International oil and mining companies are watching closely as Tanzania President John Magufuli tabled an Arbitration Act before Parliament to replace the existing 1931 statute.

The move could be seen in some quarters as an attempt to indigenise business practices and further erode contract sanctity in the East African nation, which has large offshore gas resources.

The 2020 Arbitration Bill looks set to impose an obligation on all companies to conduct arbitral proceedings in-country, even though the provisional wording of the Bill appears to permit the choice of an overseas jurisdiction, as is the normal practice for contracts entered into under private international law.