🇰🇪 Kenya undrelines strategic plans in Commercial arbitrations

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By Bernard Mulwa -mareeg.com-Nairobi Centre for International arbitration has set in motion a discourse to review laws of International arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution services in the region. This comes in the wake of digitalization and automation of alternative dispute resolution services as the center transition in to the second strategic plan for the period 2022-2027.
The Chief executive officer of Nairobi Centre for international arbitration, Mr. Lawrence Muiruri, was speaking during the launch of strategic plan in Nairobi today, said the center has developed elaborate three pillars strategic plans that will be implementing in its mandate in the next five years. “While the economic activities of any nation are paramount to its success; dispute resolution services are pivotal in ensuring that there is a conducive business environment for commerce to thrive. Therefore, the NCIA must pursue policy development and appropriate enforcement of contracts to ensure optimal benefits are realized through the adoption of dispute resolution strategies that are Prompt, Prioritized, Systematic and Cooperative essentially making dispute resolution a key enabler for economic development” Mr. Lawrence said that major economies attribute their growth to the increase in foreign investment and business opportunities. This increase in foreign investment and opportunities present grounds for international disputes where foreign investors prefer to settle for alternative dispute resolution as opposed to settling the disputes in local courts, perhaps, due to the perception dispute resolution through alternative dispute resolution is expedited and the settlement process tends to be amicable and not adversarial thus fostering business relationships.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya Hon. Martha Koome who saw present during the launch of the strategic plan assured the support of the Judiciary as the Centre discharge to implement the Strategic Plan. Saying this is one of the core pillars of the ‘Social Transformation through Access to Justice (STAJ)’ vision for the Judiciary is the promotion of a multi-door approach to the resolution of disputes. “We are keen to support the emergence of arbitration, mediation, alternative justice systems (AJS), as legitimate avenues for disputes resolution, we are doing this as a means of achieving the strategic outcome of expanding the doorways of justice” she said she believe that once implemented, the Strategic Plan will re-position the institution as a leader in the field of dispute resolution both regionally and internationally.
Mr. Lawrence further noted that the NCIA has been recognized as a Centre of Excellence not only in the African region but globally. Further to this, the Centre has also been designated as the China Africa Joint Arbitration Centre (CAJAC) Centre where the CAJAC Constitution and CAJAC Rules have already been developed and are being implemented.
Mr. Lawrence also said it is important to note that adoption of alternative means of dispute resolution mechanisms as a mode of settling disputes can only be entrenched through stakeholder engagement, awareness creation and the use of digital platforms for effective service delivery.
“I am aware that the NCIA has in this Strategic Plan, prioritized three key result areas namely, Promotion and Administration of ADR Services, Digitalization and Automation of Cutting-Edge ADR Services and Organizational Growth and Sustainability”.
In the articulation and implementation of this Strategic Plan, NCIA will seek to adopt innovative strategies and innovative technologies, while fostering collaboration at all levels. It is against this background, and borrowing heavily from lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic which adversely affected the Centre’s operations, that the NCIA has developed and implemented the online hearing guidelines as well as online ADR trainings. Aligned to this, NCIA seeks to leverage on technology to automate all its systems if necessary to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness in administration of services. It also seeks to undertake resource mobilization and revenue generation which is critical to cushion the Centre against the budget cuts occasioned by government’s austerity measures.

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