Examining the viability of the establishment of a regional East African Arbitral Institution
Opiyo, Eric P O
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This thesis underscores the fact that due to the sharp increase in growth of arbitral institutions in Africa caused due to increased trade within Africa, both local and foreign investors prefer resolving commercial disputes using expertise of regional arbitral institutions as opposed to exploiting courts due to the innumerable advantages that arbitration has over litigation. It points out that East Africa unlike Southern Africa and North Africa States lack regional arbitral institutions which make it face the challenge of imbalanced international arbitral process due to submission of international disputes arising between the local nationals and foreign investors to foreign jurisdictions. This thesis then focuses on the main objective of finding out whether there is a need for a regional arbitral institution in East Africa. The main objective is examined, by undertaking a comprehensive research on the three subobjectives that form the substantive chapters of this thesis. This includes finding out whether the existing legal framework on arbitration in East Africa are in sufficient harmony to justify creation of an East Africa arbitral institution as well as finding out whether the existing regional arbitral institutions in Africa including the East Africa Court of Justice arbitral jurisdiction were sufficient and whether we needed an East African arbitral institution. In addition, this thesis seeks to find out whether the establishment of regional arbitral institution in East Africa will lower the costs associated with arbitral proceedings as well as eliminate the inconvenience caused to local investors while arbitrating in foreign jurisdictions, The research adopted is a desk top/library research design which obtained both primary and secondary data. The study concludes that it is imperative that EAC establishes such a regional arbitral institution to protect investors from within the region as well as attract foreign investors by providing an institution that respects party autonomy and restores investor confidence.