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Michael Foundethakis

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Michael Foundethakis acted as the global chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance Practice Group from May 2017 to July 2020. He currently heads Banking & Finance in Paris and continues to act as global head of Project and Trade & Export Finance for the firm. Mr. Foundethakis is highly recommended as a leading banking and finance lawyer by Chambers Global, Legal 500, JUVE and IFLR. Additionally, he was the exclusive winner of the ILO Client Choice Award 2011 in Banking for Germany and again winner of the same award in 2017 in Banking for France. A team led by Michael Foundethakis was awarded Banking, Finance & Restructuring Team of the Year at The African Legal Awards 2015.

Numerous initiatives aimed at building Africa’s climate resilience were announced at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in Dubai in December 2023, including the establishment of green banks, greenhouse gas trading systems, public-private partnerships, transformative financing measures such as green bonds and sustainability-linked instruments, as well as a host of new funding pledges. Some of the key announcements affecting Africa are listed below.

Watch and listen to Baker McKenzie specialists and industry experts talk about recent legal and commercial developments affecting financial institutions around the world. The latest webinar in the series looks at Sustainability for Financial Institutions – Global Trends and the LatAm Perspective.

The availability of climate financing to assist developing countries, the most vulnerable in the world to climate change, with the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future was one of the key topics under discussion COP 27. There were numerous funding and climate action announcements focusing on Africa at “Africa’s COP”. It is hoped African countries will soon be able to access some of the financing required to fortify the continent against the impact of climate change. Achieving this is essential, not only to address urgent climate change adaption and mitigation challenges, but also to unlock the great potential of the continent.

Current global geopolitical changes have opened up new prospects for Algeria. On the one hand, Algeria is being courted by Europe and redoubling its efforts to increase its energy offering to reap record profit amid high gas prices. On the other hand, additional gas revenues offer opportunities for Algeria to develop the local industry in order to reduce its dependence on imports and fossil energy in the long term, and create jobs and technological partnerships. But can Algeria effectively create a competitive and business-friendly climate to attract foreign investors?

The Partnership for Global Infrastructure Initiative (PGII) was launched in June 2022 at the G7 Summit in Germany. The PGII is a USD 600 billion lending initiative to fund infrastructure projects in the developing world, with a particular focus on Africa. One of the aims of the initiative is to help address the massive infrastructure investment gap in Africa.

Countries in Africa will benefit from the increase in commodity prices and the growing demand for green energy, but the continent must address its infrastructure gap to better enable it to do so. At the same time, the commodity bull run, and growing focus on ESG policies, is boosting investor interest and unlocking finance for Africa’s infrastructure development.

In July of 2017, Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced in a speech that after 2021 the FCA would no longer use its power to compel panel banks to submit rate information used to determine the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Mr. Bailey encouraged the market to develop robust alternative reference rates to replace LIBOR.