By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya), Winner of Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021*
Kenya has diverse blue resources which she can maximize to achieve sustainable livelihoods for its people and national economic development in general. This is in recognition of the fact that ‘there is a direct correlation between blue economy and livelihoods and food security’. While Kenya’s oceanic territory has vast resources that can assist Kenya grow economically, eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development, there exist challenges in harnessing these resources. There is need to critically analyze these challenges, how they can be surmounted in order to recommend measures within the policy, legal and institutional framework to assist Kenya effectively harness these resources to enable the country expand her economy and improve her people’s livelihoods through tapping into the enormous resources contained within its blue resources.
The United Nations Development Programme has observed that as far as exploitation of the blue resources is concerned, the Eastern Africa region faces challenges of illegal and unregulated fishing, piracy and armed robbery, maritime terrorism, illicit trade in crude oil, arms, drug and human trafficking and smuggling of contraband goods; degradation of marine ecosystems through discharge of oil, the dumping of toxic waste, illegal sand harvesting and the destruction of coral reefs and coastal forests. Kenya also suffers from fragmented management of the coastal zone, lack of capacity and technical know-how, lack of capital, minimal participation by citizens, incoherent benefit sharing regime and biodiversity loss, amongst others.
Furthermore, Kenya is confronted with piracy in the Indian Ocean, illegal fishing and border disputes, the dispute with Somalia over the maritime boundary, over a potentially lucrative triangular stretch of 100,000 square kilometers offshore territory that is about 370 kilometers from the coastline, believed to be home to huge oil and gas deposits. Through these challenges, Kenya loses resources to foreign exploitation due to lack of capacity and knowhow as well as degraded and dwindling resources within its internal waters, attributable to environmental degradation. Notably, the country’s marine fisheries are primarily exploited by foreign fishing vessels which rarely land or declare their catches in the country, thus depriving the country of much needed revenue and processing jobs.
During the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) 2018, there was emphasis on the need to improve the health of the oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers and the ecosystems which are under increased threats and in decline in many countries and regions across the globe. Some of the threats highlighted include climate change, pollution and waste management, illegal activities at seas including illegal unregulated and unreported fishing, piracy and terrorism, destruction of marine ecosystems and management of resource in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
The challenges facing exploitation of Kenya’s coastal and marine resources have also been highlighted in the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Policy 2014 as follows: uncoordinated sectoral policies; and population increase and society placing many legitimate, but often competing, demands on the resource base and the environment, with the sectoral management approaches have failed to achieve the objectives of coastal planning and sustainable development. This has been attributed to: limited understanding of coastal and marine resources, natural processes and opportunities; institutional weaknesses, single sector planning, bureaucracy, competing interests among institutions and misplaced priorities; inadequate legislation and enforcement; inadequately trained personnel, use of inappropriate technologies and equipment, and limited experience in integrated coastal planning, development and management.
The result of all these has been deficient pollution management, over-extraction of resources and unsustainable livelihoods, unsustainable use patterns, resulting in wide spread degradation and loss of critical habitats and loss of development opportunities. Statistics have shown that fisheries, which Kenya has only focused on both for domestic and export markets, accounting for only about 0.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generate employment for over two million Kenyans through fishing, boat building, equipment repair, fish processing, and other ancillary activities.
Despite this, the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) estimates the annual economic value of goods and services in the marine and coastal ecosystem of the blue economy in the Western Indian Ocean is over US$22 billion with Kenya’s share slightly over US$4.4 billion (20%) with the tourism sector taking the lion’s share of over US$4.1 billion. Therefore, the full economic potential of marine resources has not been exploited, yet Kenya has a maritime territory of 230,000 square kilometers and a distance of 200 nautical miles offshore. Kenya has not yet invested in this potentially lucrative area thus occasioning loss of income and opportunities for the Kenyan people. It is also a potential solution to the food insecurity problem in Kenya through maximizing on the seafood harvesting.
The global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC 2018) came up with several forward looking resolutions as captured in the outcome Report. The Conference captured concrete commitments and practical actions that can be taken today to help the world transition to the blue economy. However, for Kenya to benefit to fully benefit from these resources there must be conscious efforts aimed at tackling the highlighted challenges related to environmental sustainability, maritime security and inclusive development.
