In Episode #17, we sit down with Ebele Onyeabo, a Nigerian attorney who specializes in oil and gas law. We cover:

  • How the Resource Curse has impacted and continues to impact Nigeria’s economy and people.
  • A rundown of the international oil and gas industry and what aspiring attorneys in this field should expect in order to excel.
  • The gender imbalance in the oil and gas industry, as well as the greater energy industry, along with ideas to further promote women’s participation.
  • Nigeria’s prospects for international business and future growth.
  • Recent developments in Africa and West Africa of which international businesses should be aware.
  • Reading, listening, and watching recommendations from:

If you have comments on this episode or if you’d like to suggest topics for future episodes, please email globallawbiz [at] harrisbricken [dot] com.

And please follow Fred and Jonathan on social media to stay informed on upcoming guests and topics:

We’ll see you next week for another discussion on the global business environment as we discuss the practice of criminal law in Mexico and other topics with our guest Patricia Almada.

This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.

Fred Rocafort 0:07
Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other, developing and developed nations wax and wane their importance in the global stage. While consumption and interconnectedness both increase, laws and regulations change incessantly, requiring businesses to stay nimble. How do we make sense of it all? Welcome to global lawn business, hosted by Harris Sliwoski International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort

Jonathan Bench 0:34

and I’m Jonathan Bench. Every Thursday, we take a bite sized look at legal and economic developments and locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of our international guests. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.

Fred Rocafort 0:59
We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us via email and social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.

Today, we are pleased to welcome Ebele Onyeabo to our podcast Ebele is a legal Practitioner with experience as a contract administrator and academic researcher. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, having obtained her master’s degree in oil and gas law with distinction from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Her research combines oil and gas law with law and development through a comparative analysis of Nigeria and Norway’s Petro governance models. Her research establishes their resource course, both as a function of poor institutions and as a consequence of consecutive abortive transplants of the region model. With a legal education that spans multiple continents, Africa, Europe, Asia, Ebele has written and presented papers on several other areas of interest. These include the issue of grand corruption in Africa, and the Malabo protocol, which seeks to establish a regional criminal court, as well as Chinese investment in Africa and its impact on African debt, financial stability, geopolitics, trade, energy security, and the Belt and Road initiative. She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Chartered Institute of arbitrators, and the Association of international petroleum negotiators. Ebele, Welcome to global on business.

Ebele Onyeabo 2:39
Thank you Fred. Thank you for having me. Jonathan as well.

Jonathan Bench 2:42
Ebele, thank you for being with us. I’m very excited to get to know more about you and and hear your advice for us and the things you have shared with us today. Can we first set the stage by talking about your career trajectory, can tell us a little bit about the road that took you from Nigeria to Hong Kong, but the stopping Aberdeen, what influenced your decision making at each stage?

Ebele Onyeabo 3:04
Oh, yeah, thank you for the question concerning a career that spans multiple continents, I always felt like the world was such a big place and that stay with it within your comfort zone or within the area where you grew up would only give you that much information or that more exposure in terms of the platitudes that the world has to offer. So I had always thought of myself inquisitive enough to, you know, go outside my comfort zone, or where I’m used to and just experience for the cultures or the or the places in order people in it, essentially expand my network of friends and legal associates. Basically, my career trajectory, I would say is to have a legal presence or legal personality, that that is more or less international. You know, I, I always wanted to see how far I can go in terms of absorbing and other legal spaces and absorbing other legal other jurors during the jurisprudence of other places, and how all of that can crystallize into a law career. So I think what influenced my decision at each stage, which I moved is how well the specific place or the specific country or specific legal system relates to a little bit to Nigeria a little bit to the issues Nigeria is going through a little bit too, or trying to seek out a career as an international lawyer. So of course, um, the UK with Commonwealth relationship with Nigeria makes it made it a useful stepping stone because I was able to take my legal education from Nigeria and translate it to the UK jurisprudence because we essentially have similar laws because a lot of the laws practice in Nigeria were laws enforced in the UK, so they were transplanted from the UK to Nigeria. And afterwards, when I decided that I was going to do a PhD, I decided, you know, he has to be Asia. I have not really experienced the Asian continent before. Before I moved to Hong Kong, so going to Hong Kong was actually me diving into the deep end of the pool. And I would say it’s been remarkable that I chose Hong Kong because, yes, the legal system and the similarities as well allows me to translate my experiences my legal education from Nigeria and my legal education from the UK. And, you know, it’s, it had that semblance what, what is already practiced in Hong Kong, and doing a PhD, which could be sort of an insular and it could be a very lonely journey. I thought that doing it in a city as exciting as Hong Kong to sort of balance out the monotones that comes from doing a PhD. You know, Hong Kong. I think Fred can attest to that. It’s full of life full of people full of activities. And you know, it’s it’s location allows you to sort of explore other parts of Asia easily either the centrality and the interconnectivity of the Hong Kong airport with so many other places, allows you to explore several other countries around Asia and for me, that was a huge benefit. So I think I would say, these are some of the things that sort of shaped my decision making.

