OHADA in a nutshell


At the regional level
  • The Conference of Heads of State and Government: It is a political body that meets when necessary to give general guidelines and impetus needed for the harmonization of business law in Africa.
  • The Council of Ministers: it comprises, for each Member State, the Minister in charge of Justice and that of Finance. This is the deliberative body of the Organization. It defines specific guidelines and program of activities, allocates the budget and supervises  the functioning of institutions. It also performs normative functions of adopting  Uniform Acts, Regulations or Decisions within the scope of its powers as provided in the OHADA Treaty. Uniform Acts adopted by the Council of Ministers are directly applicable in Member States and supersede any domestic law which is contrary or identical.
  • The Permanent Secretariat is the executive body of OHADA. Its headquarters are located in YaoundĂ© (Cameroon). It ensures the overall coordination of the functioning of institutions and the harmonization process. To this end, it prepares draft Uniform Acts, Regulations and Decisions, coordinates and organizes the sessions of Council of Ministers, and assists its President. The Permanent Secretary also represents the Organization in its interactions  with third parties.
  • The Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA): it is the common and supranational judicial body headquartered in Abidjan (CĂ´te d’Ivoire). Composed of thirteen judges, it is the only jurisdiction that has the competence to review, in last resort, all decisions rendered by courts within Member States on matters relating to OHADA law. On arbitration, it intervenes within its administrative functions and gives Opinions on the interpretation and uniform application of the Treaty, Uniform Acts, Regulations and Decisions. The Higher Regional School of Magistracy (ERSUMA) based in Porto Novo (Benin): it is a center for training, capacity-building, research and documentation on OHADA business law. ERSUMA relies on specialists in Member States to carry out its activities. It provides trainings at its headquarters, in other Member States or remotely via videoconference. The target for training includes all legal professionals (judges, lawyers, bailiffs, corporate lawyers, accountants etc.).
In each of the Member States OHADA National Committees: They  are the focal points of OHADA in each Member State. They are both a consultation forum and the backbone as far as the preparation and promotion of OHADA law is concerned. Because of their diversity, as they sometimes include the public sector and the private sector, OHADA National Committees take part in the preparation of Uniform Acts at national level and monitor their implementation as well.