ICC Arbitration Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC-YAF): Africa Chapter Conference 2022

The ICC Arbitration Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC-YAF): Africa Chapter Conference 2022 was held at the Lagos Court of Arbitration in Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday 31 May 2022. Our partner A. Tope Tokan-Lawal was in attendance.

At the conference, the diverse pool of speakers, panelists and participants were faced with the daunting task of navigating the theme, “Saving Mother Africa: Resolving Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Disputes.”

For decades, African nations have faced exploitatory activities by internal and external units. One of such is the exploitation of our vast natural resources by corrupt governments, big corporates and multinationals which have in turn negatively impacted our environments. Spillages from oil exploitations have left many communities without amenable water for drinking and fishing or fertile land. Mining for gold, diamonds, tantalum have left behind vast destructions. As such, communities that have generated billions of dollars from their resources have not shared in proceeds and instead are left in some of the worst conditions in the world.

The question was thus, “Could the Investor State Dispute mechanisms and international commercial arbitration and mediation help to balance these interests in a sustainable and satisfactory manner?”