The successful exploitation of the blue resources in Kenya requires the concerted efforts of all. A clear stakeholder mapping of all the potential beneficiaries as well as the interested parties, such as communities that directly rely on these resources for their livelihoods is needed so that they can work closely with the government bodies in charge of these resources as well as environmental conservation to ensure that they all work towards improving the lives of the people, economic development as well as environmental conservation. The Government (Executive, Judiciary and Parliament) should work closely with the county governments, Non-Governmental Organisations, scientists and other professionals as well as the specific committees or offices charged with coming up with the policy blueprint for the development of the country’s blue economy to ensure that there is not only in place practical measures laid down by way of legal and policy frameworks.
*This is article is an extract from an article by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD,Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards): Muigua, K., “Harnessing the Blue Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for Kenya,” http://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Harnessing-the-Blue-Economy-Challenges-and-Opportunities-for-Kenya-24th-December-2018.pdf, Dr. Kariuki Muigua is Kenya’s foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. Dr. Muigua is recognized as one of the leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts by the Chambers Global Guide 2021.
Benkenstein, A., “Prospects for the Kenyan Blue Economy,” South African Institute of International Affairs, Policy Insights 62, July, 2018, p.1. Available at https://saiia.org.za/wp-content/uploads/ 2018/07/ saia_spi_62_benkestein_20180718.pdf [Accessed on 27/11/2021].
Conference on the Global Sustainable Blue Economy, held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi from 26th to 28th November 2018.
Guleid, M., “True value of the blue economy to Kenya,” Standard Digital, 29th Nov 2018. Available at https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001304390/true-value-of-the-blue-economy-to-kenya [ Accessed on 27/11/2021].
Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Policy 2014, Sessional Paper No. 13 of 2014, Republic of Kenya.
Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya), Available at: https://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/161 [ Accessed on 27/11/2021]. The UN’s International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) has ruled largely in favour of Somalia in its long-running dispute with Kenya over their maritime border with Kenya disputing the finding.
The Nairobi Statement of Intent on Advancing the Global Sustainable Blue Economy, available at http://www.fao.org/fi/static-media/MeetingDocuments/SustainableBlueEconomy/3.pdf [Accessed on 27/11/2021].
Ngwenya, S., “Africa has to Shed off the Resource Curse Stigma” The Star Newspaper, Friday January 3, 2014.
Odhyambo, G., “Tapping blue economy benefits takes commitment,” in Kenya School of Government, “Unpacking the Big Four,” Weekly Bulletin, Vol. 7 Issue 20, 2nd – 8th June, 2018, p.3. Available at https://www.ksg.ac.ke/images/bulletin/KSG_Bulletin_2nd-8th_June_2018.pdf [Accessed on 20/12/2018].
Report on the Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference 26th – 28th November 2018, Nairobi, Kenya, Prepared by SBEC Technical Documentation Review Committee At A Retreat Held At Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge, Kenya, December 5th – 9th 2018.
UNDP, “Leveraging the Blue Economy for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth,” Policy Brief, Issue No: 6/2018, April, 2018. Available at http://www.ke.undp.org/content/dam/kenya/docs/UNDP%20Reports/Policy%20Brief%20%202018%20-%206- %20%20Blue%20Economy%20for%20Inclusive%20 and%20Sustainable%20Growth.pdf [Accessed on 27/11/2021].
United Nations, Kenya: Common Country Assessment, United Nations Development Assistance Framework for Kenya: 2018-2022, January 2018. Available at https://kenya.un.org/en/15983-common-country-assessment-2018-2022 [Accessed on 27/11/2021].
USAID, “The Importance of Wild Fisheries for Local Food Security: Kenya,” Available at https://www.agrilinks.org/sites/default/files/resource/files/kenya_file.pdf [Accessed on 27/11/2021].
World Bank, Infographic: What is the Blue Economy? June 6, 2017, available at http://www.worldbank. org/en/news/infographic/2017/06/06/blue-economy [Accessed on 27/11/2021].
