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Published November 2014

The conference, entitled “Africa: Bridging the Gulf”, was hosted by ALN and ALN’s Dubai based regional office, AC&H Legal Consultants .

More than 100 Africa based senior executives, business owners and lawyers, together with over 200 UAE and GCC based senior business personalities and professionals, congregated at The Palace, Downtown Dubai, to discuss investment opportunities in a number of sectors including Energy, Banking & Finance, Oil & Gas, Future Emerging Cities of Africa, Hospitality, Private Equity and Commercial Property on the African continent. Leading business leaders and professionals, with deep experience of working in Africa, engaged in panel discussions and shared their collective and candid insights on the various challenges, opportunities, rewards and risks. Some of the speakers have been involved in the biggest deals on the continent; including the first USD$2billion sovereign bond in Kenya, Botswana and Kenya’s largest energy projects, Malawi’s largest mining project, a USD$14 billion oil and gas project in Nigeria, major hospitality and real estate projects and landmark energy transactions including, the 400MW Lake Turkana Project and new developments in solar energy.

The experts shared their collective wisdom to guide foreign investors on how to navigate a rapidly changing environment, while reducing risks and increasing returns on investments.The calibre of speakers attracted over 250 attendees from around the world, who all have one common substantial interest: Investing in Africa.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development presided over the conference as the Chief Guest and was joined by other dignitaries including, the Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, Chairperson of the Kenyan Investment Authority, Ambassadors of The Republic of Kenya, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and, ALN’s chairman, Cheick Modibo Diarra who is the Goodwill Ambassador for both UNESCO and ISESCO and served as the Prime Minister of Mali in 2012.

The signing of the DIFC Courts’ first Memorandum of Guidance (MoG) with an African country took place in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, The MoG adds an additional layer of certainty for companies operating in both the UAE and Kenya by defining for the first time the procedures for mutual enforcement of money judgments between the DIFC Courts and High Court of Kenya. The document was signed by Michael Hwang, SC, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, and Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, the Attorney General of Kenya.

Chief Justice Hwang said: “With trade between Africa and the UAE at record levels, it is essential that international commercial courts work together to support the growing number of businesses operating across borders. This memorandum provides guidance on how the DIFC Courts and Kenyan Courts would enforce each other’s money judgments, thereby giving additional clarity and certainty to investors and businesses active in both jurisdictions. Being the first we have signed with an African nation, this memorandum is a landmark document for the DIFC Courts and also indicative of Kenya’s emergence as a major regional economy.”

Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai said: "The UAE continues to be one of Kenya’s leading bilateral trade partners. As trade between our two countries continues to flourish, it is important that our respective judicial systems support and protect cross-border commerce. The Kenyan Judiciary therefore welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of Guidance between the DIFC Courts and the Kenya Judiciary which will enhance understanding of judicial procedures for foreign judgment enforcement in our respective courts. It is our desire and belief that the co-operation demonstrated by signing this Memorandum of Guidance will improve understanding among the business community in both countries and enhance certainty and confidence in entering into cross-border contracts.”

For more details on the conference please log on to African Legal Network.

Please contact Sunita Singh-Dalal (,  +971503842410) with all enquiries.