Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) has trained close to 40 professional arbitrators in commercial disputes resolution.
The two-day arbitration comprehensive training, which is taking place in Kigali, was organised in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) to help foster a sustainable pro-arbitration culture in Rwanda, as part of broader efforts to position Rwanda as an international choice for commercial dispute resolution.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the training, Isabelle Kalihangabo, the Permanent Secretary/ Solicitor General at the Ministry of Justice, said it is in the vision of Rwanda’s judiciary to ensure that disputes are resolved through arbitration and other friendly mechanisms of dispute resolution.
“This will reduce the backlog in courts. However, to achieve this, we require trained Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) professionals in the country. Although arbitration is a business, it should be out of passion to provide justice to all.
“It’s also important to be reminded of the ethical values such as integrity, truthfulness, competence, diligence, and selflessness,” she said.
Arbitration is a dispute resolution process where the disputing parties to a contract submit their dispute to one or more independent persons chosen by the parties who goes on to examine all the evidence presented to them and then resolves the issue by taking a binding decision.
Speaking on the sidelines of the training, Dr Fidele Masengo, the Secretary General of KIAC, said that the Centre’s capacity building and certifying professionals had enabled the creation of a pool of ADR professionals in the country.
“Within three years of operation, over 300 professionals have been trained in arbitration and 260 are now accredited by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators-UK. This makes Rwanda one of the three countries in Africa with the highest number of arbitrators.
“Indeed, KIAC has trained 12 international professionals from the East African Community region and one arbitrator from the United States, Switzerland and South Sudan each,” he said.
This is the 4th training session and it attracted participants from different banks, law chambers, mining, and construction industry, corporate and public institutions, in Rwanda and the EAC.
Participants were reminded to maximise the training opportunity.
Upon successful completion of the training which includes an assignment and an exam, participants will be eligible to apply to be associate members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
They will also become eligible to apply on the KIAC panel of domestic arbitrators should they fulfil other criteria in KIAC Arbitration rules.
The training was facilitated by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) - UK though their Nairobi branch.
In Rwanda, arbitration in commercial disputes is recognised and regulated by the Law on Arbitration and Conciliation in Commercial Matters.
According to the law, parties involved in a commercial dispute voluntarily opt for arbitration as a means to reach out of court settlement.