Arbitration centre operational in March

The Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) for resolving disputes arising from commercial agreements opens next month. This was disclosed, last week, by the Chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Robert Bayigamba, during a workshop in Kigali.
Minister Tharcisse Karugarama
Minister Tharcisse Karugarama

The Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) for resolving disputes arising from commercial agreements opens next month.

This was disclosed, last week, by the Chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Robert Bayigamba, during a workshop in Kigali.

The workshop   was attended by the Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama and close to 100 investors, who discussed how the centre could function.

According to Bayigamba, KIAC will help investors to settle commercial disputes through arbitration, instead of filing for court hearings which are expensive and time consuming.
“Arbitration is efficient and time saving, which serves the interest of all investors. Therefore, instead of taking legal issues to court, the parties in dispute will sign a contract and bring their case to the KIAC,” Bayigamba said.

“A formal decision will be made by the arbitrators and the parties will have to consent to the decision made by the arbitrator” he explained.

He added that once operational, KIAC wants to serve, not only as a local, but, as a regional and international centre for solving commercial disputes.

Epaphrodite Binamungu, a local investor serving as the Chairman of Chambers of Arts and Crafts at PSF, said in an interview with Business Times, that KIAC will save companies from seeking long court hearings.

“Courts usually suffer a heavy backlog of cases, so it is not easy for a commercial case to have its ruling done fast,” Binamungu said.

“Through arbitration at KIAC, we, investors, hope that disputes will be resolved fairly and efficiently without wasting resources,”he stated.

Minster Karugarama said, “The cornerstone of this country is to enable affordable justice to all sectors, and this is a step forward in doing business.”

When the centre opens its doors, it will be run on an estimated budget of US$840,300, funded by fees from its consumers, stakeholder’s contributions, government funds and donor support.

Currently, the stakeholders are recruiting local and international experts who will offer arbitration services at the centre.

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