World Bank and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, The Potential of the Blue Economy: Increasing Long-term Benefits of the Sustainable Use of Marine Resources for Small Island Developing States and Coastal Least Developed Countries, World Bank, Washington DC, 2017, Available at https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/26843/115545.pdf?sequence=1&is Allowed=y [ Accessed on 27/11/2021].
Review: Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1
The Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Volume 9, Issue No. 1, which is edited by and published by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD is out and stays true to the reputation of the journal in providing a platform for scholarly debate on thematic areas in the fields of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development. The current issue published in September 2022 covers diverse topics including Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in Africa; National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya; Protection of Cultural Heritage During War; The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya; Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya; Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation; Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World; Status of Participation of Women in Mediation; Business of Climate Change and Critical Analysis of World Trade Organization’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment.
Dr. Wilfred A. Mutubwa and Eunice Njeri Ng’ang’a in “Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in an Integrating Africa: An Appraisal of the Role of Regional Arbitration Centres” explore the nature of disputes in the realm of oil and gas in Africa taking a look into the recent continental and sub-regional developments in a bid to establish regional integration. Additionally, it tests the limits of intra-African trade and dispute resolution and the imperatives for the African regional courts and arbitration centres. In “National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua discusses the role played by the National Environment Tribunal (NET) in promoting access to justice and enhancing the principles of sustainable development in Kenya. The paper also highlights challenges facing the tribunal and proposes recommendations towards enhancing the effectiveness of the tribunal.
Dr. Kenneth Wyne Mutuma in “Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of War: A Case for History,” argues that cultural heritage is at the heart of human existence and its preservation even in times of war is sacrosanct. It concludes that it is thus critical for states to take positive and tangible steps to ensure environmental conservation and protection during war within the ambit of the existing international legal framework. In “The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya,” Jack Shivugu critically evaluates the role of water in the attainment of sustainable development in Kenya and argues water plays a critical role in the attainment of the sustainable development goals both in Kenya and at the global stage. The paper interrogates some of the water and Sustainable Development concerns in Kenya including water pollution, water scarcity and climate change and suggests practical ways to enhance the role of water in the Sustainable Development agenda.
Dr. Paul Ogendi in “Collective Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya,” reflects on property rights in relation to human biological materials obtained from research participants participating in genomic research. He argues that property rights are crucial in genomic research because they can help avoid exploitation or abuse of such precious material by researchers. In “Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua notes that Wetlands have a vital role in not just delivering ecological services to meet human needs, but also in biodiversity conservation. Wetlands are vital habitat sites for many species and a source of water, both of which contribute to biodiversity protection. The paper examines the role of wetlands in biodiversity conservation and how these wetland resources might be managed to improve biodiversity conservation.
Oseko Louis D. Obure in “Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World,” preponderance of disputes between States or States and Investors created need for a robust, effective, and efficient mechanisms not only for the resolution of these disputes but also their prevention. He notes that developing states lead in being parties to Investor-State Disputes (ISD) particularly as respondents. He proceeds to conceptualize and problematize investor-state disputes resolution in a fast-paced world. Lilian N.S. Kong’ani and Dr. Kariuki Muigua in “Status of Participation of Women in Mediation: A case Study of Development Project Conflict in Olkaria IV, Kenya” review the status of participation of women in mediation to resolve conflicts between KenGen and the community. The paper demonstrates a need for further democratization of the mediation processes to cater for more participation of women to enhance the mediation results and offer more sustainable resolutions.
Felix Otieno Odhiambo and Melinda Lorenda Mueni in “The Business of Climate Change: An Analysis of Carbon Trading in Kenya analyses the business of carbon trading in the context of Kenya’s legal framework. The article examines the legal framework that underpins climate change into the Kenyan legal system and provides an exposition of the concept of carbon trading and its various forms. Michael Okello, in “Critical Analysis of World Trade Organisation’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment: Prospects, Challenges and Emerging Trends in the 21st Century,” highlights the rationale behind MFN treatment and also restates the vision of multilateral trade to achieve equitable and special interventions with respect to trade in goods, services and trade related intellectual property rights in the affected states.
