Chapter 14: Harmonisation of Business Law: The Experience of Africa
Jimmy Kodo* Introduction In order to create a better environment for business in their countries, 16 African Heads of State1 signed in Port Louis (Mauritius) on 17 October 1993 the Treaty relating to the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (referred to as OHADA). The aim of this treaty is the promotion of regional integration and economic growth; securing legal environment through the harmonisation of business law. Its specific objectives are a single, modern, flexible, and reliable business law, adapted to each country’s economy; arbitration as an appropriate and trustworthy way to settle disputes; an opportunity for training judges and judiciary staff and ensuring their specialisation. The treaty is open to any other country, whether member of the African Union or not. Some institutions have been created to help the new organisation run smoothly. The main institutions are the Permanent Secretary in Cameroon, the Regional School or training of lawyers and judges in Porto-Novo (Benin), and the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) which is the key institution. The CCJA is established in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Business law has a wide scope in the context of the OHADA. It covers commercial law, corporate companies, secured transactions, debt recovery and enforcement, bankruptcy, arbitration, accounting, contract for the carriage of goods by road; but also labour law, ‘and any other matter the Council * University of Hertfordshire, UK. The Treaty was signed originally by 14 states. On 31 December 2000, it was ratified by these 16 states, in the...
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