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Nigerian CIArb Branch Annual Conference on Arbitration and ADR in a Free Trade Regime: Assessing Africa’s Readiness

On 25-27 November 2020, CRCICA was represented by Dr. Ismail Selim and Dr. Dalia Hussein, Deputy Director, at the 2020 virtual Annual Conference on “Arbitration and ADR in a Free Trade Regime: Assessing Africa’s Readiness” organized by the Nigerian CIArb Branch. Dr. Selim contributed to the session titled “The role of existing Arbitral institutions in Africa and their continued relevance to socio-economic development in Africa”, moderated by Chikwendu Madumere, Chapter Chairman, CIArb Nigeria Branch Committee.
The session addressed the importance of examining the role that the newer arbitral institutions in Africa can play to grow the economy of the African continent and considering other socio-economic benefits to African arbitral institutions in diversifying the pool of arbitrators on the institution’s panels, reducing the costs of institutional arbitrations, accessibility of institutions situated within the continent and institutional rules suited for African idiosyncrasies. Dr. Selim outlined the role of the CRCICA in the promotion and development of an arbitration-friendly environment in Africa for more than 40 years, with a focus on CRCICA’s regional, gender, and age diversity policy in the appointment of arbitrators.
Dr. Hussein contributed to the session titled “Practice of arbitration – current reality of virtual hearings” moderated by Efosa Ewere, YMG CIArb Nigeria Branch Chair. Dr. Hussein gave a brief introduction to CRCICA, then explained how it dealt with the COVID19 crisis. She pointed out the notes issued regularly by the CRCICA to the parties and arbitrators encouraging them to apply the relevant provisions of its Arbitration Rules allowing for remote testimonies and enabling the tribunals to decide on the cases without conducting hearings. She also focused on the large number of remote/virtual hearings conducted in 2020 at CRCICA compared to previous years and concluded by recommendations to young practitioners in agreeing on and conducting remote/virtual hearings.

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