'Connecting investors and destinations through financial strategies' with Asafo & Co

Africa Legal Podcast

04-02-2024 • 28 mins

In this podcast hosted by Tom Pearson, Jamal Fofana and Benoît Diouf from Asafo & Co. discuss the dynamic and evolving banking and finance sector across Africa. Leading law firm Asafo & Co. is influencing positive change and growth through its innovative legal and financial strategies and solutions. Jamal Fofana, a founding member of Asafo & Co., has rejoined the firm with his blended experience gained both as in-house counsel and in private practice, equipped with a mix of legal skills required for banking, finance and project development practices in Africa. Fofana says Asafo offers legal services on the ground that bring together their technical skills as a global firm, together with an unparalleled understanding of specific considerations involved in the African market and the pragmatism needed to close deals. Benoît Diouf, who joined the firm in 2021, shares his insights into the banking and finance sector, and speaks about what sets the firm apart. Promoting financial inclusion is a top priority in this sector, he says. “The banking sector is a key factor to the development of our continent and we need a strong banking system with less barriers to enable and support the development of impactful intra-African trade. We know there is a need to adapt the banking regulations across the continent to facilitate capital movement and enhance the capabilities of our banking industries,” Diouf said. Fofana and Diouf, both advocates for local currency funding, are of the view that when it comes to larger scale infrastructure projects, creating a bridge of both awareness and facilitation between existing capital markets and Africa's demand is required. Fofana shares the firm’s commitment to West Africa and adds that they are one of the few firms in the region with legal professionals in the banking & finance sector, and have been involved in a number of recent landmark transactions. The experts further discuss the merits of going into securitisation and increasing the awareness of individuals willing to invest in local notes, thus having an impact on the region. The conversation wraps up with Fofana and Diouf sharing interesting takeaways from the annual Africa Securitisation Forum, which Asafo & Co. co-organised with Deloitte for the second consecutive year in November 2023 in Lomé, Togo.

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