Dr. Kariuki Muigua: The Making of Top Arbitrator in Africa
The journey of Dr. Kariuki Muigua to becoming the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022 has seen him painstakingly and consistently research, teach, write, edit, publish, train, mentor and practice arbitration, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), conflict management and dispute resolution for the last 30 years with excellence as a leading lawyer, authoritative scholar and ADR expert. Today, Dr. Kariuki Muigua, Phd, C.Arb is a Chartered Arbitrator and the African Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022. He is an advocate of 33 years standing and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. He is also the author of the Leading Textbooks on ADR, Mediation and Arbitration including the seminal Settling Disputes Through Arbitration in Kenya, now in 4th Edition. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is ranked at Band 1 by Chambers & Partners among the leading Arbitrators in Kenya noting that “He has been involved in several ground-breaking arbitrations,” “has an astute understanding of arbitration” and “is respected for litigation.”
Dr. Kariuki Muigua is also both the founder, publisher and editor of Africa’s leading Conflict Management Journal as well as one of the PhD Academics who majored in resolution of Natural Resources and Environmental Conflicts using mediation. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is also a leading author in the area of conflict management and has published several books on the topic including Resolving Conflicts through Mediation and Natural Resources and Environmental Justice in Kenya. It is these exploits that have left many of his admirers convinced that his next stop would be Professorship and admission to the Rank of Senior Counsel.
As an ADR Practitioner, Dr. Muigua was declared the first ever winner of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch) ADR Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honour given by the Institute to one member every year for his immense contribution to the growth of practice, research and scholarship of ADR in Kenya and across Africa. The award came barely a week after Dr. Muigua had won the coveted Law Society of Kenya ADR Practitioner of the Year Award at the 4th Edition of the Nairobi Legal Awards. LSK recognized Dr. Muigua for his outstanding practice in ADR and especially arbitration and his role as mentor to many lawyers venturing into the area. Dr. Kariuki Muigua was also awarded the ADR Publisher of the Year for his scholarship, authorship and editorship of leading research and publications on ADR in Africa including the Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development and Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Official Journal of the CIArb (Kenya).
The tripartite awards have been hailed by many of Dr. Kariuki Muigua’s peers in the ADR and Arbitration fraternity as a fitting tributes to his made immense contribution to mainstreaming of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and especially arbitration as way of resolving disputes in Kenya, East Africa and across Africa in the last two (2) decades. Indeed, starting in 2002 when Dr. Muigua took the Special Member Course leading to membership to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb), Dr. Muigua one of the staunchest advocates of ADR in Africa in addition to becoming the foremost intellectual voice shaping ADR practitioners and scholars of the future. The contribution of Dr. Kariuki Muigua to the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) sector has taken many shapes and forms including as a practitioner, leader, policy maker, scholar, author, trainer, mentor and trailblazer among others.
Dr. Muigua is a leading Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioner in Kenya, Africa and the world at large who has been recognized nationally and globally by peers. The world leading peer-reviewed lawyers’ directory, Chambers and Partners, rates Dr. Kariuki Muigua as one of the best alternative dispute resolution experts in the country. It describes as ‘a highly respected arbitrator and mediator with a sterling background in commercial and constitutional cases, as well as matters relating to the environment and natural resources.’ The most recent ranking adds: “Kariuki Muigua of Kariuki Muigua & Co is held in high regard by market commentators for his role in the Kenyan arbitration sphere. He possesses stellar experience in commercial and constitutional disputes, as well as environmental matters and those relating to the extractive industries. In addition to being “a big noise in the arbitration association,” he is widely recognized for his academic work.”
Dr. Muigua has served in many panels as an arbitrator appointed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)-Kenya, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA), the London Court Of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the International Court of Arbitration under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on several occasions as a sole arbitrator and a member of arbitral tribunals in arbitrations involving commercial disputes. He has vast experience and expertise in adjudication and has sat as both as a panel member and a chairperson in various adjudication Boards both locally and internationally. He is also an accomplished mediator and has successfully presided over numerous matters both as a private mediator and a court appointed mediator under the Court-Annexed Mediation program in Kenya.