Fred Rocafort 7:39
Yes, I have to say that really, Hong Kong will add an element of excitement to anything you do there, whether it’s study or work and that’s something that Jonathan also knows he also got to spend some some quality quality time in the in the city. Turning to your thesis topic. What exactly is the resource curse? I have some intuitive idea of what it is. But it would be good to get a more detailed explanation. And how does it manifest itself in Nigeria specifically, and perhaps even, we could we could also hear about other examples of the resource curse and in other countries.

Ebele Onyeabo 8:29
Thank you. Um, yeah, the resource curse is it’s a huge topic. It’s been around for a while now. You know, and it’s a phenomenon that a lot of analysts have engaged with in trying to explain the adverse relationship between natural resources or the exploration and exploitation of natural resources and adverse economic development. So if you look at Maybe 16, seventh century 17th century, us and maybe Canada, you would find that when they started exploiting an oil essentially, it propelled the wave of industrialization that happened and there was a lot of economic progress and a lot of fortune that came from the industry that trickled down to the entire society and going down the line and really started to record and report adverse relationship between producing oil and gas and economic prosperity that, you know, in a way that it created it allowed for problems in the economy, and that affected the citizens adversely. A good example would be the experience called the Dutch disease, the Netherlands experienced in the Dutch disease. And this happened when the analysts were basically focusing on the economic relationship between. They’re exporting natural gas and economic progress in the country. They were able to record that. He created the oil and gas sector created a mono economy that were employing people with a specific set of skills. And that sort of increased on employment down the line. Another issue was that it contracted or aspects of the of the economy. Agriculture manufacturing began to dwindle. And that sort of false reinforced the modern economy, everybody wanted to work in oil and gas, but there was only so much that the sector could absorb. And while that was happening, because the agricultural industry wasn’t doing that, well, globally, they found that they were producing products that were not competitive to global market.

Meaning that because the value the real value of your currency have appreciated, the value of the goods that they were providing or trying to export was higher than Dr. competitors. So that further shrunk those sectors in terms of agriculture and manufacturing. And they found out that they were, it was easier to import goods. So more importation meant that those industry would find a contract. And so it was a horse knew of economic problems that came with the handling of that one industry. However, down the line, analysts started to observe that there were other political problems associated with oil and gas, or other social, political and cultural problems associated with oil and gas. They found that the amount of money that the sector could provide enabled rent seeking, enable rent seeking and so the political elite were awash with a lot of funds. And the more money they got, the more they were able to corrupt processes like elections, and, you know, distort is already established institution and affirmatively destruct the whole democratic process, you know, so the resource curse started capturing all the theories around the resource was that a trap capturing all of this, and the fact that when the society becomes destabilized, there were issues like conflict, internal conflict as people began to take up arms to fight the establishment and there was the issue of entrenched, entrenched entrench patronage networks that sort of sprung to regulatory capture to make sure that their position, their power, their access to the natural resource and natural resource run is secure, regardless of any subsequent electoral cycle. So this is essentially how the resource curse has manifested in Nigeria. And just, you know giving the examples that I have listed now, you can see that perhaps it has happened in so many other places that you can think of places like Angola, a lot of places in the Middle East have had issues. Again, the resource curse also manifest in environmental degradation. You know, Nigeria is also a classic case for that would it come up then ecological destruction of the Niger Delta, where our oil and gas resources primarily come from. So the resource curse is a combination of economic and socio political consequences of exporting oil and gas and mishandling oil and gas revenue. And how that consequence sort of disrupt the economic system of the country suffering from that and how it increases poverty, and how its own, how it increases poverty and how it it sort of erodes democratic systems.

Jonathan Bench 15:28
So would you say that Nigeria has made progress in the last decade or two on this? And if not, is there a way out of it? How do you break this resource curse cycle?

