“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” (John F. Kennedy, Former US President). The current Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc globally impacting people in grievous ways. The resultant containment measures by governments have severely limited or otherwise rendered physical interactions impossible. As…

Africa is in the vanguard of investor obligations in international investment law. As it prepares to seek a continental investment code for the second time, it finds itself at a crossroads. In tracing the emergence and trajectory of investment instruments toward the historic juncture to which Africa presently arrives, one glimpses the promise of a…

In less than a decade, the Republic of Côte-d’Ivoire enacted two investment laws (2012 and 2018). The latter one recently amended, reflects the best practices the country has learned from its previous investor-states disputes. On December 18, 2019 the Council of Ministers introduced some amendments to the 2018 Investment Code related inter alia to VAT…

Necessity is the golden chord that lies at the base of every innovation and invention. As countries around the world continue to implement different measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to contain and deal with its ramifications, all stakeholders (including businesses and institutions) are now forced to innovate and make significant changes to the…

On 3 February 2020, the Republic of Seychelles became the 162nd Contracting State of the New York Convention (already followed by Palau as number 163, reported here). The New York Convention thus comes into force for the Seychelles today (Article XII(2) New York Convention). The Cabinet and the National Assembly had approved the accession on…

Since 2014, the Casablanca Arbitration Days (CAD) have no doubt become one of the most attended arbitration-related events in Africa. Organized on 5-6 December 2019 at Kenzi Tower Hotel Casablanca by the Casablanca International Mediation and Arbitration Centre (CIMAC), this year marked the fifth edition of CAD under the topic ‘Investing and Doing Business in…

Introduction   In a 2015 publication Investment Policies and Bilateral Investment Treaties in Africa: Implications for Regional Integration, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa opined that for countries in Africa: “[o]pportunities for signing BITs with non-African partners have largely been exhausted because new southern partners such as China and India prefer other modalities for…

On 12 November 2019, the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (“MIAC”) hosted an event to celebrate its relaunch following the termination of the institution’s joint venture with the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) in July 2018. Like many other arbitral centres that have emerged across Africa, the MIAC aspires to become the top dispute resolution…

2019 has been a busy year for international arbitration in Sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, the year has brought an interesting wave of precedents, new domestic statutes, modern international investment agreements, and arbitration events. This post highlights and summarises some of the African developments covered in the Blog in 2019, with many thanks to the authors who…

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is facing significant opposition in its current form. Whilst some parties are engaged to find new common ground, others have unilaterally implemented measures aimed at ousting investor-state arbitration altogether. Over time, more and more attention has been paid to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and its…

This August, Kenya hosted the 7th annual East African International Arbitration (EAIAC) conference. This year’s theme was Government Contracting and Investment Disputes: Lessons for States and Investors. The conference explored the full spectrum of government contracting from procurement and PPPs (public-private partnerships), tender disputes, dispute mitigation in government contracts, investment arbitration and arbitrating with governments…

With over $3 billion invested by Vedanta Resources in Zambia since it became a shareholder in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in 2004, it is a less optimistic turn of events with Vedanta Resources and fellow shareholder, the government-owned Zambian State Mining Company ZCCM-IH (ZCCM), being at loggerheads in arbitration. In this post, we examine what…

“Too many cooks spoil the broth” – this expression works in both personal and professional situations. Everyone can relate to this universal concept that where each of many people involved in a common project adds his or her own idea, it actually makes it very hard, if not impossible, to work efficiently and can even…

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…