Dr Muigua was elected (unopposed) to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Board of Trustees as the Regional Trustee for Africa, for the term beginning 1 January 2019. Previously, he served as the Branch Chairman of CIArb-Kenya from 2012 to 2015. He also served CIArb as Member and past Chairperson of the Sub-committee on Information Technology (IT), CIArb and as Member of the Legal Committee Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) – Kenya chapter. He is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)-Kenya chapter. He is also a member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and Kenya Branch. He is also a Member of Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) and Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA). For his contributions, he was awarded Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Chairman’s Medal with a citation for exemplary service in December, 2015.
In policy-making, Dr. Kariuki Muigua is currently a member of the National Steering Committee for Formulation of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy representing the Academia since 2020. The team is providing guidance and overseeing the process for formulation of a national policy and institutional framework on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Kenya. He has also served as Member of the Meditation Accreditation Committee Panel of Mediators Accredited for Commercial Mediation under the Judiciary of Kenya. Recently, he led negotiations that achieved partnership with Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK on GPR 625 (International Commercial Arbitration) for University of Nairobi LLM students to achieve membership status without further tests, 2020 to 2023.
On ADR Scholarship, Dr. Muigua is the author of the leading textbook on Arbitration in Kenya, namely, Settling Disputes through Arbitration in Kenya, now in its 4th Edition (2022) and available for free download, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice in Kenya (2015) and Resolving Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya (2013). He has been cited hundreds of times as an ADR Scholar, contributed at least 3 chapters of published books, authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles in the areas of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution and presented over two dozen papers on ADR in diverse fora. Dr. Muigua has also facilitated numerous trainings, workshops and conferences on ADR. He has supervised and supervised at least two (2) completed PhD thesis on ADR, Dozens of Masters Thesis and is supervising three (3) PhDs in the area as a lecturer and mentor in ADR practice and scholarship. Dr. Muigua is a lecturer in International Commercial Arbitration at the University of Nairobi and tutor, trainer and assessor at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Kenya Branch).
Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Chartered Arbitrator (since January 2015) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (since October 2010) and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (since 2002). He holds a Diploma in Arbitration (2012) and became Accredited as a Mediator by the Mediation Training Institute in 2015. He is also a renowned consultant on ADR Law and Practice and has authored reports whose recommendations had far reaching impact on the sector. As a professional who strives to attain excellence in the legal and ADR arenas, Dr. Muigua has gone out of his way to put ADR in the frontline as one of the leading modes of dispute resolution in Kenya, Africa and at global stage. Dr. Muigua is a holder of a Ph. D in law from the University of Nairobi and has widespread training and experience in both international and national commercial arbitration and mediation. Previously, he served as the chairperson, Department of Private Law of the University of Nairobi School of Law 2020-2021.
Overcoming Hindrances to International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya
By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya), The African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021*
In the face of globalisation, it is important that international trade and investment take place with minimal interference by territorial barriers such as unnecessary domestic courts’ intervention. It has been asserted that the settlement of disputes between parties to an international transaction, arbitration has clear advantages over litigation in national courts. The foreign court can be an alien environment for a businessman because of his unfamiliarity with the procedure which may be followed, the laws to be applied, and even the mentality of the foreign judges.
In contrast, with international commercial arbitration parties coming from different legal systems can provide for a procedure which is mutually acceptable. They can anticipate which law shall be applied: a particular law or even a lex mercatoria of a trade. They can also appoint a person of their choice having expert knowledge in the field. Thus, it is argued that these and other advantages are only potential until the necessary legal framework can be internationally secured, at least providing that the commitment to arbitrate is enforceable and that the arbitral decision can be executed in many countries, precluding the possibility that a national court review the merits of the decision.
There is a need to employ mechanisms that will help nurture and demonstrate Kenya to the outside world as a place with international commercial arbitrators with sufficient knowledge and expertise to be appointed to arbitrate international arbitrators. There is also the need to put in place adequate legal regimes and infrastructure for the efficient and effective organization and conduct of international commercial arbitration in Africa. This ranges from legislating comprehensive law on international commercial arbitration as well as setting up world class arbitration centres in Kenya to complement the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA).
