by Dr Sylvie Ivonne Bebohi Ebongo* and Gaston Kenfack Douajni**
The development of arbitration in Mauritius has improved in recent years and the Island, located in the Indian Ocean, has become one of the African places of arbitration.
Since 2008, Mauritius has reformed its arbitration law by adopting an arbitration law largely inspired by the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. The island has also adopted other various texts that contribute to making Mauritius today a neutral place of arbitration.
Mauritius has also distinguished itself as an African place because of the organization of renowned events on arbitration or the signing on the Island of important Legal Instruments in the field of international arbitration. To this end, it should be noted in a non-exhaustive way that Mauritius signed in 2015, the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Investor-State Arbitration based on the Treaties, now known as the "Mauritius Convention on Transparency”. In addition, Mauritius hosted the 23rd Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration in 2016, bringing together, for the first time on the continent, the leading specialists in international arbitration.
Another manifestation of Mauritius as a place of arbitration is the presence of renowned arbitral institutions, among which is the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Center.
Due to the establishment of well-structured arbitration Institutions such as the aforementioned Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Center, Mauritius stands out in two ways: on the one hand, the Island is taking up the challenge of bringing and promoting arbitration and mediation on the continent and, on the other hand, preparing the next generation by involving young professionals in the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution Practices on the continent, and at a high level.
The appointment of DIPNA GUNOO as Director of the MCCI Arbitration and Mediation Center (MARC) fully contributes to this goal: a lawyer at the Bars of Paris and Mauritius, DIPNA has a strong legal background acquired notably at the University of Paris I. She has made her arms in the largest law firms in Paris including Dechert LLP, Derains & Gharavi or Brown Rudnick LLP (Paris and London offices), as well as the Bird of Bird representation of the Indian Ocean.
After serving two years as an adviser at the Mauritius branch of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA-MIAC), DIPNA made a significant contribution to the success of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI)'s Arbitration and Mediation Center Rules Launch Event last January.
They used to say "The value does not wait for the number of years", despite her youth, DIPNA thus finds herself at the head of the MCCI Arbitration and Mediation Center to carry out the missions that await her. DIPNA belongs to the rising generation of arbitration and mediation in Africa. No doubt she will meet all the challenges she faces in her new role, with dexterity and professionalism._______________________________
*Lawyer at the Paris Bar, Representative un Europe of the Association for the Promotion of Arbitration in Africa(APAA)
**President of the APAA.