'Africa’s capital quarterback' with Weyinmi Popo from Asafo & Co

Africa Legal Podcast

20-06-2023 • 24 mins

For centuries there has been a strong London–Africa connection, and that’s still true. Weyinmi Popo, managing partner at Asafo & Co.’s London office, chatted to Tom Pearson about the firm’s tailored expertise and international reach. London has been thriving as a legal hotspot for much of the English-speaking world, and a lot of private equity and international finance flows into Africa from that economic hub. With this in mind, it was only natural for international law firm Asafo & Co. – a firm conceived and built specifically to accompany and contribute to the success of Africa’s transformation – strengthen its office in the largest city in the UK. Weyinmi Popo, who was recently appointed as managing partner and heads the London office, says it's an exciting challenge to build and grow the practice into one of the leading Africa-focused international firms. Popo has more than 25 years’ experience and is ranked for his expertise in private equity and mergers & acquisitions. He envisages working with clients who want to invest in and out of Africa regardless of the direction in which capital flows. He says their London office provides a helicopter view of the African continent, and of how capital flows are moving between regions. “London is a hub and we can reach out to the different bits of the continent and connect them. If you look at a lot of the African discussions around interaction and trade, London still plays a very big part in that. I think we can play a very good quarterback role,” he noted. With regard to current trends, Popo foresees niche opportunities in technology-related investments from the United States. “I think that's something that’s really upended the investment landscape in Africa, and in a good way because I think it's dynamic capital that is looking for talent and it's a good match.” Another area for investment, says Popo, is in the agricultural sector, with 40% of land in Africa being arable, making it easy to grow just about any crop. “I think that is one area where there has been underinvestment or less of a focus from an investment perspective, and it's ripe for investment. I have recently started to see a bit of movement there with lots of people starting their funds dedicated to agricultural investment.”

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