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<xTITLE>Luanda Believes in Mediation as a Valid Dispute Resolution Approach</xTITLE>

Luanda Believes in Mediation as a Valid Dispute Resolution Approach

by Ana Gonçalves
December 2013 Ana Gonçalves
Between the 25th and the 29th of November of 2013, the CAAL, an Angolan arbitration dispute center based in Luanda, and Convirgente, with the support of the Angolan Bar Association and the Qualifying Assessment Program for Portuguese speaking countries represented by ICFML (Instituto de Certificação e Formação de Mediadores Lusófonos), organized a course on Mediation, in Luanda, Angola. The training purpose was to give participants the necessary skills to act as mediators in several types of disputes. The course, that put the emphasis on practical training and observation of cases-studies, gave the participants the possibility to qualify for being certified mediators of the ICFML, the QAP of the International Mediation Institute in Portuguese speaking countries along with the knowledge and capacity to solve different kinds of professional and personal disputes.

The facilitators of this first course were Nuno Albuquerque, the founding partner of N-Advogados – Lawyers firm headquartered in Portugal and with offices in Angola, Brazil, Mozambique and France, a Portuguese-Angolan lawyer with great experience in national and international disputes resolution and Ana Maria Maia Gonçalves, an IMI certified mediator, trainer and lawyer, currently based in the United States, a highly experienced mediator and expert in mediation matters for several European institutions. The course targets judges, lawyers, jurists, notaries and business leaders who intend to develop a practical capacity in addition to negotiation, and all other professionals who intend to acquire a Mediator certification.

The course was a great success, with 20 participants who were unanimous to declare that they had developed new abilities in communication, negotiation, facilitation and observation of different behaviors during conflicts’ resolution. Mediation is an extrajudicial alternative dispute resolution process, private and voluntary, in which the responsibility of the construction of the decisions is up to the parties involved in the dispute. It is a process where parties have achieved on average more than 70% of success rate in the past 20 years in countries like the USA, England and Australia, with great additional benefits, such as celerity, confidentiality, lower costs and autonomy in the definition of the right solution.

CAAL is an institutionalized arbitration center, with power to solve disputes through mediation, conciliation or arbitration techniques and procedures relating to a whole interests set worthy of Law protection, including civil, corporate and administrative litigation.

According to the nature of the dispute, CAAL will select the most specialized arbitrators or mediators to resolve the case. Those neutrals are specialized professionals in their areas, ensuring a fast but fair resolution in total confidentiality, with low costs to the parties and enforceable settlements. The parties can select the arbitrators or mediators that they think will be the most suited to their case and who are fluent in Portuguese and/or English.

The ICFML is a non-profit organization that work with individuals and organizations who believe in mediation as a tool for promoting peace in society. Its mission is to promote the collaboration and peace through the development and professionalization of mediation in Portuguese speaking countries. ICFML develop and implement Qualifying Assessment Programs IN PORTUGUESE for IMI (International Mediation Institute – certification of international mediators and is the only Portuguese Portuguese organization approved by the IMI to do so. Partnering with Local entities, Governmental entities and similar organizations, companies, foundations and NGOs, chambers of commerce, schools and universities, training organizations and mediation centers, actors in the legal world, or just with individuals, ICFML is committed to bring excellence in the professionalization of mediation.


Ana has experience as a lawyer, teacher, mediator and organizational developer. She combines 20 years of experience with an exceptional triple curriculum, as a former IT industry executive, an ADR neutral and trainer, but also as an executive coach (she has 800 hours of coaching and is at the PCC level in the ICF accreditation).

She is a founder of Convirgente, the first Appropriate Dispute Resolution Consulting Company in Portugal and the President of the ICFML – Instituto de Certificação e Formação de Mediadores Lusófonos, a non-profit organization competent for the certification of Portuguese speaking mediators applying for the IMI accreditation and a member of the Portuguese FMC - Federação Nacional de Mediação de Conflitos.

Ana is a graduate from UAL Lisbon and has a Master of Law (2008). She followed Mediation Courses in several institutions in UK, France, Portugal, USA, and Australia. Ana is an Accredited Mediator for ADR group, panelist of CPR, she is listed as an internationally recognized commercial mediator in the Who's Who Legal since 2011 and is part of the Portuguese mediators list of “Julgados de Paz”. Ana is also an ADR trainer in several Universities and with the European Academy of Law (ERA).

Being very active across frontiers and cultures, she has focused her practice in the last years on the impact of online technology on the skills of ADR neutrals and has delivered lectures on that topic in several conferences. What struck most of people that know Ana is her intercultural prowess: she has lived, worked and traveled in many countries, and she recognizes and adapts easily to a wide range of different demands and settings. She is a lawyer and mediator (like so many) but her senior management experience at Microsoft has equipped her with a ready understanding of the nature of cross-border business and its complexities in a globalized business environment. Ana is an ideas person, but her deep roots in business and also in the law give her the unique ability to put those ideas in ways that resonate with business, while assisting business people to think beyond the usual boundaries of problem-solving.

Ana also works inside the organizations world, delivering collaboration management training to several large and medium Global organizations and assisting Senior Executives and Lawyers in developing their conflict management and negotiation skills, both in person and online. Ana has an active role in helping Asian subsidiaries of Global organizations integrating mediation techniques in their leadership framework model and in promoting internal ADR as a tool to multicultural conflict resolution.

Ana is trilingual, another great asset in the English-, Portuguese- and French-speaking worlds. The best way to summarize Ana’s character is to say she is passionate, intuitive, generous and obstinate. She actually lives in Kuala Lumpur with her husband and has 2 children, Marie, 31, who lives in Sydney and Thomas, 14, who lives with his parents.

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