Building legal bridges: fostering eastern Africa integration through commercial arbitration
This paper explores the feasibility of commercial arbitration as a means to foster the process of Eastern Africa integration. Th e author proffers an argument in the context of Eastern Africa integration, that commercial arbitration offers a better platform for dealing with commercial disputes that are bound to arise considering the differing personal or state interests in the ongoi ng Eastern Africa integration, as compared to national Courts. This discourse is premised on the fact that the five member countries making up the East African Community (EAC) have different legal systems and this presents a major challenge in harmonising the various legal systems. This also affects the possible use of courts in managing the potential transnational commercial disputes due to the potentially different rules of procedure and practice. The paper briefly examines the state of commercial arbitr ation in the EAC Member States with a view to identifying the existing framework s and any impediments in their effectiveness. Finally, the author makes a case for utilizing commercial arbitration to build bridges and foster Eastern Africa integration for development.