Arbitration Centers in Ethiopia

By Dagnachew Tesfaye, Founder and Partner at DMLF

Ethiopia has updated and introduced through the Arbitration and Conciliation Working Procedure Proclamation No 1237/2021 the establishment of Arbitration Centers. Arbitration has been given due attention when Ethiopia ratified the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards by Proclamation No 1184/2020. The Arbitration Center legally mandated to conduct arbitration has been the Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association by Proclamation 341/2003. An attempt has been made by private individuals to establish and conduct arbitration centers but due to lack of supporting legislation their effort was interrupted prematurely. 

‘’Arbitration Center ” is defined under Proclamation No 1237/2021 as  a Center to be established by government or under private ownership to provide arbitration service. The Federal Attorney General (now the Ministry of Justice) is assigned to supervise arbitration centers, issue and renew licenses and provide criteria for the establishment of the same. The Proclamation states that  the details shall be stipulated by Regulation to be issued by the Council of Ministers.  

Thus the main aim of this brief article is to push the Council of Ministers for the adoption of the much needed Regulation on Arbitration Center. More than 30+ years ago various countries established their own Arbitration Centers namely Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. These cities had success in terms of conducting arbitration in their region and world wide. London, Paris, Zurich or Stockholm were the European arbitration cities. Now Ethiopia updated its Arbitration rules and ratified the New York Convention. Addis Ababa has to be the next Arbitration Center in the Region.

Therefore this is a call for the Ministry of Justice to expedite the legal drafting and proposing the legislation for the Council of Ministers to issue the much anticipated Regulation on Arbitration Center.

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