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 (OHADA) was established by the Treaty on the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa signed on  October 17, 1993 in Port - Louis (Mauritius Ireland) and revised in Quebec (Canada) on October 17, 2008.

The Treaty is open for accession by any Member State of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as well as  any other State not member of the OAU which is invited to accede, upon unanimous agreement of all Member States.

The OHADA’s area of coverage therefore goes beyond the borders of the franc zone. The first three Uniform Acts were adopted on  April 17, 1997 by the Council of Ministers:

  • The Uniform Act relating to general commercial law;
  • The Uniform Act relating to commercial companies and economic interest groups; and
  • The Uniform Act Organizing Securities.
  • These Uniform Acts came into force in Member States on  January 1st, 1998.

The Council of Ministers, on April 10, 1998, adopted the following two Uniform Acts:

  • The Uniform Act organizing simplified recovery procedures and measures of execution, which came into force in accordance with Article 9 of the Treaty on the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa;
  • The Uniform Act on Insolvency, notwithstanding Article 9 of the Treaty, came into force  on  January 1st, 1999.

On March 11, 1999, the Council of Ministers adopted the Uniform Act relating to arbitration law, which came into force on  June 11th, 1999.

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       

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

Uniform Act Date of Adoption Publication
Rules of Procedure of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration                            April 18, 1996 November 1st, 1997
General commercial law                                                   April 17, 1997 October 1st, 1997
Law of commercial companies and economic interest groups                                                               April 17, 1997 October 1st, 1997
Law of securities                                                              April 17, 1997 July 1st, 1998
Simplified recovery procedures  and measures of execution                                                            April 10, 1998 June 1,1998
Insolvency law    April 10, 1998 July 1? 1998
Arbitration law                                                                                    March 11, 1999 May 15, 1999
Business Accounting                           March 23, 2000                                   November 20, 2000
Contracts for the carriage of goods by road March 22, 2003 --------


                                                                                  

 

 

Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon RCA Comores Congo Ivory Coast Niger Sénégal Guinée Conakry Equatorial Guinee Mali Gabon Guinée Bissau Democratic Republic of Congo Tchad Togo