Virtual Seminar: Arbitration in sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

There are many interesting and often challenging aspects to arbitration being undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere arising out of commercial activities in that continent.  In particular, Africa has attracted and continues to attract huge inward investment in sectors including mining, extraction and processing of oil and gas, power generation and transport infrastructure.  Referral to arbitration of disputes between the participants in those activities arises both as a matter of contract and under the terms of the numerous multi-party agreements including regional trade networks and investment treaties which impact commercial activity in Africa.

During this seminar, Peter Flint, consultant at Volterra Fietta, discussed non-contractual arbitration in sub-Saharan Africa with reference to domestic legislation designed to encourage FDI. Following this Muin Malik, partner at AH Malik & Company in Nairobi, Kenya, addressed the issue of alleged corruption as it arises in arbitrations in Africa and the issue of the enforcement of arbitration awards against African governments. Finally, Graham Coop, partner at Volterra Fietta, discussed a number of regional instruments providing for investor-State arbitration, including the ECOWAS Energy Protocol (with specific reference to its similarity to the Energy Charter Treaty), COMESA, SADEC, OHADA and the OIC investment agreement.


Our speakers included:

Peter Flint, Consultant at Volterra Fietta. Mr Flint advises governments and commercial parties in connection with cross-border disputes in a wide range of jurisdictions, including Russia and the CIS, the Baltic States, Turkey, Lebanon, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, South America, Thailand, Indonesia, China, South Korea and a number of sub-Saharan African States.  He has advised clients on disputes arising in the context of cross-border contracts, BITs, the ECT, multilateral trade agreements and host State investment protection legislation.  This includes significant experience in representing both investors and States at ICSID, the PCA and elsewhere.

Muin Malik, is a Partner at AH Malik & Company a leading law firm based in Nairobi, Kenya. After originally qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1990, Mr Malik was admitted to the High Court of Kenya in 1992. His wide experience has included appearances in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Kenya and as advocate/counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He has acted as expert witness on various aspects of Kenyan law in proceedings in the High Court UK, Court of First Instance Geneva, State Court in Troy, Michigan and at the High Court of Singapore. He has represented several Foreign Governments in issues arising in Kenya and was instrumental in the introduction of mediation to the Government of Kenya in the context of international disputes.

Graham Coop, Partner at Volterra Fietta and former General Counsel to the Energy Charter Secretariat.  Mr Coop is qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and as a solicitor with higher rights of audience (Civil) in England and Wales. He advises and represents companies, governments and international organisations on international dispute resolution and public international law, with a particular focus on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure and banking sectors. He currently represents an EU member State in relation to banking measures taken in response to developments arising out of the 2008 global financial crisis.  He has appeared as counsel, advocate and expert before a wide range of international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, ICSID, the PCA and the ICC. He is on the UK Attorney General’s list of public international law practitioners.


For any queries regarding the content of the seminar, please email