The Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICArb) has concluded arrangements to host its 2020 virtual annual conference and investiture, scheduled to begin on November 18, 2020.

Speaking with journalists in Lagos on Thursday, Mrs. Shola Oshodi-John, the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Institute, disclosed that this year’s conference would be held virtually in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

Mrs. Oshodi-John also said that the 2020 Annual Conference and Investiture will be held online with technical partnership from the Arbitration Place, Canada and support from several international organisations like ArbitralWomen, Association for the Promotion of Arbitration in Africa (APAA), Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), Institute of Transnational Arbitration (ITA), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and others.

The Theme of the three-day conference, which will hold from Wednesday, November 18 – Friday, November 20, 2020, is: ‘Making Arbitration (and ARD) Work for Africa.’

In the course of the 3-days Programme, several papers will be delivered by prominent individuals in various fields and from around the world.

Participants at the event will be welcomed by Chief Afe Babalola, President, and Chairman of Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators.

Justice Monica Dongban- Mensem, President Court of Appeal, Nigeria, is also expected to be the guest of honour on the opening day.

Two keynote addresses are scheduled for the first day of the conference. The first address, ‘Making Arbitration Work for Africa: Rethinking investment Treaties and Sustainable Development for Africa,’ will be taken by George Kahale III, Chairman, Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Cotts and Mosel LLP, Washington DC, USA.

The second address, ‘Exploring the institutional opportunities in mediation of Investor – State Disputes in Africa, an ICSID Perspective,’ will be delivered by Martina Polasek, Deputy Secretary General International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Washington DC, USA.

READ ALSO: Strike: ASUU Fighting The People’s Battle

According to the organisers of the event, four plenary sessions have been scheduled for the 1st day.


Topic for the sessions are; Making Arbitration work for Africa: Rethinking Investment Treaties and Sustainable Development for Africa; Review of the International and legal framework of Arbitration in Africa: A way forward?; The Role of Arbitration (and ADR) in the Development of a post AfCFTA in Africa and Realising the Full Value of ADR in Energy and Environmental Disputes in Africa.

Activities for the second day include keynote addresses. The first for the day, on the ‘Nexus between Arbitration and Mediation: A peep into the Singapore Convention on Mediation, will be delivered by Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Vienna, Austria.

This will be followed by a plenary session on the same topic.

“Exploring New Frontiers in Arbitration (and ARD) in Africa,’ the second keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Christopher ward SC, President, International Law Association (ILA). It will also be followed by a plenary on the same topic.

“The New Normal: Postioning Africa’s Post-Covid Arbitration Landscape through Digitization and Data,’ is the topic for the third plenary of the day to be moderated by Dr. Chidinma Thompson, partner, Broden Ladner Gervais LLP, Canada.

The last plenary for the day, “Closing the Gender gaps in the African Arbitration/Alternative Dispute Resolution Landscape,” will be moderated by Prof. Yemisi Bamgbose, Chairman, Woman Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association, Nigeria.

The Investiture and Award ceremony are scheduled for the 10th day of the Conference.

However, before the ceremonies, the plenaries would be taken. The first on “Mainstreaming Arbitration as a Preferred Resolution Mechanism for Maritime Disputes in Nigeria,” will be moderated by Mr. Matthew Egbadon, FCARB, Alternate Chair, Admiralty and Maritime sectoral committe, NICARB.

The last plenary on “Treading Uncharted Group: Examining the Prospects of Arbitration in Aviation and Transportation Disputes,” will have Justice Fadima Muritala Amina of the Federal High court Abuja, Nigeria.

Notable personalities expected to be part of the 3-day event include: Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN), member, Governing Council, Nigerian Bar Association; Mr. Olumide Akpata, President, Nigerian Bar Association; Ms. Rose Rameau, Managing Partner, RAMEAU International Law; Dr. Roland Anoussou-Guenou, Partner, Vovan Trcadelyo Group, Thailand; Prof. Mark Feldman, Advisory Board member, Institute of Transnational Arbitration (ITA) USA, among others.