Regional conference “Mediation in Africa” in Dakar

Participants in the regional conference in Dakar on the subject of “Mediation in Africa” in cooperation with the GIZ and the BRAK
Participants in the regional conference in Dakar on the subject of “Mediation in Africa” in cooperation with the GIZ and the BRAK

From 10 to 13 May 2022 the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), together with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the German Federal Bar (BRAK) held a regional conference in Dakar on the subject of “Mediation in Africa”.

The event was embedded in the GIZ’s regional project “Furthering rule of law and justice in Africa”, part of the G-20 initiative “Compact with Africa” for the promotion of private investment in Africa. Last year too, the IRZ worked with the GIZ to organise a regional conference in Dakar within the framework of this regional project.

The aim of the conference was to encourage an exchange of views and experiences between representatives of national legal institutions, practising mediators and public and non-public associations and chambers from different African countries. Participants from northern, southern, western and eastern Africa thus contributed to the strengthening of mediation at a national, regional and African level.

The participating states included Tunisia and Senegal, as well as Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The conference therefore brought together public and non-public players from the national, regional and African levels and thus supported transnational dialogue for the establishment of mediation as an alternative form of dispute resolution.

Through the talks and subsequent discussions the participants addressed the following discussion topics during the four-day event:

  • The status quo of mediation in Germany and the participating African states
  • Improvements to the legal framework of mediation
  • The role of bar associations in furthering mediation
  • Mediation in business relationships
  • Mediation and peace dialogue
  • Mediation in the relationship between state and citizen
  • Selection, training and further training of mediators
  • National and regional certification programmes for mediators
  • Presentation of a GIZ study on mediation

In recent years, alternative dispute resolution procedures have gained in significance around the world. Increased use of mediation is leading to better access to justice. With the aid of mediation, conflicting parties can reach agreement “on an equal footing”. The procedure is a more cost-effective and faster way to resolve conflicts, eases the workload of ordinary courts and is particularly effective as a way of resolving family conflicts. Women in particular are therefore able to obtain better access to legal remedies.

The lively and intensive discussions during the four-day conference highlighted the great interest in regional networking for the purposes of comparison and working together to promote mediation and a regional exchange of knowledge.

The regional conference was held and partially financed by the IRZ within the framework of institutional funding by the Federal Ministry of Justice.