As we reported in our dispute resolution Insight ‘Clause and effect’ last year, Africa has become a disputes hotspot. With a fall in commodities prices leading to abandoned projects, disputes work is becoming even more plentiful.
Discussing dispute resolution in a developing continent comprising 54 disparate jurisdictions can lead to huge generalisations, but when it comes to arbitration there seems to be a case for a pan-African focus. The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration has been implemented in a number of African countries, while the Organisation for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) – covering 17 states in west and central Africa – has created a legal community with unified arbitration legislation and a common arbitration court. There has also been a proliferation of arbitration institutions throughout Africa. However, many of these institutions remain untested and do not have the support of the court system.