Africa in the Moot, a young organisation which supports African students participating in arbitration-based mooting competitions, hosted its first pre-moot in February 2022 as part of the 29th edition of the Willem C. Vis Moot Court competition.
Africa in the Moot Winners | University of Pretoria
The Willem C. Vis Moot Court is the largest international commercial arbitration competition in the world, with over four hundred teams from various law schools registering to participate in the two iterations of this moot court. Several friendly “pre-moot” competitions are facilitated in various countries a few months before the main competition. These pre-moots serve as a useful training ground where students practise and refine their oral advocacy skills.
“Sadly the number of African universities participating in this prestigious competition has remained limited to only a handful of universities. This is a fact which Africa in the Moot hopes will improve in the future,” said Tabitha Joy Raore, Senior Associate at Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP, Coach to University of Nairobi Willem C. Vis Moot Team, and Africa in the Moot Academic Program Co-ordinator.
One of the goals of Africa in the Moot is to increase the number of African teams participating in the Willem C. Vis Moot Court and to showcase the talent of future African arbitration practitioners. Although the organisation is less than a year old, it has made some notable strides towards meeting this endeavour. This includes hosting lectures and arbitration related trainings, providing financial support to teams participating in the Willem C. Vis Moot Court, facilitating free access to academic resources, and connecting teams to coaches.
The most notable achievement by this young organisation to date is the pre-moot which took place in mid-February in Nairobi, Kenya. Africa in the Moot partnered with the international law firm Jones Day LLP, the GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation), and Strathmore University, and sponsored students and coaches from eight teams from six different African countries to attend an in-person three-day pre-moot workshop.
During the workshop, the students were trained on international arbitration and oral advocacy. The students then embarked on an intense round of pre-moot competitions where they tested their advocacy skills against each other before three-member arbitral tribunals comprised of Kenyan advocates and international arbitration experts and practitioners. The event included a networking reception at leading law firm Anjarwalla & Khanna.
The team from the University of Pretoria was crowned as the winners of this inaugural pre-moot competition.
Africa in the Moot was founded in 2020 by Willem C. Vis Moot Court alumni, including Stephen Fleischer and Tijmen Klein Bronsvoort whom currently head the program. Africa in the Moot has ambitious plans to host a pre-moot workshop on an annual basis for its beneficiary universities.
Students and universities interested in participating in this program next year can find further information at www.africainthemoot.com. Africa in the Moot would also be happy to hear from practitioners and sponsors who would like to empower more fantastic African universities to participate in the Willem C. Vis Moot Court.
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