EDITORIAL: Arbitration body needs to work on its image

Kigali’s best-kept secret, especially among the business community, is finally outed.

Whenever people have disputes- and most involve financial connotations – they tend to run to the courts in what sometimes can drag on for years with no end in sight.

But some opt for an alternative dispute resolution mechanism; arbitration. This is where people end their disputes out of court. Arbitration guarantees some measures of confidentiality, away from the public sphere.

Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) is a very young organization but it has already registered its 100th case, and they come from all corners of the world from people who prefer arbitration instead of litigation.

But one will hardly hear KIAC mentioned on people’s lips because the practice is not widespread in the country yet, even though it held The first inaugural International Arbitration Conference of the African Arbitration Association (AfAA) is expected to be held in Kigali in April.

But it needs to work on its public relations.

KIAC needs to get out of the shadows and make its presence known as there are people out there who would opt not to wash their dirty linen in public or who would want to keep their reputations intact.

And the fact that some of its clients come from all four corners of the world, it is an indication of the judicial trust it enjoys.