Rwanda:National Private Arbitration Center to be Court Alternative

Libs have been working on re-stabilizing markets and tolerance after the horrible civil war. Now a coalition has developed legalization and extension of fair arbitration or mediation that cuts costs, increases satisfactory choice options.Note attention to peer standards.

4 June 2012


Kigali, Rwanda — The Private Sector Foundation of Rwanda has launched the country’s first Arbitration centre expected to provide an option to courts in resolving commercial disputes.

The Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) is seen as a major development which will boost confidence of the international investors.

“Kigali International Arbitration centre was created in 2011 at the Initiative of the Private Sector Federation in partnership with the Government of Rwanda aimed at strengthening the capacity of economic operators in Rwanda to resolve their disputes without need to go to courts,” said Hannington Namara, the CEO of Rwanda’s PSF….optimism that the centre will provide a welcome alternative to the business community that has so far had to resolve all contractual disputes through the commercial courts, which can be costly and take a long time.

The KIAC Secretary General, Bernadette Uwicyeza noted that in cross border deals, the use of international arbitration is an integral part of good business practice that the centre will promote in the region. “In addition, foreign investors avoid going to courts. They are not familiar with court processes and are afraid of the uncertainty of the results. The development of International Arbitration Services the Kigali International Arbitration centre will increase investors confidence,” she added.

The immediate role of the centre, according to Uwicyeza will be to mobilize and admit on the panel of international arbitrators of the centre recognized international arbitrators with various expertise and different nationalities to increase foreign investors’ confidence and for domestic arbitrators to learn from their experience.

However, the centre, which is supposed to be independent still, has no home of its own and it’s being housed by the Private Sector Foundation until a home is set up.

Aiming to be a seat of international arbitration, funding for the centre’s activities will be paramount but Uwicyeza expressed optimism of getting Government and other donors support to ensure an adequate budget.

Already, the Government approved a budget of 700,000 $USD on its annual budget 2012-2013 to support the starting of the Centre (Cabinet resolution of April 18, 2012).

Launching the Centre on May, 31st also means it will be taken as a reform in the World Bank Doing Business reforms for the enforcing contracts indicator.

Currently, the according to the World Bank, it takes 78% of the total award to settle legal fees and enforce court decisions.

Today, 45% of the total award from a legal suit goes to settling legal costs while 23% is spent on enforcement with court bailiffs. Within two years, KIAC will aim at reducing this to at least 25% from 45% but the desired target is at least less than 10%,” she commented…KIAC will be operating and guided by international standards used by renowned arbitration centers such as that of London.

“What we shall have is an arbitration process taking place in Rwanda but using international rules and procedures which will make us internationally accepted and qualified to even handle contract disputes of international nature,”


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