Chief Emeka J.P. Obegolu, FICMC, FCIArb, the President of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, during the launch of the Arbitration and Mediation Rules of the Janada International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (JICAM) on the 3rd of October, 2020, challenged the ADR practitioners in Africa to begin to look towards the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) institutions in Africa.
The ICMC President announced that the Institute promotes the professional ADR endeavours of her members, and commends Chief J-K Gadzama, SAN; a Fellow of ICMC and Member of the ICMC Governing Council, on the presentation of the JICAM Arbitration and Mediation Rules which he believes will go a long way in expanding the frontiers of the practice of Mediation and Arbitration in Nigeria, and beyond.
He stated that the theme for the program “Institutional Arbitration in Africa Post COVID 19” is appropriate at this time because, while Africa has witnessed tremendous growth in the quality and quantity of Arbitration and Mediation institutions, it still appears that most African dispute resolution practitioners seem to prefer to resolve their disputes under the auspices of the London Court of International Arbitration, the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, and other prominent international bodies.
He stated further that while these institutions have distinguished themselves in the field, this seeming preference for non-African Arbitration and Mediation institutions have stalled the growth and development of our African institutions.
The ICMC President challenged us all as promoters of these African institutions to do as the Janada International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation has done, and improve on our dispute resolution infrastructure, increase our efficiency, and in the same vein, increase our positive perception, by investing in well-trained and highly knowledgeable administrators and neutrals.
Chief Obegolu believes that putting in place well-designed, user-friendly and international standard Arbitration and Mediation Rules is one great way for a dispute resolution Centre, such as JICAM, to build an outstanding profile internationally, and contribute to the ADR knowledge base in Nigeria.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus, we have found ourselves in unprecedented times that have brought the decades-old field of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to the fore, and Chief Obegolu advised that we adapt to these times, and use technology to our benefit in the resolution of disputes.
The ICMC President announced that the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators would be happy to support JICAM, and other ADR institutions in Nigeria, by making available the services of her professional Mediators, contributing to the accreditation process, and in any other professional capacity.