ICCA 2016 Congress Roadshows

In preparation for the 2016 ICCA Congress in Mauritius, ICCA and the Mauritius Host Committee organized a series of short symposia, held in five major African cities.

These “ICCA 2016 Congress Roadshows” gave participants a sense of the content and style of the ICCA Congress, through substantive presentations from local experts, along with practical information about the Mauritius Congress.

Lagos, 25 November 2015

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“The ICCA Congress in Mauritius will be a milestone in the history of arbitration in Africa”. With these words the Solicitor-General of Lagos State Mrs. Funlola Odunlami affirmed the Nigerian government’s support for the ICCA Congress to be held in Mauritius in May 2016.  Reflecting on Nigeria’s modern arbitration legislation and the growth of the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) during the fifth and final pre-Congress Roadshow in Africa hosted by the Mauritian 2016 Host Committee and ICCA, she appealed to ICCA to engage with African dispute resolution beyond the Congress, going forward. This message was affirmed by the representative of the government of Mauritius, Mr. Yousouf Mohamed Ramjanally, whose Pan-African message about the Mauritian arbitration project’s broader role in supporting the growth of international arbitration on the continent struck a cord with the 100 assembled dispute resolution specialists.

Other speakers tackled rule of law issues. President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Mr. Supo Shasore SAN, noted that Nigeria represents the largest single litigation market on the continent, and that in this context arbitration plays an important role in providing access to justice, especially where courts are contested. Taking the perspective of the user, Mr. Babatunde Fagbohunle SAN (Chair of the Board of the new Lagos Chamber of Commerce dispute resolution initiative LACIAC) highlighted the certainty provided by instruments such as the New York Convention, applauding the work of organisations like UNCITRAL and the IBA in developing guidelines and frameworks within which arbitration can flourish. The focus then turned to recent developments in arbitration in Africa, with a lively panel discussion featuring contributions from the PCA’s Special Representative in Mauritius Farouk El-Hosseny, the LCIA-MIAC’s Registrar Ndanga Kamau, the LCA’s General Counsel Tolu Obamurah and Duncan Bagshaw of Stephenson Harwood.

The full programme concluded with an insight into ICCA and its mission by ICCA Executive Director Lise Bosman and some practical information about the Congress from Duncan Bagshaw and Ndanga Kamau. New 2015-elected ICCA Governing Board member (and LCA Board member) Ms. Olufunke Adekoya SAN closed the day by announcing the LCA’s plans to distribute ICCA’s New York Convention Judges’ Guide to Lagos State and Federal judges in the coming weeks, and invited participants to “come to Mauritius to follow the conclusion of the debates!” Guests then enjoyed the LCA’s warm hospitality at a closing reception that also gave guests the opportunity to admire the new International Centre for Arbitration and ADR premises for dispute resolution – home to multiple Lagos-based dispute resolution institutions as part of the "Arbitration in Lagos" project – which include 11 full hearing suites and extensive conferencing facilities.

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.

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Nairobi, 16 September 2015

“Welcome to East Africa”. With these words, the Mauritian Host Committee and ICCA welcomed some 75 delegates to the third pre-Congress Roadshow in Nairobi on 16 September.

Honorary Consul for the Government of Mauritius in Kenya, Mr. Charles Kutwa, warmly invited delegates to enjoy the dialogue and the beaches in Mauritius in May 2016. His words were echoed by Kenyan Government Representative, Senior Deputy Solicitor General Madam Muthoni Kimani, a keen supporter of the development of modern arbitration practice in Kenya, who reiterated the Kenyan government’s support for the process of international arbitration and encouraged Kenyans to join the discussions in Mauritius.

Speakers at the afternoon event included an introduction to the newly-launched Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) by NCIA Acting Registrar Lawrence Muiruri, and an interactive discussion of investment treaty arbitration and the rule of law by the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s Farouk El-Hosseny (who challenged ICCA President Albert Jan van den Berg to define the rule of law – eliciting an invitation to come and find out at the 2016 Congress!). A highlight of the afternoon was Professor van den Berg’s own treatment of the critical role of the regime for the enforcement of arbitral awards, including an analysis of current Kenyan legislation and case law. Nairobi law firm TripleOKLaw’s John Ohaga provided a meticulous and informative overview of current commercial practice and developments in Kenya and East Africa, followed by an application of rule of law theory to the practice of international arbitration by J Miles & Co’s Elizabeth Karanja, and an analysis by former LCIA-MIAC Registrar Duncan Bagshaw (now with Stephenson Harwood) of choice of seat, institutions and arbitrators for African parties. The afternoon concluded with remarks by ICCA Executive Director Lise Bosman about ICCA’s 50-year journey from a small specialist organization to the global network that is today, with 950 members, interest groups, projects, publications and conferences.

Newly-appointed Registrar of the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre in Mauritius Ndanga Kamau closed the afternoon, together with Duncan Bagshaw, with concrete details about the May 2016 Congress.  Noting her “passion about diversity in international arbitration”, Ms. Kamau underlined the importance of African participation in all the processes of international arbitration, and invited Kenyans and East Africans to make use of the generous discounts offered to attend the Congress in 2016.

Some vigorous networking continued over drinks at the gracious Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel in central Nairobi, with delegates planning to meet again in May 2016.

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Johannesburg, 28 July 2015

ICCA’s second African pre-2016 Congress Roadshow took place in Johannesburg - a busy event that attracted nearly 100 attorneys, advocates and in-house counsel. Developing the day’s rule of law theme, the Keynote Address by South African Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke noted that the rule of law is “an entitlement of all African people”. Other speakers addressed various aspects of the relationship of international arbitration with the rule of law, including David Unterhalter SC’s presentation on the role of international arbitration in fostering the rule of law (noting its role in a world in which the administration of justice frequently goes beyond national borders), Claire de Tassigny Schuetze (PCA representative in Mauritius) on investment arbitration, Lise Bosman (ICCA Executive Director) and Duncan Bagshaw (LCIA-MIAC Registrar) on the contribution of regional arbitral institutes, Lindi Nkosi-Thomas SC on current commercial arbitration practice in South Africa, Vlad Movshovich (Webber Wentzel) on investment arbitration in South Africa, and Jackwell Feris (Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr) on developments in the Southern African region.

The event was hosted at local law firm Webber Wentzel, and concluded with presentations by Lise Bosman on ICCA's history and activities, and by Duncan Bagshaw on the programme and arrangements for the May 2016 Congress. The next pre-Congress Roadshow will be held in Nairobi on Wednesday 16 September.

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Cairo, 14 June 2015

The first of the five ICCA 2016 Congress Roadshows took place in Cairo on June 14.  Close to 100 lawyers, government representatives, and academics from North Africa attended the Cairo Roadshow, and speakers included The Honourable Counsellor Mohamed Amin El Mahdi (former Minister for Transitional Justice of Egypt), Mr Vish Cheetoo, (Chargé d’Affaires of the Mauritian Embassy in Cairo), Dr Mohamed Abdel Raouf (Vice President of ICCA and Director of the Cairo Centre), Prof Dr Mohamed Abdel Wahab (Professor of International Law at Cairo University and Founding Partner of Zulficar Partners), Mr. Farouk El-Hosseny (Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration), Mr. Sami Houerbi (Director ICC Arbitration and ADR, Tunis-Dubai), and Duncan Bagshaw (Registrar of the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre, Mauritius).

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