Through the Africa Commission, ICC aims to augment its efforts to not only expand the pool of African arbitrators currently qualified and available to resolve the many disputes that arise in the region but also identify opportunities and challenges specific to clients in Africa.
Taking the reins as Africa Commission Chair from Ndanga Kamau, a Vice-President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, is Thierry Ngoga, a member of the ICC Court and managing partner at Legal Line Partners in Rwanda. As chair of the Commission, Mr Ngoga will lead a new line up of regional representatives for the Commission’s 2021-2024 mandate.
With an expanded remit to cover North Africa – in addition to sub-Saharan Africa – the Africa Commission comprises 18 members from 16 countries and 23 ambassadors from 19 countries. They will work to build capacity of African practitioners; engage with a range of stakeholders across the continent to identify how ICC can expand its services to meet the needs of clients in Africa; and raise awareness of ICC’s reputation as the world’s most preferred arbitral institution throughout the region.
Addressing new Africa Commission members in her keynote speech during the first ICC Kenyan Arbitration Day, ICC Court President Claudia Salomon said: “We are pleased to welcome in a new ICC Africa Commission for the 2021-2024 mandate. The Commission is dedicated to strengthening the arbitration infrastructure in Africa and promoting African practitioners and arbitrators. ICC’s outreach and capacity building in Africa is part of our commitment to providing effective dispute resolution services to everyone, everywhere.”
According to ICC’s 2020 Dispute Resolution statistics, African parties represented close to 7% of all ICC Arbitration cases, with Nigeria (22 parties), and Egypt (13 parties), among the most represented nationalities among sub-Saharan and North African parties respectively.
The Africa Commission will continue to work hand in hand with the ICC Belt and Road Commission to drive the development of ICC’s existing procedures and infrastructure to support Belt and Road disputes.
Diamana Diawara will act as secretary of the Commission, as she works to bring ICC dispute resolution closer to Africa in her new role as Regional Director for Africa.
The renewed Africa Commission is the latest in a series of activities to strengthen ICC’s presence in Africa and was announced on the same day as the Continental launch of the ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship in Africa.