Ebele Onyeabo 15:39
I think it’s very difficult to break the cycle when we haven’t paid enough attention to understanding how it has evolved, how it has developed and how and the different ways in which is manifesting. So one of the things my research goes to do all my research seeks to do is to offer a nuanced understanding to the resource curse and how exactly and trenched elite capture distorts the institutions that are transplanted to, to manage or to govern the Nigerian oil and gas industry. So we have transplanted models from the from Norway, essentially Norwegian model which seems to have worked in Norway. However, it is sort of implemented in such a way that on the face of it seems okay, seems like we are on the right track in terms of how well we are implementing it. But in practice, you’d see that it has been perverted in a way that implementation sort of undermines the progress on The mind always counterproductive to the issues that is it is designed to address. I would say that solving the resource curse issue in Nigeria, we really need genuine legitimate overhaul of the system. And a lot of the time administration, several administrations they come in they go, and they come in with the intention to overhaul but they cannot really avoid the temptation of putting in mechanisms that would grant them cover to be able to penetrate some of his vices. So it’s really complicated. It’s something that can only be repaired full swing, it cannot be done in bite sizes, it can only be done full swing. I think one of the ways to which we can resolve it is to do more research, break down the issues in a way that we expose a lot of these things. And we pull resources, especially human capital together to resolve them. So I think more research and banging on the door essentially through revealing information about the industry.

Jonathan Bench 18:16
So we can turn for a minute and talk more generally about the practice of law surrounding the oil and gas industry. Imagine that it’s very similar to other practices, you know, other business type practices, right, where you have contracts, you need to draft and negotiate intellectual property rights or need to be protected. And there are disputes that you can resolve by arbitration and litigation. But I’m sure that it differs in some significant ways as well. Could you tell us what makes an oil and gas practice unique and would a lawyer who wants to get into this field should expect?

Ebele Onyeabo 18:50
I think what makes oil and gas unique is the fact that when I started, essentially studying oil and gas during my Master’s in Scotland, I discovered that when it came to different countries because you cannot look at the oil and gas industry, with regard to just one place, you have to give it a holistic view or a worldview global view, I found out that there were a lot of differences with regards to how things are implemented from one country to the other. However, there were a lot of similarities, that harmonized a lot of oil exporting countries, and a lot of oil importing countries as well. So I found that that uniqueness came in the fact that issues were so different, and yet so similar at the same time, and it was challenging to sift through these differences in the similarities in a way that makes sense, you know, so it makes sense to study of the sector and make sense of the study of the industry, I would say to someone who aspires to walk in oil and gas law to go in With the desire to have a holistic view or helicopter view of the oil and gas industry, and maybe find the aspect of oil and gas that best suits, you know your level of expertise or your preferences, because like many other aspects of law, oil and gas in particular has this ability to court across all sectors of law, aside from the corporate law and corporate governance issues, and issues with the things you’ve you’ve mentioned in terms of contracts and contract negotiation and intellectual property, when the US law tallies or marries with environmental law and policy, it marries with always tied to international maritime boundaries, for instance, health and safety regulation as well. Also international trade and investment law human rights violations as well is an aspect of oil and gas. And, and so many other things, you know, laws around state control and laws around, you know, predictability of investment, predictability of host states in terms of investments. So there are so many so many little niches and little nuances attached to the study of oil and gas. So it’s the kind of sector where someone coming in, can you know if your interest is, perhaps human rights, you can relate to oil and gas as it relates to human human rights or you can practice oil and gas law as it relates to human rights if you’re an environmental lawyer or government to specialists You can study oil and gas as it relates to environmental law and policy. So, it is nuanced and it is broad, but there is there is space or there is opportunities for a one to cover me. So, I would say, take a helicopter view and find an aspect of oil and gas law that best reflects your your legal interests and your legal practice, then zoom in on that and specialize in that because even if you look at the oil and gas firms, you find out that they have you know, A, B and C persons all specializing in different aspects of oil and gas. And even with that firm, you find out that they might not even have enough competence, they might not have enough competence for a particular issue and they have to collaborate. So the When a guy’s community has a lot of room for people to tap into each other’s expertise and collaborate, you know. So that’s one of the uniqueness in the industry. And I think it’s it’s one that gives very opportunities to young lawyers seeking a challenging yet rewarding aspect of law to get developed in

Fred Rocafort 23:27
Ebele, we know that gender balance is a major issue in the oil and gas industry. This is reflected both within corporate firms dealing with energy law as well as academia. We know that there are several organizations pushing for greater inclusion of women in this sector. Could you tell us a little bit about this issue and more specifically, whether in your review, enough is being done. We’d also love to hear about any ideas that you might have. Have as a practitioner to promote women’s participation in the industry.

