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ECOWAS Commission organizes technical meeting on ECOWAS contracts and alternative dispute resolution

The ECOWAS Commission is organizing a technical meeting on ECOWAS Contracts and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms from September 2nd to October 7th, 2023, in Lagos, Nigeria. The objective of this session is to finalize ECOWAS standard contract templates with standardized clauses on ADR and promote the use of ADR mechanisms for dispute resolution in procurement processes and contract management.

This technical session aims to bring together relevant stakeholders including Administration/Procurement Officers, Legal Officers, Finance Officers, HR Officers, and Auditors, among others. The event will provide a platform for participants to gain a deeper understanding of the principles of diversity of interests, conflicts, disputes, and resolution strategies. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to appreciate the interpretation of applicable law and dispute resolution clauses in contracts.

The technical session will also evaluate the differences between various dispute resolution forums in the context of the nature of contracts and develop a methodology for resolving issues between parties. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the arbitration process as an alternative to litigation in courts.

Furthermore, participants will be exposed to the role of Model Law of Arbitration, UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, and the New York Convention for Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements and International Arbitral Awards.

The expected outcomes of the technical session are numerous. Participants will gain practical experience in promoting the growth and efficient functioning of the justice system through Alternative Dispute Resolution. Awareness of ADR tools, processes, specific applicable laws, and arbitration processes and procedures will also be enhanced. The capacity to analyze different conflict scenarios and dispute settlement mechanisms from a cost-benefit perspective compared to litigation will be strengthened. Additionally, participants will be equipped with the capacity to implement ADR procedures to resolve disputes as early as possible using newly evolving hybrid dispute resolution processes. Ultimately, excessive unintended litigation costs on ECOWAS during contract management will be reduced.

In his opening speech, Mr. Seydou Kassory BANGOURA Director of Administration and General Services, on behalf of Professor Nazifi Abdullahi Darma as the Commissioner for Internal Services of the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS)recalled that ECOWAS is committed to promoting effective and efficient contract management and dispute resolution mechanisms. The Lagos technical meeting promises to be an important step in achieving this goal. He finally indicated that participants could expect to gain valuable skills and expertise in ADR, applicable laws and arbitration processes and that, the interactive nature of the session would provide valuable information and knowledge that could be applied in their respective roles.

This technical session will also include discussions and brainstorming sessions on ADR and laws applicable to contract management.

A full technical report of the session will also be produced following this meeting.



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