Upon the initiative of ICCA, which established ICCA’s Working Group on African Arbitral Practice on 8 May 2016, the first Consultative Workshop on Cooperation Among African Arbitral Initiatives was held on 11 May 2016 in Mauritius on the occasion of the first ICCA Congress to be held in Africa.
The Workshop was hosted by ICCA in cooperation with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). It was designed for African arbitration specialists and entities engaged in international dispute resolution practice in Africa, with the aim of consulting on potential avenues of cooperation among the various arbitral initiatives and possibly forging a coordinated way forward.
The Workshop was attended by almost 40 experts from Africa and beyond who shared information and raised awareness about (1) the work of both established and newer arbitral institutes, and (2) ongoing capacity-building initiatives in the field of international arbitration in Africa; and exchanged views on potential areas of coordination and cooperation going forward. CRCICA Director attended the Workshop and chaired one of its sessions overviewing the activities of Africa-based arbitral institutions.
The participants to the Workshop adopted resolutions emphasizing the need for concerted work to: provide greater access to information about arbitration and the legislative framework available in Africa; to support the provision of technical assistance, awareness-raising and capacity-building activities to governments in order to assist them in their task of strengthening the legislative and judicial frameworks in the field of arbitration and other means of dispute resolution; and to enhance cooperation among international and regional organizations, arbitral institutes, academic institutions and professional associations throughout the African continent in that respect.
The means by which the above areas of agreement will be implemented are as follows: The creation of an umbrella organization to further the development and promotion of African arbitral practice and African arbitral seats; ICCA’s Working Group on African Arbitral Practice is requested to facilitate the creation of this umbrella organization and establish its founding charter and working practices; and a second Consultative Workshop will take place on Monday 3 April 2017 in Cairo, Egypt on the occasion of the Third SOAS Conference planned in Cairo for 3-5 April 2017 and hosted by CRCICA.