Rwanda will host the 5th edition of the East Africa International Arbitration Conference (EAIAC) from September 28-29.
This year’s conference theme is ‘Linkages between International Arbitration and Africa’s economy’.
According to Dr Masengo, the Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) Secretary General, “The EAIA Conference, which has grown to become a must-attend annual regional forum, is a great platform where stakeholders meet to network, share best practice in international arbitration and explore business relations.”
‘‘Rwanda was chosen as the host mainly because it has made strides in doing business and promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms. We hope the deliberations from the conference will help profile East Africa’s competitiveness as an international investment and ADR destination,” Masengo said in a statement.
He explained that the meeting will highlight the opportunities and challenges of international Arbitration in the East African Community (EAC) region.
Other topics to be discussed include; East Africa’s mega projects and monetary value involved in East Africa-related international arbitration; the value of awards and how much money is potentially lost by countries (damages); the potential of international arbitration as a money maker for African institutions and arbitrators, considering institutional fees and arbitrator fees; the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), New York Convention, and local award enforcement.
The conference will be attended by experts from Africa and beyond, delegates representing industry leaders drawn from key sectors of the region’s economy, regulators, Government ministers, Attorney Generals, regional and international arbitration professionals, judges, magistrates and Academicians, according to Masengo.
The meeting is also a perfect platform for international law firms to showcase their Africa practice at the same time giving the members of the general public a chance to show their inventive prowess.
According to the 2017 World Bank Doing Business Rankings, Rwanda is second best country in Africa in ease of doing business.
KIAC’s role in attracting greater foreign investment and increasing investor confidence is evident in the ever increasing caseload filed by the Centre.
Within five years, 66 cases have been filed with the centre, which is seen as a milestone since it takes between 3 to 5 years for a newly established centre to administer the first case.
The KIAC caseload during the period spanning July 2016 - June 2017 is said to have been phenomenal, with the centre having registered 25 cases in a year.
This new milestone amounts to a 117% increase in the average number of cases registered in a year. More so, there has been increased use of KIAC contract clauses locally and regionally.
Previous conferences were held in Addis Ababa (2013), Nairobi (2014), Dar es Salaam (2015) and Kampala (2016).