Such rich diversity, which spans the African continent, has certainly impacted its legal
culture, especially the dispute resolution culture. However, owing to the numerous economic and technological challenges experienced by Africa, the incorporation of ICT in
dispute resolution schemes has not yet been fully utilized. In fact, ICT implementation in
traditional dispute resolution schemes as well as the creation of new forms of technology
based processes is still at its inception in the overwhelming majority of States. To the
exclusion of South Africa, Egypt, and Tunisia, which often receive the highest African
rankings in the Network Readiness Index (NRI) developed by the World Economic Forum,
African states are grappling to build their ICT infrastructure and bridging the digital
divide. However, itis worth noting that Africa now holds ten places in the top 100 states on the NRI, where the Gambia ranks the 76th, Senegal ranks the 80th, Kenya ranks 81st, Namibia ranks 82nd, Morroco ranks 83rd, Botswana ranks 91st, and Ghana ranks 99th.
Owing to the fact that ODR essentially involves utilizing ICT applications to, directly or indirectly, resolve disputes, it is a prerequisite for ODR to have an efficient techno-legal framework that can support ODR modalities.
Information technology, the Internet, wide area networking techniques, and broadband connections have made it possible for anyone to transmit significant amounts of information across the globe instantaneously, which improves the conditions of the global economy, accelerates the growth of e-commerce, and creates a positive milieu for the development of ODR. Thus, it seems in order to shed light on the ICT status quo in Africa to enable readers to comprehend the challenges to ODR implementation in Africa.
That said, this chapter, which aims at analyzing the use of ODR in Africa, shall first provide a succinct analysis of ICT in African countries, as ICT applications constitute the foundational basis and readiness for the use of ODR in Africa.
Subsequently, reference shall be made to the legal and regulatory matrix of laws and regulations adopted in the techno-leading African countries, as such matrix is indispensable for boosting trust and e-confidence in ODR schemes.
Thereafter, a special note of domain names disputes seems in order as such sector specific disputes are already paving the way for the proper implementation of ODR in Africa. Finally, the chapter shall conclude by providing a pathway for the future of ODR in Africa including specific references to the most appropriate and appealing sectors for ODR services.