Building Better Business Laws in West and Central Africa

OHADA ("Organisation pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires" / "Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa") is an organization of 17 Central and West African countries that seeks to improve the business environment in the region by passing uniform laws applying to all businesses in member state. From 2006-2007, Locus founder and CEO Jean-Paul Gauthier led an International Finance Corporation (IFC) effort to help reform OHADA laws that were in need of updating.

The IFC project, known as the "OHADA Uniform Acts Reform Project" intends to improve seven regional laws, including the General Commercial Law, Secured Transactions Law, Company Law and Insolvency Law, Debt Recovery Law, Arbitration Law, and the Law on the Transport of Goods by Road. The project also supports automating OHADA registries for companies and secured transactions.

The project should make OHADA members more competitive and attractive investment destinations. OHADA member states include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.