The connections between international arbitration and economic growth in African was the subject of the recent East Africa International Arbitration Conference (EAIAC), held in Kigali, Rwanda.
The 28-29 September conference gathered more than 300 arbitration practitioners, users, and government representatives who engaged in productive discussions on how international arbitration can be deployed to promote growth on the continent. As a strategic partner to the event, African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) staff actively participated in the deliberations.
Amanda Dakouré, Legal Counsel at the ALSF, shared her thoughts with a panel which sought to explore and clarify emerging issues related to the 'Financing and Negotiation of International Trade and Investment.' He was joined by Patson Arinaitwe, Senior Associate at Sebalu & Lule Advocates, and Lawrence Muiruri, Registrar of the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration.
In her presentation, Dakouré described the mandate, activities, and objectives of the Facility: "The ALSF provides technical legal assistance to African countries to strengthen their legal expertise and negotiating capacity in matters pertaining to investment agreements." Following an exchange with participants seeking clarity on the ALSF's mission, Dakouré drew the attention of the audience to a number of successful, recently-concluded ALSF projects
The panel discussion explored a broad variety of press subjects, including intra-African trade regimes, investment treaties, and financial investment.
Organized this year on the theme, "Linkages between International arbitration and Africa's Economy," the 5th East Africa International Arbitration Conference drew attention to the economic implications of international arbitration, while simultaneously promoting training and capacity-building in the field. In addition to the litany of legal practitioners in attendance, the conference benefitted from the participation of the Chief Justice of Rwanda, Sam Rugege, as well as the President of the East African Court of Justice, Justice Emmanuel Ugirashebuja.
The East Africa International Arbitration Conference is organized on an annual basis, and aims to highlight and strengthen the connection between effective dispute resolution, foreign investments, and economic development in Africa. Its organizers promote arbitration centers, law societies, and law firms in the region.