ORGANIZATION FOR THE HARMONIZATION
OF BUSINESS LAW IN AFRICA
Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon RCA Comores Congo Ivory Coast Niger Senegal Guinée Conakry Equatorial Guinee Mali Gabon Guinée Bissau Democratic Republic of Congo Chad Togo

History of OHADA

The Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (abbreviated as OHADA) is an intergovernmental organization for legal integration. It was established by the Treaty of 17 October 1993 signed in Port Louis (Mauritius), as revised on 17 October 2008 in Quebec (Canada). To date, this organization brings together 17 African countries and remains open to any member state of the African Union, or any State which, though not a member of the AU, is invited to join by common consent of the OHADA Member States.

OHADA was created in a context of acute economic crisis and a drastic fall of investment level in Africa. Legal and judicial insecurity were identified as a major cause of investor distrust. The obsolescence, disparity and inaccessibility of rules governing economic operations led to legal insecurity materialized by the difficulty to determine the applicable rule in a given operation. The situation was compounded by the poor state of courts, the inadequate judicial personnel, and the lack of stakeholders training in business law, judicial delays and problems of professional ethics. To remedy the situation, OHADA was tasked with streamlining the legal environment of companies in order to guarantee the legal and judicial security of economic activities, with a view to stimulating investment and creating a new development pole in Africa.

To achieve this, OHADA:

  • produces a simple, up-to-date, harmonized and suitable business laws for its Member States, in order to facilitate business activities. The law is contained in Uniform Acts which, once adopted, apply equally in all Member States. Ten Uniform Acts have been adopted so far;
  • ensures that the harmonized law is applied with due diligence, under conditions that guarantee the legal security of economic activities. This objective is achieved by securing the legal settlement of business litigations and by promoting alternative methods of dispute resolution.

 


Timeline of ratification and entry into force of the OHADA Treaty in Member States

No.

Member State

Ratification/Accession

Deposit of ratification instruments

Entry into force

1

Guinea Bissau

January 15, 1994                

December 26, 1995

February 20, 1996

2

Senegal   

June 14, 1994

June 14, 1994

September 18, 1995

3

Central Afr.Rep. 

January 13, 1995

January 13, 1995

September 18, 1995

4

Mali

February 7, 1995

March 23, 1995

September 18, 1995

5

Comoros

February 20, 1995

April 10, 1995

September 18, 1995

6

Burkina Faso

March 6, 1995

April 16, 1995

September 18, 1995

7

Benin

March 8, 1995

March 10, 1995

September 18, 1995

8

Niger

June 5, 1995

July 18, 1995

September 18, 1995

9

Ivory Coast

September 29, 1995

December 13, 1995

February 11, 1996

10

Cameroon

October 20, 1995

October 4, 1996 

December 3, 1996

11

Togo

October 27, 1995

November 20, 1995

January 19, 1996

12

Chad

April 13, 1996

May 3, 1996

July 2, 1996

13

Congo

May 28, 1997

May 18, 1999

July 17, 1999

14

Gabon

February 2, 1998

February 4, 1998

April 5, 1998

15

Equatorial Guinea

April 16, 1999

June 15,1999

August 13, 1999

16

Guinea

May 5, 2000

September 22, 2000

November 21, 2000

17

DRC 

 

July 13, 2012 

 September 12, 2012

 

Timeline of adoption of OHADA Uniform Acts by the Council of Ministers of Justice and Finance

Uniform Act

Date of Adoption

Publication

Update

Rules of Procedure of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration                           

April 18, 1996

November 1st, 1997

January 30, 2014

General commercial law                                                  

April 17, 1997

October 1st, 1997

December 15, 2010

Commercial companies and economic interest groups                                                              

April 17, 1997

October 1st, 1997

January 30, 2014

Law of securities                                                             

April 17, 1997

July 1st, 1998

December 15, 2010

Simplified recovery procedures and measures of execution                                                           

April 10, 1998

June 1st, 1998

 

Insolvency law   

April 10, 1998

July 1st, 1998

September 10, 2015

Arbitration law                                                                                   

March 11, 1999

May 15, 1999

November 23, 2017

CCJA Rules of arbitration

March 11, 1999

May 15, 1999

November 23, 2017

Accounting Law                        

  March 23, 2000                                  

November 20, 2000

January 26, 2017

Contracts for the carriage of goods by road

March 22, 2003

July 31st, 2003

 

Cooperatives

December 15, 2010

February 15, 2011

 

Mediation Law

November 23, 2017

December 15, 2017

 

           

 

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