Africa Practice

At Crestle Zanders, Africa is not just an exciting market in our locality. The very purpose of our existence is to build and sustain competences that help our clients to benefit from Africa’s huge potentials. We see the future of the region and we are building a leadership position in its investments and transactions landscape.

We understand the region and advise those who seek to prosper from its immense wealth and opportunities.

An exciting market

A fundamental reconfiguration of global economic paradigms is gradually taking place and it is more than likely to benefit Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa in particular. As relative political stability takes root in the region and the political will for reforms hardens, Africa’s infrastructure deficits are increasingly turning into massive investment opportunities. Today, the major risk to economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is no longer internal instability, rather external risks due to the still-uncertain environments in the OECD regions.

The Nigerian oil and gas sector, where local banks recently financed the acquisition by domestic companies of the assets of major international oil companies (including Shell), has demonstrated that there is prospect for local capital to get to some extent into the financing gaps in Africa, or at least catalyse an increased in-flow of foreign capital.

In much of Africa, local consumption rates have been on a steady rise. Inflation rates have moved from the traditional double digits to single digits. The credit ratings of major African countries have improved considerably in the last five years.

These trends are predicted to continue even as the region’s corporate finance markets continue to expand.

These paradigms are increasingly providing the environment for investments in the infrastructure sector and for the development the continent’s abundant natural resources, including solid minerals and oil and gas resources, both in the traditional markets in the gulf of guinea (including Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and recently Ghana) and the frontier markets east of the continent (including Mozambique and Tanzania).

Our advantage

The opportunities in Africa present challenges that require people who truly know the region. As Africans with first-hand knowledge and experience of the region, with some of us having worked within the Africa practice teams of international law firms, we understand the nuances of the African business climate and comprehend how daunting, sometimes subduing, it can be for foreign business people to cope with the varying cultures, business environments, laws and regulations that impact business risks in Africa.

We provide valuable advice that help our clients to navigate this market of complex contradictions.

Some relevant experience of the key members of Crestle Zanders’ Africa Practice team include:

  • For the benefit of an Africa focused mining company – advising in relation to the obligations to provide railroads, power plants and port infrastructure in Liberia under a mining concession.
  • A West African government – advising on the inconsistencies between its strategy petroleum policy and its petroleum legal framework, in relation to the enactment of its proposed petroleum legislation.
  • Representing the developers in relation to a large scale sand dredging and land-reclamation project in Nigeria
  • For the benefit of the Nigerian subsidiary of a FTSE 250 international oil and gas company:
    1. Advised on its legal obligations post commercial production in relation to the contract matrix (from framework agreements with the government and farmor, through to the financing, construction, operating and sales agreements) of each of its two marginal oilfield assets in Nigeria.
    2. Advised in connection with its marginal field asset (that was formerly held by a major IOC), with regards to the legal issues surrounding the regulatory extension of the marginal field licence.
  • Advising a TSX Ventures listed oil and gas company on its planned entry into the Nigeria market and in relation to its acquisition of oil and gas assets under the Nigerian marginal fields programme.
  • For the benefit of an ASX listed company – advising in relation to the competence (under local law, the African Chatter of Human and Peoples Law, and international law) of a regional government in an unstable East African country to grant a petroleum licence.
  • Advising on the key legal, regulatory and fiscal provisions of the Uganda Petroleum legislation.
  • For the benefit of an Africa focused Resources Company – comparative analysis of the petroleum licence/production sharing agreements of several African countries (including Angola, Chad, DRC, and Cameroon) in relation to its decision with respect to market entry.
  • Advising the promoter, a UK-headquartered multinational construction company, in relation to an erosion-control and ultra modern shopping mall projects in Nigeria.