1. Background and Rationale
Economic activity needs visibility, readability and credibility. These qualities provide the economic actor with a framework conducive to the development of sustainable partnerships and the appropriate growth of its results. Indeed, the company’s identity and organization are of significant contribution to its expansion. They contribute to the legal security of business relationships and strengthen the confidence of partners, particularly in the financing of economic activities. From an internal point of view, the organization of the company has a significant influence on the direction of actions, the choice of methods and the predictability of results; the organization is a decision making support. 
In addition to their microeconomic scope, socio-economic data make it possible to define public policies that are coherent and adapted to the context. The latter are effective when they are defined according to the real context, actual needs and available means of implementation. They are based on planning and therefore on the close relationship between socio-economic objectives and the means of achieving them. Health, education, employment, infrastructure, the fight against inequalities and the environment are generally among the main areas raised in the countries and to be addressed as a priority.

On the economic level, data are expected from actors in the various sectors of activity. Several means are used to make them available. Among them it can be mentioned the companies’ registration, which is one of the objectives of OHADA Member States. Indeed, the OHADA Treaty, adopted in Port-Louis (Mauritius) on October 17TH, 1993 and revised in Quebec City on October 17TH, 2008, undertook to promote the establishment of an economic space with legal and judicial security to attract foreign investment and consolidate domestic investment. To this end, the various texts adopted in its implementation have given significant value to the company’s structure. The nomenclature of company structures (sole proprietorships and companies) is extended and the internal organization methods are specified, in particular through an efficient accounting system. 
However, twenty-five (25) years after the establishment of OHADA, the economic link of the Member States is still characterised by the predominance of the informal economy compare to the slowness of the type of “formal companies” expansion. Donors, especially the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have committed to support the informal economy and integrate its activities into the development strategies of the African continent. As for OHADA, it has not remained on the fringes of this dynamic. The enactment of the entrepreneur’s status, the simplified joint stock company, the cooperative company’s status, the simplification of Limited Liability Company’s status, the simplification of company accounting and the enactment of simplified collective procedures are perfect examples of this. Actors in the informal economy therefore benefit from a number of legal means adapted to their activities. OHADA has gone even further by recommending that Member States to take tax and social incentive measures for the status of the entrepreneur.

The lack of legal, economic and social efficiency of the various means implemented for the enterprises’ registration requires that we question the relevance of the approach chosen to consider the informal economy. It is within the framework of this reflection at the service of the economic development of OHADA Member States that ERSUMA is organizing an international colloquium on the theme: “The informal economy in the OHADA space: economic, legal, political and socio-anthropological approaches” at its headquarters in Porto-Novo (Republic of Benin), from May 27TH to 29TH, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of its twenty (20) years of activity.

2. Purpose of the colloquium
The general objective of this colloquium is to pool the legal, economic, political and socio-anthropological approaches to the informal economy in order to assess it and its legal framework, to bring these approaches together and to think about possible solutions for a legal system conducive to the enterprises’ registration, which will ensure the economic development of States.

Specifically, the colloquium aims at: 
(a) Analyzing the informal economy;
(b) Assessing the scale of the informal economy;
(c) Identifying the political, legal, social, microeconomic and macroeconomic issues of the informal economy; 
(d) Analyzing programmes aimed at poverty reduction: capacity building for microenterprises (access to training, loan and various private sector support services) 
(e) Evaluating the legislative and regulatory framework for the companies’ registration;
(f) Exploring effective mechanisms to make the business registration system effective;
(g) Suggesting avenues for reflection on the development of appropriate regulations conducive to the companies’ registration;

3. Profile of Contributors
This call for papers is open to all economists, lawyers, political scientists, politicians, sociologists and socio-anthropologists, from Africa or elsewhere. Proposals may be made by people outside the scholars’ community but they also need to comply with the requirements. Proposals from young researchers are strongly encouraged. Only papers related to the theme of the conference will be considered. This call is a complement to the other targeted contributions.

4. Format of Papers

  • Contributions must be a maximum of 10 to 25 pages in length and must comply with the following requirements:
  • Contain the full identification of the author(s): surname, first names, title;
  • Be attached with the curriculum vitae of the author(s);
  • Be written in one of the OHADA working languages, namely French, English, Portuguese and Spanish;
  • Be preceded by a mandatory abstract of no more than 300 words in one of the official languages of OHADA, the language in which the submission was written;
  • Be sent with an optional abstract of no more than 300 words in the other official languages of OHADA.
  • Observe the following rules of formatting:

File format: word editable version (.doc or.docx file)
Title of the article: in lowercase, bold and unframed;
Main text : Cambria font, Size 12, single-spaced;
Subtitles of main text: in lowercase;
Footnotes: Cambria font, Size 10, single line spacing appearing on each page of the submission and not at the end of the entire text;

  • Any contributor by submitting an article for possible publication declares that:

His work is original, authentic and has not been published;
All the information contained therein has been scientifically verified by himself.

  • Anyone wishing to contribute in the colloquium must send to the Colloquium Secretariat the title of their paper with a 300 words abstract no later than Friday, January 25th, 2019.
  • As for the actual papers, they must be sent to the Colloquium Secretariat no later than Friday, March 29th, 2019.
  • After assessment made by the Scientific Committee of the colloquium and notifications duly sent, the selected contributions must be sent in final version to the ERSUMA Colloquium Secretariat no later than Tuesday, April 30th, 2019.

The conference proceedings will be published by ERSUMA Publishing in December 2019.

E-mail address of the Colloquium Secretariat:

5. Profile of Participants
This colloquium is intended for academics, economists, lawyers, sociologists, anthropologists, socio-anthropologists, politicians, executives and public officials (public authorities), economic operators, investors, company managers and assimilated, traders, bankers, corporate lawyers, magistrates, lawyers, bailiffs, solicitors, PhD students, students and any other interested person.

For more information, please contact us:

Ouando, Cinquantenaire Roundabout – Pobe Highway
02 P.O.BOX: 353 Porto-Novo, Republic of Benin
Phone: +229 20 24 24 58 04 – 97 97 05 37 – 95 40 31 90

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