Mission & Objectives

The Africa Arbitration Academy was established due to the rising demand for improved expertise and training of arbitration practitioners in Africa and to expose African practitioners to the current trends and developments in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. The inaugural Academy program was held in London (June 2019) and taught by international arbitration experts (academics and practitioners), heads of arbitration institutions, in-house counsel and judges. The overall objective of the Academy is to provide the much-needed specialized training to young arbitration practitioners from Africa and to equip them with the right set of skills to succeed within the international arbitration community. The three-week advanced training is offered using different formats including lectures, mock sessions and practical exercises. There are also mentoring sessions where renowned arbitration experts shared career tips and life experiences with participants. Participants were involved in team building exercises, networking events in law firms, and mock arbitration sessions. Through the lectures, mock sessions and practical exercises, participants expanded their perspectives on international arbitration and were enriched with better professional skills and knowledge.

Since the inaugural programme in 2019, the Academy has been at the forefront of developments of interest to Africa and is always keen on leading the way to innovation and to developing the practice of international arbitration in the continent. The Academy has established several award-winning initiatives including the Survey on Costs and Disputes Funding in Africa, the Africa Arbitration Academy Model Bilateral Investment Treaty for African States and the Protocol on Virtual Hearings in Africa.

The Model Bilateral Investment Treaty for African States was developed as a comprehensive document comprising uniform texts which African States may adopt as a basis for developing their specific model investment treaties. It is to serve as a source of cohesion for African States in relation to their ISDS reform strategies and promote the harmonization of African States’ investment policies and laws. The Model BIT captures critical reform-oriented provisions, including innovative provisions to ensure that African States attract responsible, inclusive, and sustainable investments. The Africa Arbitration Academy Model Bilateral Investment Treaty for African States 2022 is available in English, French, and Portuguese. The Model BIT recently won the “Innovation in Arbitration” Awards at the AfAA Awards held on 5th November 2022 in Accra, Ghana and the award on sustainability at the 2023 GAR Awards held in Paris.

The Academy is led by Executive Director – Dr. Abayomi Okubote, FCIArb and Dean – Prof. Mohamed Abdel Wahab, along other management team members.

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