technology Startups

A McKinsey report published in February 2014 estimates that mobile phone ownership among adults in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is estimated to be 66 percent. The rapid spread of Internet-enabled mobile phones throughout SSA has created an opportunity for the emergence of tech startups and venture capital firms in economically vibrant cities such as Accra, Lagos, … Continue Reading

IGAD to Establish International Arbitration Center in Djibouti

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which consists of member states Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda, will establish an international arbitration center in Djibouti focused on resolving business disputes in the region. The decision to create the center was made at the General Assembly of IGAD’s Business Forum held on … Continue Reading

Actis Unveils $1.9 Billion Pan-African Renewable Energy Joint Venture

On Feb. 17, U.K. private equity firm Actis announced a $1.9 billion joint venture with energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power to build a series of wind and solar projects throughout Africa over the next three years. The joint-venture company, named Lekela Power, plans to produce between 700 megawatts and 900 megawatts of power from wind … Continue Reading

South Africa Gets to Work on its First ‘Smart City’

Work is beginning on a R84 billion “smart city” project in Modderfontein, South Africa, just east of Johannesburg. The developer, Chinese investment firm, Shanghai Zendai, plans on developing 1,600 hectares of land into an international commercial hub that it hopes will one day rival New York, Hong Kong, and London. Urban planners and developers are … Continue Reading

Investment Protection in Africa

The risks and rewards of investing in an African country understandably have a significant influence over exactly where and when foreign investors choose to invest and over evaluations of ongoing investments. The host countries in which foreign investors do invest must similarly consider the risks of hosting foreign investment, some of which may come in … Continue Reading

Common Law, Conventions and Contemporary African Copyright Law

The development of modern copyright law in Africa is largely a late 20th and early 21st century phenomenon with the respective bodies of law drawing from colonial common law, international treaties and conventions, or local statutes. Kenya and South Africa, for instance, have their operative copyright laws heavily entrenched in English common law and 19th … Continue Reading

Ivory Ban’s Effects on Collectors, Museums, Musicians and the Art Trade

Earlier this year, in response to concerns that poaching of African elephants is rapidly driving the species to extinction, the U.S. federal government tightened restrictions on the import, export, transfer, and sale of African elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn.[1] The revised restrictions followed on President Obama’s July 2013 executive order committing the U.S. to increase … Continue Reading

Qualifying for the Antique Exception to the Ivory Ban

Before the new rule went into effect, objects at least 100 years old that are either made of African elephant ivory or included ivory components were exempt from the general Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ivory prohibition.[1] This changed dramatically under the … Continue Reading
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