60 Years of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958: Are We There Yet in Sub-Saharan Africa?

19 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2018

Date Written: April 4, 2018

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa has, in recent years, been classified as a natural-resource play for foreign investors. These investment potentials have made the region one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. The region is also diverse, with a mix of different legal systems and legal traditions. While investors are constantly seeking to understand the different legal regimes, international arbitration offers comfort by providing a framework for the enforcement of rights in a neutral forum and on a different platform. According to the World Bank, the ability to enforce an arbitral award is an important factor for investors considering potential markets in which to invest.

Given the sixtieth anniversary celebration of the New York Convention (NY Convention), this article examines the enforcement regimes for arbitral awards in sub-Saharan Africa. It considers the momentous developments in the enforcement regimes in the region, due to the implementation of the NY Convention. It examines the proposed amendments to the enforcement provisions in the Nigerian Arbitration Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2017, recently passed by the Nigerian Senate. It also examines the important provisions in the revised Uniform Act on the Law of Arbitration and the revised Rules of Arbitration of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration – both recently adopted by the OHADA Council of Ministers. It attempts a comparison between the enforcement regimes in the OHADA Member States, the NY Convention Member States, and in countries that do not belong to any of the two regimes.

A chart of the legal regimes on enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in sub-Saharan Africa is attached as appendix.

Keywords: Convention, New York Convention, Enforcement, OHADA, Arbitral Awards, Commercial Arbitration, Foreign Awards, Reservations, Annulment, Sub-Saharan Africa, Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, Treaty, Judiciary, UNICTRAL Model law, Reciprocity, ACA, ICSID Convention, UAA, CCJA

Suggested Citation

Okubote, Abayomi, 60 Years of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958: Are We There Yet in Sub-Saharan Africa? (April 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3289444 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3289444

Abayomi Okubote (Contact Author)

Queen's University ( email )

Macdonald Hall
Kingston, Ontario K7L3N6
Canada

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