With the growth of the economy, more businesses have sprung up. But this has also come with an increase in business related disputes, which require effective management to ensure continued growth of the economy.
Most aggrieved businesses often rush to courts of law to seek justice whenever they are involved in a business dispute but in business terms, the courts are expensive and time consuming venture that can be avoided through arbitration.
Arbitration is a dispute resolution mechanism of settling commercial conflicts outside the court process. The parties to the dispute select one or more independent persons to hear the case and pronounce themselves on the matter. The decision by the arbitrator is binding on both parties and is recognised by law.
Arbitration is less costly and doesn’t consume a lot of time. Generally, it is the preferred international business dispute resolution mechanism.
But, according to Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC), awareness about arbitration among the business community in Rwanda is still low.
There is need for more sensitisation of the business community to embrace arbitration as a viable way of resolving disputes.
The move by KIAC to embark on a wide scale sensitisation of the business community about arbitration is timely and will go a long way in reducing the number of business disputes that end up in commercial courts.
Unlike the commercial courts, with arbitration there is room for reaching a win-win situation. The courts provide for a winner and a loser. Arbitration benefits all parties involved in commercial disputes, and is not costly in terms of money and time compared to courts of law.
Although KIAC has trained some professional arbitrators to handle such cases, more should be trained to have a wider coverage of the country to ensure that more Rwandans enjoy the benefits of arbitration.