There is also the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) which is an initiative by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya and was incorporated in May, 2013. Its objective is to establish and maintain a regional Dispute Resolution Centre in the country. The CADR is a positive step towards nurturing international commercial arbitration in Kenya. This will afford the local international commercial arbitrators the fora to showcase their skills and expertise in international commercial arbitration and will also attract international clients from outside Africa. It has been noted that there should be basic minimum standards for international commercial arbitration centres or institutions. These include: modern arbitration rules; modern and efficient administrative and technological facilities; Security and safety of documents; Expertise within its staff; and some serious degree of permanence. There is a need to set up more regional centres for training of international commercial arbitrators in Africa and Kenya.
The Kenyan Chapter of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators trains arbitrators across Africa and has trained arbitrators in countries like Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda and even Malawi. Kenya can indeed play a pivotal role in nurturing international commercial arbitration, not only in Kenya but also across the African continent. There is also need for the existing institutions to seek collaboration with more international commercial arbitration institutions since this will work as an effective marketing tool for the exiting institutions. For instance, the Kenyan Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Branch maintains a close relationship with the International Law Institute (ILI) Kampala and the Centre for Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) of California State University to conduct Courses in Mediation and other forms of ADR both locally and internationally.
There is need for all African centres and institutions to do the same to promote international commercial arbitration in Africa. The Kenyan law on arbitration appreciates the need to limit court intervention in arbitration to a basic minimum. It has been argued that the relationship between the courts and the arbitral process can be made much closer, both practically and psychologically. The psychological link can be strengthened by encouraging all or at least a good number of the commercial judges and advocates to take up training in arbitration and consequently ensuring that they benefit from having prior experience of arbitration either as representative advocates or actual arbitrators. This will subsequently boost the confidence of foreigners in the African Arbitration institutions as well as the role of courts. Effective and reliable application of international commercial arbitration in Kenya has the capacity to encourage investors to carry on business with confidence knowing their disputes will be settled expeditiously.
In essence, there is need to develop a clear framework in Kenya within which international commercial arbitration can be further nurtured. There are arbitral institutions already in place in Kenya as highlighted in this paper. The presence of such institutions in the country points to an acceptance of alternative dispute resolution modes as well as the need to nurture the practice of international commercial arbitration other than exporting commercial disputes to foreign countries for settlement. With the right frameworks in place, Kenya indeed has the capacity to conduct successful international commercial arbitration. Nurturing international commercial arbitration in Kenya is a necessity whose time has come.
*This article is an extract from published article “Nurturing International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya,” by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD, the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), CIArb (Kenya) ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Foremost Dispute Resolution Expert in Africa ranked among Top 6 Arbitrators in Kenya by Chambers and Partners, Leading Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. Dr. Muigua is recognized as one of the leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts by the Chambers Global Guide 2022 and is ranked among the Top 5 Arbitrators in Kenya in 2022 by The Lawyer Africa.
Muigua, K., “Nurturing International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya,” Available at: http://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Nurturing-International-Commercial-Arbitration-in-Kenya.pdf (accessed 15 July 2022).
Review: Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1
Book Review: Exploring Conflict Management in Environmental Matters
Dr. Kariuki Muigua: The Making of Top Arbitrator in Africa
Overcoming Hindrances to International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya
Challenges Facing the Practice of International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya
Extent of Court Intervention in international commercial arbitration in Kenya
News & Analysis3 months ago
THE TOP 200 ARBITRATORS IN KENYA 2022
Law Firms12 months ago
Nyaanga & Mugisha Advocates: A Full-Service Boutique Law Firm on the Rise
Law Firms12 months ago
IFLR1000 Recognizes Ngeri, Omiti & Bush Advocates, LLP as Top Tier Firm in Kenya
Law Firms4 months ago
TEMPLARS Advised Lagos Free Zone Company (LFZC) on Development of Integrated Gas Network
Law Firms9 months ago
W. Amoko Advocates becomes ANL Law as it Enrolls Two New Partners
Lawyers12 months ago
Top Lawyers in Africa: Senior Counsel John Ohaga, C.Arb., FCIArb., FAIADR (Kenya)
News & Analysis6 months ago
Book Review: Settling Disputes Through Arbitration in Kenya, 4th Edition
News & Analysis3 months ago
Kenyan Father and Son Duo Scoop Africa’s Top Arbitration Awards in 2022