Word of the Partner in Charge
According to UNCTAD’s Annual Report 2020 on “Economic Development in Africa, Illicit Financial Flows and Sustainable Development in Africa”, two major ills plague Africa in 2020:
– the global coronavirus 2019 pandemic, which is leading to a weakening of demand for African exports, with the risk of a serious slowdown; and
– Illicit financial flows – cross-border exchanges of value, monetary or otherwise, illegally collected, transferred, or used – that cost African countries some $50 billion a year, far more than the official development assistance the continent receives each year.
At the very least, it is in this context that Africa intends to implement not only the Continental African Free Trade Area ((AfCFTA/ZLECAF)), which is a new hope for the continent and an opportunity to rewrite history, but also the foundation for a stronger, more resilient Africa that can overcome current and future obstacles.
Meanwhile, the private sector, which is been hitted hard by this context, is looking for various ways to finance itself so as not to die, especially in states where governments have been unable to provide fiscal measures, incentives and subsidies to the most affected sectors. Thus, on the one hand, there has been a rush towards new means of financing and investment, such as those linked to Blockchain technology or the use of cryptomoney, and on the other hand, a very mixed reaction from the financial market authorities. In fact, very often, instead of taking into account the recent experience of the exponential development of mobile money, and anticipating in the precision of the regulatory frameworks applicable to these international financial phenomena, the authorities take pleasure in prohibiting the activities of organizations that assert themselves on the sometimes astonishing basis of the non-existence of a specific legal framework for their exercise.
However, various community legal instruments of OHADA, CAEMC (CEMAC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA/ZLECAF), to name but a few, are implicitly precursors to the affirmation of new paradigms likely to support business development in Africa. Indeed, although still somewhat marginal and little known, these instruments are likely to contribute effectively both to the optimal and secure financing of the African economy and to the fight against illicit financial flows. This, not only according to the techniques of government interaction advocated by bodies such as UNCTAD in its above-mentioned report, but according to an approach that integrates financing needs and modern financing tools into the legal frameworks applicable to investments and financial relations with foreign countries.
This approach, which is proving its worth in practice, makes it necessary to have an offer of engineering and legal expertise, not only of a high level, but also adapted to current and future developments in international finance, public administrations, foreign exchange regulations, tax, customs, community regulations and the business environment. Indeed, it is more than necessary to support economic operators and investors in their objectives for secure growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Zoll & Legal is a measured response to this demand for expertise in this part of the world. It is for this reason that since September 2020, Zoll and Legal has developed a new department specialized in the Business of Meetings (M.I.C.E. for investment) and legal assistance in the use of financing tools linked to Blockchain technology (Blockchain’s Flows Compliance), which is already showing very commendable results. Thus, true to its logic, Zoll & Legal is committed to providing its clients with the other advice and assistance in these new areas of expertise, but also in its traditional areas of intervention (Customs, Foreign Exchange, Investments, Business Law, Supply Chain Management). This is one of the challenges of our next decade!
I carry this challenge with enthusiasm and conviction because, more than me, it is a solid block of dynamic and convinced collaborators, with a solid international, national and African experience, which is at your service. At Zoll & Legal, we are convinced that the expert hand of the African on projects in or for Africa is essential to your goal of secure growth .
We welcome you to our firm and hope to hear you tell us year after year that you have had great pleasure in seeing us assist you.
Beauclair Njoya Nkamga (Ph.D.)