Ebele Onyeabo 24:05
Thank you for that question is it’s it’s very relevant one that isn’t often asked or is not asked enough. Um, you know, there’s been research shows that show that women are underrepresented in extractive industries, not just oil and gas and under representation is very, very visible when you start going high up the command chain when you talk about senior positions. So you have organizations like Catalyst, you know, it’s an NGO focused on gender diversity in the workplace. And they came up with a study in 2016. That says that women constitute at least 70% of board positions in the top 500 mining companies that established problem and We have to look at that with the diversity in the workplace. And, you know, more inclusion of women in the workplace has a lot of benefits, you know, it improves the talent pool, it promotes profitability, it boosts more accurate and objective thinking. It enhances decision making, you know, it forces innovation, you know, yet, you know, there are social norms and traditional gender roles that persist in many oil exporting countries, especially in Africa, and the Middle East, and they continue to block women from advancing. So even if you’re able to enter the industry, the chances that you will advance in the way that your male counterparts would, is also questionable. You know, so just why would recognize that they Our international regulation and NGOs and other advocacy efforts that promote gender balance and women participation across all sectors, not just oil and gas, there’s obviously still a lot of work to be done. And I think, you know, with all that is available now we are at least on the right track by, you know, talking about it and talking, trying to identify the problem.

And acknowledging that, you know, there should be an environment where dialogue and brainstorm is promoted you to address this problem. So, while the advocacy groups and regulations address, you know, that address gender balance, lay a foundation. I think, you know, people in the energy industry, both men and women ought to speak up. They have to organize mentorship programs, they ought organize a concentration staff meetings and seminars and retreats, you know that that allows for this dialogue to be promoted and for this dialogue to grow. So they need to promote things like maybe gender focused recruitment drives, you know. And they need to look beyond the recruitment aspects, you know, when the woman gets into the sector, how can she be elevated? How can she progress the way her male counterparts will? You know, and there are so many issues to discuss around this issue like there was a survey conducted that essentially said that women left the oil and gas industry due to insufficient opportunity and stagnation. You know, they, they said to have lacked the flexibility needed to accommodate women who have taken more responsibility, perhaps at home, you know, on some of these things have triggered doubt the patcher and departure means that you do not you don’t get to managerial positions, you know, so, these issues that cause me carrier frustration, you know, would always always be a major block and will always translate to lower numbers of women in in positions of power in oil and gas and in corporations. You know, and and we need to just create a space where we can discuss issues like, you know, women as a women’s issues as it affects maybe willingness to relocate issues that analysts call the most penalty, lack of sponsorship and championing women’s career, you know, a lot of leaders, leaders in the sector that would champion this career and champion this cause if they’re in a particular company and believe, you know, a lot of the time there is no other person to fill in that role and see that, Okay, I need to move this agenda forward. So, you know, there there are so many issues there. Like I mentioned before, the issue of subtle or unconscious biases, and even the explicit restriction, you know, where a lot of countries explicitly restrict women from taking up certain roles because they believe that women cannot do it, especially in oil and gas, that will require people to go offshore, you know, that that even goes to the issue of rescue. bias. A lot of recruiters for this kind of projects would, you know, just looking at the name and seeing a woman there and knowing that, okay, this is a role that traditionally has been occupied by men. There is that resume bias, where the recruiter would automatically decide, okay, let’s not put the woman forward, you know. So, the statistics are grim, but the dialogue is happening, it needs to be encouraged. And it looks promising, especially with the amount of dialogue and the amount of research and the amount of revelation and the amount of data that is coming out all from this dialogue, you know, so that there is some hope.

Jonathan Bench 30:48
So on the subject of Nigeria, the economy there is generating increasing excitement. While preparing for the podcast. We read that Nigeria is expected to have the highest average GDP growth in the world. between 2010 and 2050, the forecast positioned a few years ago, So it’s possible it may have been adjusted. But that’s still eye catching. Can you give us an insider’s perspective on the future of Nigeria and in specific, what new opportunities that might present for international businesses? We’d also love to hear any thoughts you have on Africa’s prospects more broadly, you know, any countries in West Africa particularly that we should keep an eye on?

