The official opening ceremony of the Constructive Engagement Conference Towards The Establishment Of The Malawi International Commercial Arbitration Centre and the signing of the Project Partners Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) took place in Lilongwe on Monday, 15 August 2022.
The ceremony was presided over by his Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, and was attended by cabinet ministers, senior members of the judiciary, religious and community leaders and other distinguished guests including Shabir Latif of Malawian LEX Africa member Sacranie Gow & Co.
The MoU was signed by Des Williams of South African LEX Africa member Werksmans in his capacity as Chairman of the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (AFSA) – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Division. Des was also a speaker at the ceremony.
The signing of an MOU by the Ministry of Justice, the Malawi Law Society and the AFSA SADC Division marked a milestone in the development of arbitration in the SADC Region.
Des notes that “Malawi has played a leading role in the initiative by taking the steps which are necessary to develop arbitration, including, for example, by acceding to the New York Convention. Malawi is an arbitration friendly country and arbitration enjoys the full support of Government, the Courts and the legal and business communities. Malawi’s commitment is a clear signal of its intent to promote and support arbitration and will undoubtedly encourage similar commitment and initiatives in other SADC countries.”