All spectrums of our society continue to face conflicts, disagreements and lack of common ground. All across Africa, there is an increase in the incidence of electoral conflicts, community disagreements, commercial and organizational disputes. We continue to rely on a judiciary badly in need of reform. This remains a challenge not only for the best and brightest minds but Africa as a whole. However, the imperative to build vibrant coalitions and harmonious adjustments through the use of negotiation and consensus building as pathways to effective conflict management systems in governance hold the promise for peace and access to justice in Africa and the global community.
These systems and mechanisms are not new to Africa. They are simply a repackaging of conflict resolution methodologies that Africa’s ancestors have used successfully since the beginning of time. For the past 20 years, NCMG International has been at the forefront of peace building and access to justice in Africa through judicial reform, cultural orientation and sustained proliferation of ADR practices.
Access to justice in a modern civil justice system should offer a variety of approaches and options to dispute resolution. Citizens should be empowered to find satisfactory solution to their problem which includes a wider menu of choices. The concept of such a menu of choices emphasizes the importance of taking into account the preferences of those in dispute and increasing avenues for access to justice.
Today, the institutionalization of ADR mechanisms in the judicial systems of many African countries is a direct result of the pioneering work of NCMG International. In June 2002, through a multi-stakeholder engagement which includes local communities, the judiciary and corporate organizations, we established The Lagos Multi Door Courthouse; in Lagos, Nigeria (the first court connected ADR Centre in Africa). In November 2003, it was replicated by the judiciary of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In 2006, The Kano Multi-Door Courthouse followed.
In 2oo8, in recognition of its competence, NCMG International executed an 18 month World Bank sponsored “Expanding ADR Institutions & Mechanisms in Nigeria. This culminated in the establishment of Multi Door Courthouses in Aba and Kaduna states in Nigeria. In 2011, in collaboration with the University of Lagos, we established the “Unilag – NCMG College of Negotiation” which offers post graduate programs and diplomas, modeled after the Harvard Program on Negotiation and Pepperdine University’s Strauss Institute of Dispute Resolution. In 2015, we attained the most profound justice sector reform by ensuring the establishment of the Supreme Court Mediation Centre.
With clarity of purpose and dogged commitment from our forefathers of yesterday to us who are the current holders of the key to a future cultivated within the soil of boundless possibilities, NCMG International is ready and fully engaged as we welcome a new era of access to justice and peaceful coexistence in Africa.