There is a vitality in Africa that those, visiting for the first time, often feel instantly and which can irrevocably change them. Boko Inyundo, senior marketing manager for the technology sector at DLA Piper and a new member of the Africa Professional Services Group's board, believes that the continent can capitalise on this asset to attract investment and stimulate opportunity.
“What people feel when they come for the first time is Africa’s deep reservoirs of raw entrepreneurial energy – it gives one a sense that anything can happen, that everything is possible,” he says. It is the potential this creates that investors find attractive. And, in coming decades, it may well be this that enables the continent to unlock its untapped human resources to build its global competitive advantage.
However, Boko says, risk remains on the table for all investors as it does in any market. But, with a new generation of young, tech-savvy, highly-educated, sophisticated and good governance-driven Africans moving into positions of authority and power, there is the growing belief that many governments and institutions – previously crippled by mismanagement and corruption – are in the process of becoming fit-for-purpose.
It is at this critical inflection point for the continent where the Africa Professional Services Group, and particularly its subsidiary Africa Legal, is poised to play a major role.
“In Africa Legal we have a tech-driven platform where the goal is to support democracy, build networks, celebrate success and provide accessible and affordable top tier professional education. That this is aimed at the legal community is no co-incidence as it is their skills that tend to be instrumental in driving good governance across both the public and private sectors.”
Boko said when he met the Africa Professional Services Group's founders, Scott Cowan and Wendy Bampton, through an introduction made by Cameroonian tech entrepreneur and fellow board member Viola Llewellyn, he instantly recognised they had experienced and recognised the real potential of the continent.
“What Scott and Wendy grasped is that everything in Africa has to have people at its centre or it won’t work,” he said. “They knew this instinctively and have ensured it is at the centre of what the Africa Professional Services Group offering is all about.”
It was this that persuaded Boko to join what he acknowledged were eminent industry professionals behind the platform.
Boko is heavily involved in tech-focused consultancy in his day-to-day life. He is a non-executive advisor to De Charles, a company working to rebrand Africa and inspire invention and entrepreneurship, and is on the boards of the Royal African Society and African Foundation for Development who seek to enhance business, investment, politics, culture and academia in, or related to, Africa.
In 2016 he led the delivery of the DLA Piper European Technology Summit 2016 and is currently planning the 2019 plenary which will bring together more than 350 global industry leaders to explore tech and legal trends.
At DLA Piper he is responsible for the strategic business development of the firm’s international Technology Sector advisory services team.
One of his key roles is overseeing a programme of thought leadership that explores the impact of emerging technologies – this is through the organisation of conferences, contributing to white papers, writing articles, developing podcasts, blogs, videos, infographics and other digital content.
In 2017 he hosted, on behalf of DLA Piper, the 'Fintech in Africa' event at the London Business School in partnership with the Royal African Society, Professionals for Africa and Innovate Finance.
To learn more about the Africa Legal International Advisory Board click here