NCIA Urges SMEs To Utilize Dispute Resolution Mechanisms To Solve Conflicts

Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) in collaboration with Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) have encouraged Small and Medium Enterprises to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution, whenever faced with conflicts.

NCIA, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Registrar Lawrence Muiruri said Kenya is making strides in promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and supporting international arbitration infrastructure to enable entrepreneurs solve disputes through mediation and arbitration among others.

'Every business encounters disputes and when they arise there's always silence from stakeholders, and entrepreneurs on what decision to take,' said Muiruri, while emphasizing that businesses do not exist to resolve conflict but exist to make profit.

The CEO was speaking during a stakeholder workshop organized by NCIA to sensitize small and medium enterprises on Alternative Dispute Resolution held at a Nairobi hotel.

The workshop aims to resolve commercial disputes arising from different stakeholders and advocate for creation of favorable trade and investment environment that favour enterprise expansion.

It also seeks to focus and support Small and Medium Enterprises and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises which are key elements to the country's economy.

Muiruri announced that NCIA offers a neutral venue for the conduct of international arbitration with commitment to providing institutional support to the arbitral process for domestic arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation.

He added that the organization also offers training and accreditation programs that educate and inform the public on ADR mechanisms which cover arbitration practices, procedures and award writings by promoting faster, reliable, less official and flexible measures compared to litigation.

In his address, the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Nyangweso said the organization is working closely with NCIA in ensuring effective and fair business practices to conflict resolutions such as negotiation, meditation, arbitration, cooperative law and online dispute resolution.

Nyangweso stated that KNCCI has guidelines and case studies in place for business stakeholders to navigate easily which he noted promotes, coordinates and protects commercial and industrial interests.

He emphasized the need to create demand for SMEs as most entrepreneurs often lack resources to navigate the complex level landscapes and stated that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to acquire necessary skills to resolve disputes.

The CEO said they will continue engaging business communities through capacity building and sensitize stakeholders to understand arbitration as a key initiative when trading with business partners.

He added that embracing fair business practices and ethical standards will facilitate and improve the SMEs industry.

'We engage multiple ways to support issues in trade and resolve them amicably through education and training by providing initiatives and services to all SMEs,' said Nyangweso.

NCIA plans to host the Nairobi Arbitration Week on September 18th to 25th this year.

Source: Kenya News Agency