The agreement signed on December 28, 2023, stipulates that ILPD will conduct training using various approaches, including the development of short-term courses for employees. These courses will incorporate real-world examples to familiarize participants with practical scenarios.
Established in 2012, KIAC is a collaborative effort between the private sector and the government, aimed at fostering investment by resolving disputes among traders outside the courtroom. This initiative aims to redirect the time and money that would otherwise be spent on legal proceedings towards the development of projects.
The agreement emphasizes the diversity of trained arbitrators, recognizing that they need not only be lawyers but can also include professionals such as doctors, architects, journalists, etc. This diversity ensures a broader understanding of various professions and enhances the effectiveness of dispute resolution.
Resolved disputes in this context are typically non-criminal, involving issues such as contract non-compliance or errors in adherence. Criminal matters are still adjudicated through traditional court processes.
Despite having over 130 arbitrators, KIAC faces a shortage of Rwandan arbitrators, numbering no more than eight. Mugabe Victor, the Secretary-General of KIAC, attributes this scarcity to the nascent nature of arbitration in Rwanda.
The collaboration with ILPD aims to address this shortage by improving the professionalism of Rwandans interested in arbitration and mediation.
Mugabe explains, "This school has a significant number of law graduates. Early education, followed by university, provides a solid foundation for understanding and applying legal principles, making it easier to resolve conflicts without resorting to court."
The collaboration is expected to alleviate the considerable costs associated with engaging foreign arbitrators, as locally trained professionals can now handle disputes within Rwanda more efficiently.
Increasing the number of Rwandans involved in arbitration is seen as a strategic move, as these individuals possess a deep understanding of Rwandan society, facilitating smoother dispute resolution.
Aimé Muyoboke Karimunda, the Rector of ILPD, acknowledged the connection between KIAC’s work and the courses offered by ILPD. He emphasizes the school’s historical role in producing professional lawyers and contributing to the establishment of a legal framework in Rwanda.
KIAC has gained recognition for its success in resolving business disputes, with 67% of cases involving Rwanda. The remaining cases are related to foreign entities. The centre’s efforts have resulted in the resolution of 224 cases within two years, a noteworthy achievement given the typical timeline for the initiation of arbitration systems in other countries.
Mugabe highlights that, in 2020, KIAC ranked among the top three companies globally offering arbitration services, preceded only by South Africa and Egypt. The collaboration with ILPD is expected to elevate Rwanda’s status in this field, aligning it with other countries that have built a strong reputation in arbitration services.