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Ikechukwu Bernard Okafor
S.J.D. Candidate
Graduate Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
iokafor at


Capital Market Regulatory Reforms for African Economic Integration: Exploring Private Capital and Fintech Options

This research seeks to fill an important gap in development financing in Africa, particularly the Sub-Saharan Africa, using modern financial technology platforms. It seeks to re-imagine the on-going African Economic Integration in the light of emerging global trends in private capital markets which is currently lacking in the integration framework. Africa is in dire need of development finances. It has also become clear to both Africa and its development partners that official development assistance (ODA) and other public sector-focused financing models which have been pursued by the continent since 1960s are not viable and sustainable. This research therefore enquires into what may constitute an appropriate integrated framework for the development of private sector capital market in Africa. It particularly focuses on development and integration of Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) markets as an important sub-set of the private sector capital market.

The research further investigates how this niche market can leverage on available financial technology platforms (Fintech) to mitigate the effects of acute shortage of infrastructure within the continent and reduce investment risks. While Africa lags behind in its infrastructure development, the telecommunication sub-sector has advanced in the continent with reasonable penetration in voice, data and other services. It has also transformed the financial services sector in the continent by enabling expanded product choices, ease of doing business, fast and efficient transactions. Leveraging on these achievements to create a viable integrated private capital market will enhance Africa’s global competitiveness and improve its capacity for sustainable developments. However, several socio-economic and regulatory issues will need to be properly articulated and harnessed in order to achieve these objectives. These issues constitute the center-piece of this research.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Financial Regulation and Securities Transactions with Professor Howell Jackson, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Corporate Law, Contracts, Finance and Cross-border Transactions with Professor John C. Coates IV, Harvard Law School
  • International Finance and Development with Professor Pierre-Hugues Verdier, Research Professor, University of Virginia Law School and Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • International Trade Law
  • International Investment Law
  • Commercial Arbitration


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2017-Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program, 2016-2017 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • University of Ibadan, Nigeria, LL.M 2009
  • Nigerian Law School, B.L, 2006
  • University of Ibadan, Nigeria, LL.B, 2005

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2017-2018, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor

Last Updated: August 13, 2017