ICCA 2016 Congress Roadshows :: Douala, 14 October 2015

The penultimate pre-Congress Roadshow was held in Douala, Cameroon, at the landmark Hotel Sawa. As Douala is a regional hub for trade and industry, the Roadshow managed to attract over 100 delegates not only from Cameroon, but also from Western and Central Africa. The Roadshow remained faithful to Cameroon’s bilingual tradition, and so speakers and participants engaged in both French and English. Holding the event would not have been possible without the crucial support of l’Association pour la Promotion de l'Arbitrage en Afrique (APAA), headed by prominent Cameroonian international arbitrator, Dr. Gaston Kenfack Douajni. The APAA held an international colloquium under the auspices of the OHADA the following day on “L'Etat africain dans l'arbitrage international”.
 
The Roadshow started with a welcome address by Dr. Douajni and Ndanga Kamau (Registrar, LCIA-MIAC), who thanked the speakers as well as the attendees for their participation on behalf of the Mauritius Host Committee, of which she is an executive member. She also acted as the representative of the Mauritian Government and addressed the attendees in that capacity. The Roadshow was officially inaugurated by the Cameroonian Attorney General, Mr. Jean Claude Awala Wodougue (Magistrat Procureur Général près de la cour d’Appel du Littoral), who addressed the importance of the rule of law in African governance. A sunny cocktail reception was held thereafter. The cocktail saw a strong presence from local and regional media. In a first session moderated by Ndanga Kamau, Dr. Douajni gave an overview of the rule of law in West Africa. He was followed by Mr. Narcisse Aka (Secretary General, Cour commune de justice et d'arbitrage (CCJA) of OHADA) who spoke about the co-existence of the CCJA among regional African arbitration centres and its contribution to the rule of law. Farouk El-Hosseny, PCA Legal Counsel and executive member of the Mauritius Host Committee, then gave a presentation on the link between the rule of law and investment arbitration.
 
The second session was moderated by Duncan Bagshaw, barrister at Stephenson Harwood LLP and an executive member of the Mauritius Host Committee. Well-known Malian lawyer Mamadou Konaté gave a presentation on the strengths, weaknesses and threats to international arbitration in Central and Western Africa. He was followed by African arbitration expert, Benoit Le Bars, who explained the peculiarities of the OHADA arbitration system and the need for its greater integration in the African continent. The participation by Judge Dominique Hascher of the French Cour de Cassation was undoubtedly the highlight of the Roadshow. Judge Hascher shared his unique insight on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. The session concluded with a thorough presentation by Marie-Andrée Ngwe, Vice-President of the GICAM arbitration centre in Douala, on the diversity of arbitration laws in Africa.
 
The Roadshow concluded with the customary presentations on ICCA and its mission, the Mauritius International Arbitration project and practical information for delegates who would like to attend the ICCA 2016 Congress in Mauritius.

Click here to view photos from the event »