Noel K. Tshiani and Gibran Freitas: “Legal Tech is a game changer for entrepreneurs and African economies.”

This online event is organized by Congo Business Network, Legal Tech Africa and Tribune Justice. The event will take place on Cisco WebEx on February 16, 2019 from 6pm to 8pm Paris time on the theme: « Legal Tech: its advantages for success in business in Africa ». Congo Digital went to meet these key people involved in organizing the event.

Interview: Noel K. Tshiani and Gibran Freitas tell us about the event « Legal Tech: its benefits for success in business in Africa. »

Hello, can you introduce yourself to our readers please?

Noel K. Tshiani:

I came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and have lived in the United States since 1996, which will be 23 years this year.

I have three university degrees in finance, marketing and political science. In addition, I participated in the Executive Education in Finance program at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. And I also attended another program in entrepreneurship through the Kauffman Foundation in New York.

Currently, I am President of Agere Global, an investment advisory and business strategy firm based in New York.

I am also the founder of Congo Business Network, an international network of Congolese professionals and entrepreneurs. Our mission is to connect the diaspora to the business world in Africa. That is, Congo Kinshasa and Congo Brazzaville.

Gibran Freitas:

I am a French entrepreneur who lives in the Paris region and am of Togolese and Lebanese origin.

Currently, I dedicate most of my time as project manager at Seraphin.legal focusing on legal tech. It is a Parisian company that is a pioneer in the digitalization of the legal profession in France and is opening up to Africa through a partnership with the Algerian startup Legal Doctrine.

Also, I wanted to combine my skills acquired during my legal studies in Paris (Nanterre, Panthéon Sorbonne and Panthéon Assas) with my various personal interests (public speaking, event organization, computer programming).

Entrepreneurship in the legal sector and new technologies has been a matter of passion for me, and the African continent seemed to me to be the place where my added value is most fitted in regard to my professional aspirations. This is how I co-founded, with the help of Seraphin.legal and local partners, Legal Tech Africa, which is in short a legal support program for startup ecosystems in Africa.

You are chairing an event on Legal Tech, what can you tell us about legal tech?

Noel K. Tshiani:

In the United States of America, LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and Nolo are three companies that provide customized online legal solutions and legal documents to startups.

By doing so, these companies provide an efficient and cost-effective way to access legal services that would otherwise cost a lot of money by hiring a lawyer to work on basic legal documents that an entrepreneur needs to start, register or operate a business.

And it is important to inform the public sector and startups in Africa about emerging technologies, and how entrepreneurs can access them so that they can be effective in their activities. This is the main objective that this conference seeks to achieve.

Under the direction of Congo Business Network, what is your goal in launching this event?

Noel K. Tshiani:

Congo Business Network, Legal Tech Africa and Tribune Justice are co-organizing this event on Saturday, February 16 with LinkedIn Events, where we have already received more than 570 confirmations of participation to discuss emerging technologies in the legal services sector.

Today, our speakers are entrepreneurs recognized in their respective countries in the fields of legal technology. They will discuss how investors, multinationals, the public sector and start-ups can effectively use legal services to be more efficient in business in Africa.

How important is Legal Tech for Africa?

Noel K. Tshiani:

Making access to legal services easier and less costly in Africa will encourage more people to start a business and operate in the formal sector. In this way, this trend will lead to more robust and prosperous economies in the long term in countries such as Congo Kinshasa and Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria and elsewhere.

Mentioned among the speakers, co-founder of Legal Tech Africa and co-organizer of the event, what is your feeling in contributing to the planning of this international event?

Gibran Freitas:

Contributing to the holding of such an event mainly evokes a feeling of responsibility that Noel K. Tshiani knows very well how to foster! Indeed, this is an innovative and ambitious event that showcases African entrepreneurs above all. We must deliver an experience that demonstrates our dynamism, relevance and exceptional organizational skills.

What are the benefits of Legal Tech for startups and SMEs in Africa?

Gibran Freitas:

I would say that the advantages of Legal Tech for startups and SMEs in Africa are the same as for startups and SMEs everywhere in the world: to ensure that the legal aspect does not hinder a company’s activity.

Entrepreneurial difficulties that occur because of or worsen because of simple legal problems are damaging and could be avoided with basic professional assistance. Legal technology allows clients who did not have the means to benefit from such support to be able to access legal services.

It should be pointed out that for startups and SMEs in Africa, which are particularly susceptible to the informal sector, but which, for many wish to leave it, legal technology represents a solid and accessible means on which to help themselves.

As an online event, what procedure can we follow to participate in this event?

Noel K. Tshiani:

Online events have three goals:  connect the diaspora to professionals and entrepreneurs in Africa; share knowledge and expertise in a sector of economic activity; and create real-time networking opportunities by video among participants on Cisco WebEx.

The organization of this event is made possible by LinkedIn Events, a new digital system for organizing professional events. Congo Business Network has obtained exclusive access to this very advanced technology even if its accessibility is still limited until now to a very few entrepreneurs in San Francisco and New York. Our partners and sponsors of this event are Vodacom Congo, Financial Afrik, Ingenious City, MaxiCash, Silikon Bantu and Movemeback.

As far as procedures are concerned, it’s very simple. Participants are encouraged to confirm their participation on LinkedIn Events. Then, on the day of the event, they will connect to Cisco WebEx and follow the event in real time by video around the world, whether in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, America, Europe or any African country. Here is the direct link to connect: Bitly.com/CBNCiscoWebEx.

After this event, what are your real expectations?

Gibran Freitas:

My main expectation is to bring together even more people to the Legal Tech Africa platform in order to find and support more and more legal tech project leaders on the continent.

I also hope that this rather major event will definitely draw the attention of the international legal and technical community to key developments happening in Africa.

Do you think that the diaspora is better positioned to talk about Legal Tech in Africa, especially since the realities are not the same as in France or New York?

Noel K. Tshiani:

For this event, we have speakers who will speak about legal tech with a lot of credibility based on local experience in a specific country. Some speakers will talk about what they know based on their experience in the diaspora in Europe or the United States.

According to the program, Stéphane Engueleguele, associate director at Dike Avocats, based in Paris; Junior Luyindula, CEO of Avocats.cd, based in Kinshasa; Ghislain Kuitchoua, Managing Director at Tribune Justice, based in Douala; Youssouf Ballo, CEO of Legafrik, based in Abidjan; Walid Ghanemi, CEO of Legal Doctrine, based in Algiers; and Ruddy Mukwamu, CEO of Pluritone, based in Johannesburg will speak successively on topics related to legal tech and technologies that can currently be used in this sector in order to succeed in business in Africa.

Many young entrepreneurs will read about you, what can you tell those who are still hesitating to register for this event that will bring together 5 African countries and France?

Gibran Freitas:

Whether you are a lawyer or not, it is obvious that as an entrepreneur you want to simplify your interactions with the law on a daily basis; this event will certainly give you a solid foundation to achieve this objective.

A final word to close this interview?

Noel K. Tshiani:

Thank you for the enormous time and effort you have devoted to conducting this interview. I will conclude by saying that I encourage professionals and entrepreneurs who can participate in this event to connect this Saturday, February 16 at 6 pm Paris time.

Legal Tech is a very important subject for all entrepreneurs as Gibran Freitas has just mentioned. Don’t miss this opportunity if you can connect, learn and ask questions to speakers in real time on Cisco WebEx.

By participating in this international conference, many people will be able to develop relationships with other professionals and entrepreneurs around the world. These are the relationships and knowledge you will need to succeed in business in the diaspora and in Africa in all sectors of economic activity.

Interview conducted by Restra Poaty from Congo Digital.

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