A momentous step: Kenya establishes international arbitration centre

By Kamau Karori

Earlier this year, legislators in Kenya established the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) by passing the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration Act No. 26 of 2013. The main objective of the NCIA is to facilitate the establishment of an independent and non-profit centre with a broad mandate necessary to administer domestic and international arbitration in Kenya.

The centre is expected to create and maintain proactive co-operation with other regional and international institutions in the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Historically, arbitration in Kenya was of a purely domestic nature, with principles substantially drawn from the English Arbitration Act 1996. In the absence of specific provisions for regional and international arbitration, major multinational entities setting up in Kenya generally opted to include clauses for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in other international seats, such as London or Mauritius, which have well-established international arbitration mechanisms…

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