Disputes, particularly arbitration, has been predominated by the old pale male. Diversity, though a hot topic, is something that the arbitration field is still striving to achieve. What many would like to see is that all people, male or female, are appointed whether as an arbitrator or a counsel based on their credentials. However, as…

A common concern for parties when opting for an African country as a seat of arbitration is the extent of judicial intervention in the arbitration. Whilst certain African national courts have swayed back and forth between exercising sovereignty and upholding party autonomy in arbitration there is a positive inkling that African national courts are more…

In September 2018, Tanzania took the international arbitration community by surprise when it issued its notice of its intent to terminate the Agreement on Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between Tanzania and the Netherlands which was set to expire on 1 April 2019 (Netherlands BIT). Article 14 (2) of the Netherlands BIT provides that…

  A common concern for arbitration practitioners in Africa is that when it comes to African seated arbitrations, African practitioners are underrepresented. The African Arbitration Association (AfAA) was set up as a combined vision of practitioners in the region to create a platform that would encourage and create more opportunities for greater representation of African…

In light of several recent developments in Morocco, its status as an international arbitration hub in Africa is worth a focus. This blog post will specifically consider the rise and recognition of economic opportunities in Africa, Morocco’s lead as a diplomatic power in Africa, the country’s experience with investment and commercial arbitration, and the emergence…

On April 12, 2019, the Republic of Djibouti (“Djibouti”) signed the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (“ICSID Convention” or “Convention”). To date, the Convention has been signed by 163 countries and ratified by 154 countries. Why is Djibouti signing the ICSID Convention at a time when…

Introduction This post addresses the topical issue of Third-Party Funding (“TPF”) in relation to Nigeria-seated arbitrations, and posits in variance with recent work on the subject that there is no extant law prohibiting TPF in Nigeria-seated arbitrations. This post points out that there has been an apparent misapplication of the common law principles of champerty and…

Legislative Framework   After much anticipation, the South African International Arbitration Act 15 of 2017 (“new Act”) was welcomed by arbitration practitioners in December 2017. The intention of the new Act has been to incorporate the UNCITRAL Model Law as the cornerstone of the international arbitration regime in South Africa. The South African Arbitration Act…

Foreign Direct Investment into Africa has increased from $10 billion in 1999 to $41,8 billion in 2017. Makhtar Diop, former World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, pointed out that “Intra-African investment is also on the rise, creating a virtuous circle”. ICSID statistics also show that the number of newly registered cases involving African…

The year of 2018 has seen arbitration as a dispute resolution forum in the resource rich continent of Africa pendulum between boosting countries in the region as a seat of arbitration and reinforcing court sovereignty in disputes. The year began with optimism in the wake of the OHADA reforms. In late 2017, the Organization for…

The endeavours of the ICC go beyond the definition of an arbitration institution; it is indeed one of the most important agents of cultural integration, incubator of diversity and best arbitration practices. A true manifestation of this is the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF); a global space for the young arbitration community which provides networking opportunities…

In 2014, Tanzania was identified as the top destination for foreign direct investment in East Africa by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTAD”). Between 2011 and 2013, the country signed five new Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”). With these, it would seem like the country is opening up and attracting foreign investors. However,…

Since the inaugural programme in 2014, arbitration practitioners from the MENA region and beyond have come together to share and discuss recent developments in the field of international arbitration during the Dubai Arbitration Week, an annual event that takes place in November. Dubai Arbitration Week 2018 was no exception. It was full of seminars, conferences,…

For AfricArb It is twelve years since an ICSID tribunal dismissed World Duty Free’s claim against the Republic of Kenya for breach of a lease agreement signed in 1989. As is well known, the claimant obtained the contract with a $2 million bribe to former President Moi, and the tribunal held, inter alia, that it…

With development in the African continent on the rise, the region is seeing the introduction and/ or revamping of its arbitration centres. One such development is the establishment of the China Africa Joint Arbitration Centre (CAJAC) to resolve commercial disputes between Chinese and African parties. Not an unsurprising development given China’s commitment to invest $60…

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…