The Democratic Republic of Congo finalized at the end of June
2012 its instruments of adhesion to the Organization for the
Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) in Senegal,
depository state of the OHADA Treaty. The filing should occur in
the next few days. . The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will
have a period of 60 days to apply the OHADA Uniform Acts in the
whole of its territory, meaning that they should become applicable
in the DRC in September 2012.
The announcement of the adhesion was made by DRC Prime Minister
Matata Ponyo Mapon, who declared that it would contribute to the
improvement of the business climate in the DRC and give more
security to the private sector, which is seen as the engine for
development. Minister of Justice and Human Rights Mumba Matipa
declared that the DRC was ready to apply the OHADA acts, recalling
that preparations had been underway for some time, notably
experts' reports on conformity and the training of
magistrates and other members of the justice system, under a
government road map strongly supported by the private sector and
OHADA is a system of business laws and implementing institutions
adopted by international treaty in 1993 by 16 West and Central
African countries . The treaty is open to all African countries,
whether or not they are members of the Organization of African
Unity. The purpose of OHADA is to facilitate and encourage both
domestic and foreign investment in the member countries. The
uniform acts promulgated by OHADA are exclusively business-related
and it has created a supranational court to ensure uniformity and
consistent legal interpretations across the member countries.
The DRC's adhesion to OHADA will render nine "Uniform
Acts" regulating some aspects of business law (inter
alia commercial law, company law, securities interests,
accounting) "directly applicable and binding" in the DRC.
As a last resort, disputes concerning the application or the
interpretation of the Uniform Acts will be submitted to the Common
Court of Justice and Arbitration in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), thus
providing an appeal level in last resort with this Court instead of
DRC's supreme court. Concerning mines, Article 3 of the
Uniform Act relating to general commercial law includes the
exploitation of mines as a commercial act, thus rendering
commercial courts competent for commercial disputes relating to
Analysts believe that the adhesion of the DRC will open the way
for adhesion by neighboring countries such as Angola and countries
in the Great Lakes Region.
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