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The ICC Africa Commission is proud to announce the 2022 cohort of ICC Hold the Door Open scholars, composed of aspiring arbitration practitioners from 14 African countries.

Comprising nine women and 11 men, the first ICC Hold the Door Open scholars were selected after an open application process at the end of 2021, during which the ICC Africa Commission receiving a total of 78 applications from 16 African jurisdictions. Thierry Gabuka Ngoga, Chair of the ICC Africa Commission said: “The excellent quality of the profiles received made the choice particularly difficult for the commission”.

The ICC Hold the Door Open initiative aims at enhancing the capacity of young arbitration practitioners by affording them a rare opportunity to observe arbitration hearings, either held virtually or in person. With the goal of training future leaders of international arbitration around the globe, the pilot programme is focused on African practitioners, leveraging on the expertise, experience and resources of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and ICC Dispute Resolution Services networks, to expand the pool of practitioners from this underrepresented region.

Meet the 2022 ICC Hold the Door Open scholars

  1. Widad BOULEGHLIMAT (Algeria)
  2. Aurelia Sylvia MAFONGO KAMGA (Cameroon)
  3. Tezzeta Mbuya N’GUNGWA (Congo)
  4. Mohamed Sameh MOSTAFA (Egypt)
  5. Yousra KAMAL (Egypt)
  6. Gidey Belay ASSEFA (Ethiopia)
  7. Faisal GBADEGBE (Ghana)
  8. Isaac Aburam LARTEY (Ghana)
  9. Rachel HAIZEL (Ghana)
  10. Olivier AMALAMAN (Ivory Coast)
  11. Ednah MBINYA (Kenya)
  12. Tadala CHINKWEZULE (Malawi)
  13. Iliass SEGAME (Morocco)
  14. Foluke AKINMOLADUN (Nigeria)
  15. Toheeb Oluwabukola AMUDA (Nigeria)
  16. Osinachi NWANDEM (Nigeria)
  17. Mahamat ATTEIB (Chad/Senegal)
  18. Juan CILLIERS (South Africa)
  19. Esther MDEGIPALA (Tanzania)
  20. Allan SHIJA (Tanzania)

All these talented young practitioners have a confirmed interest in arbitration with some exposure to arbitration, but many have never had the opportunity to witness this culminating point of an arbitral proceeding which the hearing represents. Understanding how a case comes together and learning the good, the bad and the in-between in managing arbitral hearings will be the main takeaways for these silent observers.

Taking advantage of ICC’s unrivalled arbitration caseload, while making sure that confidentiality is strictly observed, the scholars will be matched with ICC cases in which a hearing is confirmed as of May 2022 and for which consent to their presence has been expressly provided by the parties and arbitral tribunals.

Emerging out of the pandemic, numerous arbitral hearings are now virtual rather than in-person. This offers favourable conditions for the deployment of the ICC Hold the Door Open initiative. Indeed, while most ICC Hold the Door Open scholars practice out of Africa, virtual hearings eliminate any cost consideration for their attendance of a hearing held outside of their place of residence,” says Diamana Diawara, ICC Regional Director for Arbitration and ADR, Africa.

The ICC Africa Commission aims to strengthen the arbitration infrastructure throughout the continent while engaging with a range of stakeholders to promote ICC Arbitration, as well as ICC’s alternative disputes resolution services.

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