Journal of African Law

Research Article

The Harmonization of Business Law in Africa: Is Article 42 of the OHADA Treaty a Problem?

Nelson Enonchonga1

a1 Barber Professor of Law, University of Birmingham.

Abstract

The primary function of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) is to modernize and harmonize the business laws of member states. The wider objective of OHADA is to attract foreign investment into the OHADA zone and to achieve economic integration in Africa as whole, as other African countries join OHADA. However, article 42 of the treaty establishing OHADA stipulates that French is the working language of the organization. This paper argues that this provision does not facilitate the goal of economic integration in Africa and that in one member state, Cameroon, article 42 presents serious constitutional and human rights difficulties. The paper suggests that article 42 should be amended in order to make it easier for key OHADA objectives to be attained and in order to remove the serious problems created in Cameroon.