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Tanzania: Noteworthy learnings from recent arbitral awards

21 June 2023
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Overview

  • In recent years, the field of arbitration in Tanzania has undergone some noteworthy developments.
  • In 2020, the new Arbitration Act [CAP 15 RE 2020] was instituted, replacing the previous Arbitration Act of 1931. This new legislation established a more comprehensive mechanism for the regulation of arbitral proceedings and the accreditation of arbitrators. It also created the Tanzania Arbitration Centre, a government-funded organisation to which both domestic and international disputes can be addressed.
  • The result of this is a modern law sufficiently capable of facilitating the use of arbitration in commercial disputes and an expanding base of guidance provided to us by the courts as arbitral awards are tested in the courts.

In recent years, the field of arbitration in Tanzania has undergone some noteworthy developments.

In 2020, the new Arbitration Act [CAP 15 RE 2020] was instituted, replacing the previous Arbitration Act of 1931. This new legislation established a more comprehensive mechanism for the regulation of arbitral proceedings and the accreditation of arbitrators. It also created the Tanzania Arbitration Centre, a government-funded organisation to which both domestic and international disputes can be addressed.

The result of this is a modern law sufficiently capable of facilitating the use of arbitration in commercial disputes and an expanding base of guidance provided to us by the courts as arbitral awards are tested in the courts. Interesting trends that investors should be mindful of are outlined below.

  • Arbitration cannot be bypassed through liquidation proceedings.
  • An arbitral award will be set aside where the underlying contract is deemed to be a nullity.
  • An arbitral award will be set aside where the arbitrator has not adhered to the terms of the arbitration clause.

The increasing uptake of arbitration and expanding certainty surrounding arbitral awards are expected to foster investor confidence and further reliance on arbitration as a means of resolving disputes in Tanzania.

Please read our latest entry in the maiden edition of the African Arbitration Case Review to become acquainted with some of the developments.