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Ethiopia Joins New York Convention As A Step Towards Economic Reform

Bertillar KE

Feb. 22, 2020

Awards from international arbitration will be enforceable in Ethiopia, another step in the country’s economic reform and making it more appealing to international investors.
Ethiopia will recognise and enforce international arbitral awards after it became the 162nd country to ratify the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, popularly known as the New York Convention.
Parties to the convention, which originated in 1958, commit to supporting the enforcement of awards resulting from arbitrations in other member countries.
Membership of the convention is widely considered important to encouraging foreign investment, as it reassures international businesses that their investments will be protected.
Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers supported the move in December and the ratification was approval by parliament on 13 February this year.
It becomes the 33rd African country to join the convention, following the March 2018 addition of South Sudan and Cape Verde. Other recent additions include Angola, which completed ratification in 2017, but the likes of Sierra Leone, Namibia and Gambia remain outsiders for now.
It comes as part of a wider overhaul of arbitration in Ethiopia, with the government reported to be consulting on a new domestic arbitration law, based on the UNCITRAL model law.
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