24 May 2018

Cameroon: Attracting Investors - Innovations in Arbitration, Mediation Popularised

An international colloquium to equip legal practitioners, legal counsels of enterprises and the business world with new skills to solve business conflicts started in Yaounde on May 23, 2018.

The Association for the Promotion of Arbitration in Africa has set out to ensure that the business environment in the entire continent is made conducive and that more national and foreign investors come to Africa thanks to the innovations in settling business conflicts through arbitration and mediation.

It is with this intention that the association has organised a two -day international colloquium at the Djeuga Palace Hotel in Yaounde that ends this afternoon.

The President of the Association for the Promotion of Arbitration in Africa, Dr Gaston Kenfack Douajni, speaking during the opening ceremony of the colloquium said "The purpose is to present the new texts on arbitration and mediation recently adopted by the OHADA Council of Ministers.

The regulations are to make Cameroon and other OHADA member States more attractive for investments. Arbitration and mediation deal with settlement of business disputes and businessmen prefer arbitration or mediation rather to go before the State courts because they deem that the procedures before the courts very slow." OHADA, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa is a system of business laws and implementing institutions adopted by sixteen West and Central African nations.

The revised OHADA Uniform Act on Arbitration (the Arbitration Act) and revised Rules on Arbitration of the Joint Court of Justice and Arbitration (the CCJA) (the Rules), as well as the new Uniform Act on Mediation, entered into force on 15 March 2018.

The new acts which Dr Gaston Kenfack sais are in harmony with what is going on at the international level concerning arbitration and mediation, will apply to all proceedings initiated as of such effective date.

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Joseph Fonkwe Fongang who chaired the opening ceremony of the colloquium on behalf of the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Laurent Esso said the ministry of is in charge of putting into practice the OHADA law in Cameroon and that justified its involvement in the colloquium.

He disclosed that during the last Doing Business Forum in Cameroon session, Prime Minister Philemon Yang instructed the ministry to popularize the OHADA law, let legal practitioners and business community master its content and importance.

The colloquium, he said, was already part of the ways the ministry is implementing the instructions as well as recommendations made by the last Joint International Monetary Fund/ World Bank mission to Cameroon.

The theme of the colloquium is, "PCA Arbitration, CRCICA Arbitration and OHADA Arbitration and Mediation." This is because participants will also learn what is happing in the Permanent Court of Arbitration of The Hague (CPA/PCA) and the Cairo Regional Centre for International Arbitration (CRCICA).


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