International legal and finance expert, Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade, has been appointed as a member of the World Trade Board, becoming the first African member of the organization. The Nigerian joins 20 other global trade and finance leaders on the board.
According to the Chairman of World Trade Board, Simon Paris, the appointment of the first African into the body comes at a perfect time, considering the operational phase of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was only recently inaugurated.
“We welcome Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade to our cohort as we continue to strive toward driving open trade for the benefit of all,” Paris said while expressing confidence in the appointee. Akin-Olugbade is “combining the highest academic qualifications and professional distinctions with excellent legal skills, extensive transactional experience, and corporate governance expertise.”
The board’s chair further explained that with protectionism looming large around the world and ever-increasing regulation throwing up new challenges, global trade is in a state of flux. Thus, in this “unchartered environment,” the board’s common vision of “collaborative, connected, inclusive trade enabled by the latest business technologies” has never been more important.
Akin-Olugbade: Nigeria’s finest legal luminary
With over 30 years in the legal profession and the financial services sector, Akin-Olugbade has worked at both the technical and executive management level, in the public and private sectors, for leading commercial law firms and multilateral financial institutions.
A graduate of King’s College London, he went to Harvard Law School and also received the award for the Overall Best Student at the Nigerian Law School in 1984.
Akin-Olugbade is the Founder and Principal Partner of Luwaji Nominees (a partnership firm that provides stellar and cost-effective support to help relieve the burden of our clients’ corporate administration) and currently is an international counsel at ǼLEX law firm.
Earlier this year, he joined one of the largest law firms in the world, Clifford Chance, as a counsel, to strengthen its Africa Practice. Also, he is the Chairman of Southern Marine Petroleum Limited, Axion Realty & Development Company Limited and the Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade Foundation.
Akin-Olugbade recently retired as the Executive Director (Chief Operating Officer), General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). While he also held the position of a non-Executive Director and former Chairman of the Governance Committee of Ecobank Transnational Inc (ETI).
He was previously a General Counsel and Senior Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as the first Chief Legal Officer and Head of the Legal Services Department of the African Export-import Bank (Afreximbank).
Akin-Olugbade is a founding shareholder and former non-Executive Director of Asset & Resources Management Company Limited (ARM), Nigeria. And he served as the Director and Managing Partner of AFC Equity Investments Limited, Mauritius. In addition, he is also an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).
The World Trade Board was initiated by Finastra – the third largest Fintech company in the world. The board is made up of global leaders, innovative thinkers, industry influencers and subject matter experts from different corners of trade, finance, and commerce.