Organization for Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) - World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
A. General Background
The Organization for Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, known as “OHADA” (hereinafter the “Organization”) was created by the Treaty signed in Port Louis (Mauritius) on 17 October 1993, as amended in Quebec (Canada) on 17 October 2008 (hereinafter the “OHADA Treaty” or the “Treaty”). The purpose of the Treaty is to promote the development of the seventeen African contracting states by introducing a set of simple, modern and tailor-made business law rules, in order to stimulate and secure investments in the OHADA territory, both on legal and judiciary levels. In this regard, the Treaty provides for the adoption of common rules, the development of common and appropriate court proceedings and the promotion of arbitration as an efficient means of dispute resolution for contractual disputes.
The Organization, in its capacity as a separate legal entity from the contracting states, is composed of the following institutions: i) The Conference of the Heads of States and Governments of the contracting parties, dealing with the OHADA issues raised in relation to the OHADA Treaty that the Council of Ministers has deemed that they do not fall within its jurisdiction; ii) The Council of Ministers, composed of the Ministers of Justice and the Ministers of Finances of the contracting states, being the legislative body of the Organization that adopts the common rules, also known as “Uniform Acts”; iii) The Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (hereinafter the “CCJA” or the “Court”), a supra-national state court, based in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), ensuring the common interpretation and application of the OHADA Uniform Acts and common rules; it is noteworthy that, under the Arbitration Rules of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration, the Court also administers arbitral proceedings, as an institutional centre; iv) The Regional High Judiciary School based in Porto-Novo (Benin), dealing with the training of the judges and other lawyers from the contracting states, on business law area; and v) The Permanent Secretary, based in the OHADA Headquarters, in Yaounde (Cameroon) who is in charge of the administration of the Organization.