Tony Blair’s wife urges Ghana to initiate moves to set up African Arbitration Centre
Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur on Wednesday lauded a suggestion to establish an African Arbitration Centre in Accra and said the idea would be considered by Government.
He, however, noted that the establishment of such a centre was a capital intensive project adding that the Government of Ghana would liaise with the private sector to arrive at a concrete position on the issue.
The Vice President said this when Mrs Cherie Blair, the wife of a former British Prime Minister, paid call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
Mrs Blair said the Government of Ghana should consider initiating the establishment of an African Arbitration Centre in Ghana, and that the Centre should be manned by Africans to deal with the issue of arbitration especially between individual business and mining concerns and governments on the continent.
Such issues had been hitherto had been dealt with by the International Arbitration Court.
Mrs Blair, who led a three member delegation, expressed grave concern about the amounts of monies which African government’s pay to aggrieved parties who win their cases at the Court.
These huge sums of monies, she said, was a drain on the resources of African governments and a consequent inability to undertake requisite infrastructure development to meet the material conditions of the masses of the people, she noted adding that the establishment of the proposed centre would go a long way to build the capacity of local lawyers in international arbitration.
Mrs Blair said with its enviable pedigree as the bastion of democracy in Africa, south of the Sahara, Ghana’s quest to establish a regional centre for arbitration would receive support among the comity of nations.
The former British First Lady also touted the country’s judiciary system, which she claimed was able to deal expeditiously with cases, especially the 2012 election petition.
The Attorney General and the Minister of Justice Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong described the idea as a good one stressing that the presence of such a centre in the country will benefit the continent.