Lagos Business School (LBS) on Thursday, November 30, hosted the 5th Fellowship anniversary of the Olu Akinkugbe Business Law in Africa Fellowship Conference. Held in partnership with the Centre for Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Cape Town, the event doubled as the 90th birthday celebration of Chief Olu Akinkugbe CFR who endows the Fellowship.
The Olu Akinkugbe Business Law in Africa Fellowship is an all-expenses-paid visiting fellowship of 8 weeks. The Fellowship supports short-term visits by two Law academics annually from universities in African countries to the CCLA for purposes of researching various aspects of business law in Africa for the production of a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal or book.
Special guest of honour at the Conference was His Excellency, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who extolled the virtues of the celebrator, Chief Akinkugbe describing him as the “quintessential Nigerian business icon who has inspired generations of entrepreneurs and corporate executives.”
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo listed some of the issues facing Africa as a continent and urged the Fellowship to offer crucial guidance and perhaps demonstrate where countries exhibit fundamental differences. According to him, “The challenge of building the capacity to enable African countries better negotiate trade agreements should be addressed as these countries usually lack the skills required to make the best deals, and disadvantageous trade agreements could mean disaster for local businesses.” He added, “Countries need the capacity to undertake complex economic studies of diverse African situations and present alternative or comparative approaches which would form the basis for more confident negotiations.”
The Vice President closed his speech by expressing special gratitude to Chief Akinkugbe for endowing the Fellowship adding that “it is a legacy that will stand the test of time”.
Chief Olu Akinkugbe was the first Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU). Describing him, LBS Dean, Prof Enase Okonedo said, “Chief Akinkugbe holds a special place in Lagos Business School and Pan-Atlantic University and was instrumental in its development. He also set the tone for many of the values that we have instilled in our students over the years”.
The Conference continued with the panel presentations by awardees of the Fellowship, one of whom is Professor of Legal, Social and Political Environment of Business at LBS, Olawale Ajai. He emerged inaugural fellow of the Olu Akinkugbe Business Law in Africa Fellowship in 2014. The event ended on a celebratory note with the cutting of Chief Olu Akinkugbe’s birthday cake.
“Chief Akinkugbe holds a special place in Lagos Business School and Pan-Atlantic University and was instrumental in its development. He also set the tone for many of the values that we have instilled in our students over the years”.