May 5, 2022
On May 10, 2022, the Nigerian Senate passed a bill to enact the Arbitration and Mediation Act to provide for a unified legal framework for the settlement of commercial disputes. The Senate leader explained that this piece of legislation recognizes and enforces the New York Convention on foreign arbitration awards to any award made in Nigeria or in any contracting state arising out of international commercial arbitration.
The international arbitration community must share responsibility for improving African representation, while African countries can shift the balance in their own favor, said speakers at the London International Disputes Week (LIDW). The overarching opinion from a panel of lawyers and experts at the LIDW ‘international day’ on May 9 was that the balance of power is moving from outside international investors to African governments and businesses, and that the arbitration community needs to reflect the shift. The panel stressed the importance of appointing arbitrators who understand African culture, law and life.
After blocking Ugandans sugar for over three years Tanzania has altered course and accepted Ugandan sugar back into its market. This followed shortly after Tanzanian President Samia Saluhu Hassan visited Uganda for a two-day official visit on President Yoweri Museveni's invitation. These recent developments could mean a new relationship between Uganda and Tanzania, which has not been friendly since 2019, when the start of a trade war began between the two nations.
Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin cosmetic products owned by singer and businesswoman, Robyn Fenty Rihanna is launching in Kenya on May 27, 2022. The makeup line will be launched in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The entry of Rihanna's skincare products into the African market highlights the growth of the beauty and personal care industry which, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has grown by 400 percent in four years.
The war in Ukraine has diverted global political attention from Africa's problems, and made it harder for the United Nations to lead international peace-making efforts on the continent. Unless the African Union is willing and able to step in, the lack of global attention risks more African conflicts getting out of hand. Many Africans firmly believe they should remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war and argue that this is not Africa's quarrel and that western countries are hypocritical, defending their own invasions, like Iraq, while opposing Russia's in Ukraine.
Over 38 countries were locked down within three months of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the lockdowns caused untold harm to many economies, they allowed countries to assess their capacity to respond and begin putting in place rapid response systems. From Senegal to Togo, Kenya to Angola, new digital systems were set up and existing ones leveraged to manage the crisis. For East Africa and West Africa, new protocols were adopted to manage cross border trade and associated traffic, and these were harmonized across regions. The flagship collaborative efforts through the crisis have been central to preserving and reinforcing Africa’s resilience during the pandemic. The African Development Bank’s $1.5 billion emergency food production plan has undertaken a collaboration with other key continental institutions including, the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX). Just like the solutions developed in the pandemic, ATEX constitutes an African innovation designed to address another crisis facing the continent.
Tanzania has become the largest source market for Kenya on the continent after overtaking South Africa, partly on the back of increased orders of maize and rice from Kenyan millers. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu pledged in May of 2021 to end persistent strained trade relations between the two largest economies in the six-nation East African Community bloc which have, for years, hindered the smooth flow of goods and services.
"54th Session of the ECA Conference.” Dakar, Senegal. ECA. 14 May 2022.
"2nd Annual African Arbitration Association Awards 2022." Accra, Ghana. African Arbitration Association (AAA). 3-5 November 2022.