On behalf of the Branch Committee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya Branch, it is my pleasure to welcome you the 33rd Annual General Meeting where we gather together to review the performance of the Branch during the past year of its operation.
The year 2016 continued to be an active, eventful year as the Institute took to oversee the strategies to re-position the Branch as a centre of choice in matters of alternative dispute resolution. I also extend my utmost gratitude to the Branch Committee and Subcommittee members for their support during this past year and the excellent input each and every one of them have contributed to the Branch.
Fellow members, allow me to report that the Branch has posted better performance compared to the year 2015.
I now wish to turn to the details on the Branch Report.
The performance of the Branch has received contribution and support of the Branch Committee and the Subcommittees, namely:
a) The Executive Subcommittee
b) The Education and Membership Subcommittee
c) The Legal Subcommitttee
d) The Marketing Subcommittee
I wish to commend their participation and contributions towards the Branch and in giving me the support during my leadership at the Branch this past year. The Branch report on attendance of the Branch Committee Members is attached.
ACTIVITIES OF THE BRANCH IN 2016
a) Financial Performance
The total income for the year 2016 increased by 4.11% to Kshs. 33,923,664 compared to Kshs. 32,585,688 recorded in the year 2015.
Operating surplus before tax improved significantly by 666.28% from a deficit of Kshs. 816,562 in 2015 to a surplus of Kshs. 4,624,055 in 2016.
The final net surplus after tax has also improved from a deficit of Kshs. 1,748,194 in 2015 to a surplus of Kshs. 3,869,817 in 2016, representing an increase by 222%.
b) Membership Growth
During the year 2016, the membership grew as follows: Associates 87, Members we had 3 (through the ARM Course) and 46 (who upgraded to member level), and Fellows we had 1(Application by forienger to Fellow) and 3 ( who upgraded to Fellow level). Our membership as at 31st December 2016 was 784. Fellow members, our drive to increase our membership has continued to bear fruit. Between January 2017 and todate our numbers have soared to 817.
My call is to request members to take up the advanced Modules to enable us grow our institute by way of capacity and diversity.
c) ADR Course Trainings
The Education and Membership Subcommittee continues to provide support and guidance on education and ensure that the Branch administers all level Courses as expected by the London Headquarters.
Our Courses have attracted more interest from various professionals who are now enrolling for Entry Level Course. The Introduction to Adjudication course was held once yearly. In the 2016 we had the largest ever attendance of 38 members. This this year the Branch proposes to run 2 sessions of the Adjuducation programme.
Also, early in the year, the Branch facilitated a successful Arbitration workshop for the Judges of the COMESA Court of Justice in Khartoum, led by our former Chairman, Dr. Kariuki Muigua.
d) Mentorship Programme
We are currently streamlining the Mentorship Programme to expose members to the process of arbitration before being appointed as arbitrators. It is expected that, the Mentor will provide a report to the Institute after the Programme is complete. For the first time we have commenced a Pupilage Programme for Univeristies and currently we have admitted an intern at our secretariat from Strathmore University.
e) Dispute Resolution Services
In the year 2016, the Branch received 97 requests for appointment of ADR Practitioners.
This being one of the core mandates of the Branch, we are experiencing increasing interest from Institutions seeking appointment of arbitrators and list of ADR Professionals.
We are also in the process of building our records on the Disute resolution services that are being offered at the Branch to inform of the growth progress on ADR based of the number of disputes received annually and highlights on the nature of the disputes as received at the Branch. Some of you may already have been contacted by the institute to give details of past or current arbitration proceedings.
I wish to call on all members from the different professions to take keen interest and focus to increase the number of practicing arbitrators who will serve well in disputes of technical expertise. This will enrich to the entire process of ADR and add value to the process of arbitration and quality award.
f) Collaborations and Partnerships
We have engaged in enhancing partnership to provide visibility f the Branch and promote ADR. Some of the key highlights on this include:
1) Consultative Engagements- Architectural Association of Kenya- The outcome of the meeting agreed to consider capacity building and areas of mutual interest on the set criteria/ template for internal administration purpose that would guide the appointment of Arbitrators.
2) Consultative Engagements- Department of Labour, Ministry of East Africa Community, Labour and Social Protection - The outcome of the meeting, agreed on the need to progress and constitute the Mediation and Conciliation Commission to set a platform to facilitate labour disputes on behalf of government.
3) Consultative Engagements- Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya and the Ministry of Public Works
4) The outcome of the meeting discussed on opportunity for capacity building and mutual areas of interest in particular arbitration.
5) With ADR gaining recognition in the country, the Branch as well participated in a survey by the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) aimed at studying the cost of litigation against arbitration. The Branch is actively participating to ensure its contribution towards the process.
g) Stakeholder Engagement
The Branch participated at the Legal awareness week organized by the Law Society of Kenya to sensitize the public on ADR.
The Branch also participated at the Inaugural Conference of the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration.
Regionally, the Branch participated at the East Africa Arbitration Conference.
Just recently, the Branch Committee noted that the Chairman at the Second Parliamentary Legislative Summit held from 20th to 23rd March 2017 represented the Branch and I made a presentation on Arbitration.
h) Mobilization of Resources and Investment
The Branch continued to mobilize resources towards the realisation of the purchase of Office Premises.
The registration of the Special Purpose Vehicle is in progress and once complete, the Branch will commence the assignment to identify and purchase the premises.
The Kasanga Mulwa property development remains the other project of the Branch to identify resource mobilization and initiation process for the project.
I urge members to continue to contribute towards the Roll of Honour Board to realise the above-mentioned initiatives.
TARGETS FOR THE YEAR 2017
The Branch targets a continued growth, in membership, visibility to the public and stakeholder engagement to promote ADR.
THE STRATEGIC PLAN 2013-2017
With the Branch’s Strategic Plan coming to an end in April 2017, we have embacked on developing a new plan (2017- 2021) that will set targets, put in place policies and structures to drive its implementation for the next five years. Presently a Consultant is on board and I urge you to partner with the Branch by giving us your suggestions and proposals for consideration by the Consultant.
As I conclude, on behalf of Branch Committee I am truly indebted to every member of the Branch and everyone who has taken initiative out there to support ADR and the growth of this noble institution. Your Branch is looking forward to working together to support the ADR Profession in 2017.
Thank you & God Bless!
MR. JAMES MURUTHI KIHARA, FCIArb.