Ebele Onyeabo 31:25
Yeah. So of course there is always excitement with regard to Africa and regards to business and gosh to trade. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention things like the Africa continental free, free trade agreement that has been there has recently been signed and it’s getting ready to be implemented it was it ought to have been implemented. And first of July, this year but due to the corona virus, I think it has been moved to February or January. I’m not too sure about that. But essentially, you know, when it comes to Africa and GDP growth, a lot of the analysts have pinpointed one of the issues for stifling Africa’s development to lack of interconnected trade. So, the Africa continental Free Trade Agreement was essentially developed to bring down trade barriers and allow for trade barriers, like physical barriers, like tariffs and all of that, as well as physical barriers, like the borders and customs officials and, you know, country activities in terms of amenities. So it is developed to make sure that Africa is able to trade within Africa and utilize the 1.2 billion population in the whole of Africa. And it allows Africa, that harmony and that unionism to be able to trade as a trading bloc, with other countries in Europe and the United States and such were Africa’s interest can be looked at as a collective. So historically, if we consider, you know, looking at Colonial engagement with Africa would see that the way Africa was inserted into the global community was through export of raw materials to be processed abroad. So that meant that little was done to encourage value addition to this to this minerals within Africa. And because there was not, they weren’t they weren’t working or processing these minerals, industrialization began to dwindle. You know, so you see that even though the insert infrastructure on ground in Africa has been designed to facilitate taking commodities from the interior and out to the mall. So trade has been historically organized around external trade. So, I think one of the, one of the things to look forward to in Africa, generally and for Nigeria as well, is that integrated, integrated trading bloc and you know, the ability to change the trajectory of Africa in terms of developing infrastructure that will allow intra continental trade. And as well as you know, perhaps, when you when you when we bring it back down to oil and gas, developing and energy, making sure that there’s energy security in Africa because this is also an issue and energy insecurity as well has distorted industrialization because the generating power industry by industry, affirmatively adds to the cost of production and adds to the cost of commodity. So, there is a lot to look at, even in terms of energy security with regards to energy transition. You know, Africa has huge potential for solar and wind energy and it is all about getting these amenities right to be able to attract the necessary investment to develop the sectors which will in turn will return on how low stir the global trade in Africa, Africa’s global trading and Africa trading within itself. So I think there is there is a lot to look forward to. These are interesting times. And I can’t I cannot wait to sort of see how the Africa continental Free Trade Agreement is implemented going forward.

Fred Rocafort 36:48
Ebele, this is the point in the podcast where we ask for recommendations we’d love to hear about whether it’s a book magazine article, TV series movie, whatever it is that you think it’s worth recommending, we’d love to hear about it.

Ebele Onyeabo 37:09
For me, I used to like books, you know, I read for leisure. And when I started the PhD, I found that essentially all I was doing was rummaging through pages and pages of research. And that sort of brought down the amount of times that I would read for leisure. And I found out that even when I’d read for leisure, I was reading books that were essentially relating to my research. The book I’m currently reading right now is by Daron Acemoglu. And it’s titled Why nations fail. It essentially looks at the foundation of blocks. He talked about several countries and the foundational blocks for the construction of these countries and the construction of debt institutions and how these blocks have either allow the nation to progress or predetermined its failure and predetermined the fact that it will continuously fail on my things that don’t address some of the foundational issues. So I think I would recommend that book. I also read one of my favorite books so far. Michelle Obama’s Becoming because it sort of just looks at a woman trying to thrive in the legal sector, everybody thought it would be about she was the wife of the President, but a lot of a lot of the book was about how, you know she survived or she thrived even in an Ivy League colleges where she was a times the only black person in the entire class and how she also thrives in a law firm when she practiced law. So I think these are good books as well a TV series. I would recommend I strongly recommend actually BoJack Horseman. So Bojack Horseman is animated. A lot of people wouldn’t like that. But I did start watching it because I thought it was common and helped me relax after a long day of research. And I found that that he was dealing with a lot of mental health issues that, you know, people don’t even usually pick up on, they deal a lot with depression and deal a lot with generation of mental issues in terms of one person, grandfather, great grandfather, perpetrating that kind of behavior that affects the way the parents behave, and affects the way the child the way they interact with the children, which will affect the way the child behaves. So it was quite a surprise what I quite enjoyed it and got, you know, a lot of insight to a lot of the things that we would actually even take for granted. For a YouTube video. I always, always watch Vox and Vice, documentaries on YouTube. That’s one of the things that I don’t I don’t even know whether they have platforms where they publish some of their things. But they I do follow a YouTube channel. I quite enjoy the little nuggets videos of six minutes. And they talk about everything from colonialism to the civil rights movements, for instance, in the US to the Belton road initiative on the connectivity of the New Silk Roads and how China intends to connect the world through a new trade route. So they think they do have so much you know, one day and it’s like my little 6,7,8 minute video encyclopedia just for the day and just played in the background.

