On 2 May 2018, the maiden edition of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Arbitration in Africa Survey was launched at the SOAS Arbitration in Africa Research Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. The survey, conducted using an online questionnaire, focused on perspectives of African arbitration practitioners in domestic and international arbitration. The insufficiency of…

For AfricArb The evolution of foreign direct investment in the African continent The African continent has been an important recipient of foreign investment for many decades, with a significant rise in such investment being witnessed in the last 15 years. The economic growth, the limitation of regulatory barriers and importantly the high rates of return…

Five years after filing the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Case No. 2013-32 under the European Development Fund Arbitration Rules (EDF Rules), the claimant, Consta JV (an Italian contractor), would have hoped for a successful award against the CDE (a joint enterprise between the Ethiopian and Djibouti government) that would be upheld by the local…

Diversity in arbitration is currently topical, and this drove our engagement with it in relation to race (particularly African) in this survey. Related to this, is the entrenched perceptions against African arbitration practitioners which has negatively impacted on their participation in international arbitration (including Africa-connected disputes). The primary perception is that African arbitration practitioners are…

The cassation bench of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia, whose decisions have precedential value, in National Motors Corp. v. General Business Development case has ruled that parties’ final intention to be bound by an arbitration award shall be final and may not be subject to review by courts, including the cassation bench. The bench, however,…

International arbitration claims are oftentimes bedevilled with the contention that the claimant invoked the option to arbitrate much too early. Sometimes, this contention is no more than a lawyers’ artifice utilised to delay advancing arbitral proceedings. Yet, quite commonly, this contention is true in some cases. In my experience, I have identified a number of…

Introduction   It is no longer news that Third-Party-Funding (TPF) has captured the attention of the arbitration community in recent times and has become increasingly popular even in international commercial and investment arbitration. No doubt, the recent expansion of TPF in international commercial and investment arbitration has spurred debates with regard to its regulation, both…

The morning session of the last day of the ICCA Sydney 2018 Conference on “Potential of Arbitration Involving New Stakeholders” was moderated by Ndanga Kamau and had the insightful contributions of Dr. Campbell McLachlan QC, Prof. Makane Moïse Mbengue and Silvia Marchili. Ndanga Kamau opened the final plenary session by asking the following question: why…

If you are a counsel in an ongoing arbitration, you have two obligations: 1) navigate your ways through provisions of the applicable law so that you can litigate as a professional; 2) satisfy your client with your service and make sure that all his questions are answered properly. Especially, if an arbitrator (whether or not…

The revised OHADA Uniform Act on Arbitration (the Arbitration Act) and revised Rules on Arbitration of the Joint Court of Justice and Arbitration (the CCJA) (the Rules), as well as the new Uniform Act on Mediation, entered into force on 15 March 2018. The fruit of nearly two years of consultations among the 17 Member…

What is FDI? Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is investment in the shares of an enterprise operating in a country other than the home country. Typically, such investment can either be in the form of ‘mortar and brick’ investment or mergers and acquisitions. FDI has a major impact on the economic growth of developing countries. Africa…

Founded 20 years ago, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) is a group of 17 African States who have joined efforts to enact unified legislation in all areas of business law in order to promote investments by fostering legal certainty across member States.  The OHADA Treaty acknowledged the importance of…

Third-party funding has become a subject of major discussion over the past few years. It is clear that third-party funding is here to stay, and thus the question today is not whether it is going to grow, but rather where the opportunities are likely to be. Third-party funding: Definition and objectives Third-party funding is an…

The long-standing dispute over the territory of Western Sahara has been the subject of a treaty, an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, an armed conflict, a United Nations-brokered ceasefire, and several General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. It has also recently come to the fore in several cases before the EU and…

The facts in Getma v. Guinea case seem familiar enough, but the facts leading to annulment of the award involve a wholly unexpected plot twist—a showdown between an African arbitral institution and the arbitral tribunal over the tribunal’s fees. When the annulment decision in Getma v. Guinea first came out, it received considerable attention, including…

In a highly unusual arbitral decision, the Cour Commune de Justice et d’Arbitrage (CCJA), the court created by the Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Commercial Law in Africa) (OHADA) Treaty, signed by 17 African States, has ruled that an award should be set aside on…

“A course in international arbitration that does not cover the Libya oil arbitration cases of the 1970s would probably be considered incomplete by most standards.” (Arbitration in Asia and Africa: Profiles of Selected Arbitral Institutions, Won Kidane, China-Africa Dispute Settlement: The Law, Economics and Culture of Arbitration, International Arbitration Law Library, Volume 23, p.367) This…

In the past two years, Canada has signed BITs with nine African states: Benin (January 2013), United Republic of Tanzania (May 2013), Cameroon (March 2014), Nigeria (May 2014), Senegal (November 2014), Mali (November 2014), Cote d’Ivoire (November 2014), Burkina Faso (April 2015) and most recently Guinea (May 2015). The first eight of these treaties (the…

The rise of China as a major economic and political actor is one of the defining features of the twentieth-first century. Much of China’s growing power comes from its ever-expanding economy. In order to expand its blossoming economy, China needs to tap into new markets. In an age of intense market integration and economic competition,…

Arbitration, or tahkim, has long-standing religious and cultural roots in the Middle East. However, there are also a number of differences and tensions between the Western perception of arbitration and certain Islamic legal principles and traditions which form the cornerstone of many Middle Eastern States. As the Middle East becomes more prominent in the global…

In recent years, African states have taken several initiatives to increase the protection of and legal security offered to foreign investors. However, a lot of work is unfinished and some of it is even frustrated. Some examples. Bilateral Investment Treaties Bilateral investment treaties (‘BITs’) are critical to foreign investors considering investing in Africa. Such BITs…

Over the past decade, Africa has emerged as a leading center of economic growth. From mining and manufacturing, to banking and telecoms, nearly every industry is witnessing rapid expansion in Africa, driven by both African enterprises and businesses from around the world. Naturally, an increase in international commerce has resulted in an attendant increase in…

On 18 April 2012, South Sudan signed and ratified the 1965 Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ‘ICSID Convention’). In accordance with Article 68(2) thereof, the Convention entered into force for Sudan thirty days later, i.e. on 18 May 2012. The membership of Africa’s newest republic…

Two things are currently unfolding in Africa: significant economic progress and profound political transformation. On the economic front, in the last decade, Africa has been one of the fastest growing continents in the world. Indeed, according to the International Monetary Fund, in the next five years, Africa is expected to be the fastest growing continent,…