Africa: Raise Partners with Anjarwalla & Khanna and Pan-African Legal Alliance ALN to Create First Security Token Framework

Business for Africa Forum, 2018
press release

Raise, a Bahamian and Kenyan technology company today announced a partnership with Kenyan top-tier corporate law firm ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna (A&K) to create the continent's first security token framework. A&K is the founder of ALN (f/k/a African Legal Network), an alliance of leading independent law firms across Africa and the Middle East.

Security tokens, sometimes called a 'tokenized asset' is a digital asset that represents ownership in a real-world asset, such as real estate, shares, debt, commodities, fine art and insurance. They are built in a secure and distributed database bringing benefits of cybersecurity, automated compliance, tracking and transferability to traditional assets. Raise's platform targets the private capital markets industry and recently announced the first security token asset on the continent in partnership with iHub.

A demo of Raise's platform was announced at the ALN Africa Investment Conference, 2018 in Dubai and the announcement on the partnership between Raise and A&K was made at the Business for Africa Forum in Cairo, Egypt, attended by the Heads of States of Rwanda, Togo, Niger and Zimbabwe, Egypt and the Chief Executive Officer of COMESA.

Raise CEO and co-founder, Marvin Coleby, announced the partnership at the event where he spoke about the potential for distributed ledgers and blockchain technologies. Coleby, a securities lawyer and an authority in digital asset regulation, emphasised the need for a clear regulatory approach for blockchain technologies on the continent and its use particularly in relation to capital markets infrastructure.

"Blockchain technologies suffer from a clear lack of regulation around the world. There is a need for efforts at self- regulation to create frameworks that educate law firms, policymakers and entrepreneurs. We're particularly excited about this partnership with A&K and their ability to leverage ALN's network of law firms in 16 countries across the continent as it allows us to work with the best lawyers, entrepreneurs and law firms to create strong regulatory frameworks for blockchain-enabled capital markets across numerous jurisdictions," Coleby says. "Clear frameworks for digital securities can unleash innovation in the security token space and enable SME financing and liquidity for private markets on an unprecedented scale."

Raise and A&K aim to create and share the framework through the recently launched African Digital Asset Framework, an open source platform created to facilitate the development of the legal and technological standards for blockchain technologies that enable Pan-African trade. ADAF is the first open-source software platform to create transnational standards for digital assets and distributed ledger technologies in line with Pan-African development objectives, and complements the African Union's Single African Digital Market initiative, which seeks to leverage technology to stimulate digitized Pan-African economic integration. The Framework project is supported by ambassadors from the African Union and African Development Bank. Raise is a founding member of the framework.

Says A&K partner Dominic Rebelo, "Our partnership with Raise aligns perfectly with our vision for the future of capital raising and securities trading across Africa and demonstrates A&K and ALN's commitment to provide our clients with a seamless service across the Continent."

Dominic has wide-ranging experience in capital markets, cross-listing and African securities, giving him deep domain expertise in digital securities and an ideal partner to Raise.

The partnership will create a regulatory framework for security token issuances, contract templates, legal definitions, offerings and technological standards to be shared with ALN law firms throughout the continent.

About Raise - A Bahamian and Kenyan technology company, led by CEO and co-founder Marvin Coleby, and CTO and co-founder Eugene Mutai, Raise is an asset ownership platform for companies, funds and law firms. The product simplifies company management, asset creation and security tokenization on the blockchain. Raise ensures compliance, strong security and globally transferable securities for any organisation.

About ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna – A&K is one of the leading corporate law firms in Kenya and is the largest full-service corporate law firm in East Africa with close to 100 lawyers. It has been named "African Law Firm" of the Year at the African Legal Awards four times. It has also won the "Innovation Law Firm of the Year" and the "M&A Team of the Year" awards. A&K is the founding member of ALN.

About ALN – ALN, formerly known as the Africa Legal Network, is an alliance of leading corporate law firms currently in sixteen key African jurisdictions, including the continent's gateway economies. ALN also has a regional office in Dubai, UAE. The firms are recognised as leading firms in their markets and many have advised on ground breaking, one-of-a-kind deals. ALN firms work together in providing a one-stop-shop solution for clients doing business across Africa.

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