Fred Rocafort 40:49
Ebele, I thank you for those recommendations. I have a long road trip coming up and that’s certainly given me a lot of ideas in terms of what I can have what I can read during the trip, Jonathan, what about you? What do you have for us today?

Jonathan Bench 41:04
I just got done reading a pair of articles, and then Nikkei Asian Asian review about Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal. And as you may know, recently he so this is the former Prime Minister of Malaysia and he was convicted on several counts and he’s going to be jailed for 12 years. Of course, he’s going to appeal it. But it’s interesting because Goldman Sachs was tied up in this scandal. J Lo’s Alter Ego whose name is Joe Lowe, who is a financier from Malaysia is tied up in it. And he’s, I think currently hiding in China still. So it This came came down, I think, last summer. And so this just this summer, Goldman Sachs has now settled for, I think, almost $4 billion with Malaysia to drop some charges against the bank in Malaysia. And it’s very interesting because it kind of ties a bow on The story of Malaysia about what happens when government officials misappropriate funds, you know, as a former prime minister, who is now being convicted, and I don’t know if that would happen in the US, even if on this scale, it was turned out to about 10 million US dollars that this former prime minister, apparently stole got access to with the help of some insiders. so fascinating story, also very sad, of course, because we don’t like seeing any countries, any people in any country getting, you know, getting defrauded in this way. But it certainly is interesting read. So I recommend that the article is called Malaysia’s Najib to be jailed for 12 years after 1MDB conviction. And there’ll be follow on stories as well, of course, about the Goldman Sachs settlement. So that’s what I recommend if you’re interested in that flavor of news. Fred, what do you have for us?

Fred Rocafort 42:53
So there is a website that I find very useful and I’m surprised that it’s not more popular, I would have thought that I now it would have been better known, but I’ve come to realize that many people within the target audience don’t know about it. So the name of this website and of course they have an app that you can use on your smartphone is Forvo. F O R v as in Victor O, and it essentially provides a database of pronunciations. So if there’s a term with which you’re unfamiliar, you can look it up and you can look it up by language. So if there’s a term that’s pronounced differently in a different language, you you can, you can hear the different, different versions. Even within the same language, you usually have information regarding the identity of the person who and this is User provided content basically. So people from all over the world contribute. So if you’re looking up a word in English, it’ll, you might find pronunciations you know, voice samples provided by people from England from people, people from the US looking for something in Spanish, you might, you might, you might see someone from Peru, someone from Mexico. It’s, it’s incomplete. Obviously not not, not every single term you’re looking for will be there. But that’s one of the great things about it. If you do know how to say something you can you can make your own contribution and help help grow it. And of course, over time, the database is becoming more and more complete. So if you know if you’re reading about a place like the Netherlands or you know Poland and you run across somebody’s name or location, and then you’re stumped For the correct pronunciation, try try forvo there’s a good there’s a good chance you’ll, you’ll you’ll find it there.

Jonathan Bench 45:07
I can’t believe that you kept this hidden from me all this time we’ve known each other for that’s extremely useful. And I just used it to look up the former Prime Minister’s name to see if I pronounced it correctly and I was close enough, but that that’s a great resource. Thanks for sharing that.

Fred Rocafort 45:21
There you go. As I as I anticipated, you know, it’ll be an eye opener for many people. Well, a belay, I’d like to thank you once again for for being our guest. I really enjoyed this conversation. Glad to connect over over the airwaves. And hopefully we’ll be able to have you back on the podcast soon for another interview.

Ebele Onyeabo 45:45
Thank you for having me. It’s been fascinating. And I have been, you know, rummaging through all the interviews you’ve had on the podcast, and I’ve been playing some of them and they’ve been quite, quite interesting. So thank you. Thank you for keeping that up.

Jonathan Bench 46:01
We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. We look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue to discuss developments in global law and business. and tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then.

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