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L-R: Dr Rukia Baruti, Secretary General African Arbitration Association (AfAA); Chief Justice Prof. Sam Rugege; former Nigerian Minister for Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN); KIAC board chairman, (...)
Kigali International Arbitration Centre’s profile continues to rise by the day. Established in 2012, the Centre has hitherto settled 68 cases, some involving parties from as far as U.S, China, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Kenya.
To date, the Centre has handled cases valued at $36 million – a significant amount considering it’s been in existence for just five years.
This is a sign of growing confidence in Kigali International Arbitration Centre’s neutrality and capacity to deliver unbiased arbitration award.
Nonetheless, officials, speaking to this newspaper on the sidelines of an international arbitration conference in Kigali this week, observed that more local businesses still preferred to take the litigation path as opposed to arbitration, even as the former is more cumbersome, time-consuming and takes much longer to reach a settlement.
Arbitration, despite being seen as more costly compared to litigation, is an ideal mechanism for dispute settlement particularly for businesses because longstanding disputes are a burden to business, while public proceedings could also prove damaging to the parties involved.
In addition, parties that agree to take the arbitration route to settle a dispute demonstrate goodwill toward each other and can easily repair their relationship as opposed to when they have fought bruising battles in courts of law.
Now, in a country where businesses often get entangled into contractual disputes, it is important that business operators and contractors heed the call of judicial officers and embrace arbitration for the good of all.
There is every reason to opt for arbitration as opposed to litigation. And, in Kigali International Arbitration Centre, businesses that operate in Rwanda have an opportunity to take this route in case of a dispute.