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AYA is an association of young arbitration practitioners in Africa, under the age of 40, founded by Abayomi Okubote, who was inspired after his UK secondment by ILFA in 2015, and started with other young practitioners sharing a passion for arbitration. AYA is open to young practitioners having professional links to Africa and organizes events and programs to develop young arbitrators and to give them a face within the arbitration space.

The idea of the association stemmed from the realisation that arbitration in Africa is perceived as a “closed shop” specially made and open to senior practitioners, thus difficult for young practitioners to fully benefit from them. AYA brings a new dimension to the arbitration community and showcases young talents in Africa. It provides an avenue for senior practitioners to mentor the younger generation, networking opportunities with leading international practitioners, and steady progress along the learning curve.

AYA is duly registered as a not-for-profit association under the laws of Nigeria.


To provide a platform for the young members of the arbitration community in Africa to meet, exchange ideas and learn from peers and more experienced arbitrators/arbitration practitioners;

To provide a special opportunity to network, develop their knowledge and skills, develop mentorships, stay informed about developments in arbitration and get nominated for arbitrations;

To organize events, training seminars, and networking programs for young arbitrators in Africa;

To facilitate secondment/exchange programs for young arbitrators in international arbitration institutions and law firms in Africa and United Kingdom;

To encourage members to write articles for distribution amongst local and international law firms.