The OHADA corporate reform: major evolution of the corporate law regime within the Sub-Saharan Africa zone

With a global population expected to rise from 1 billion today to 1.5 billion by 2035, Africa’s economic potential is booming.

According to the World Bank, the global GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa reached $1.29 trillion in 2012, and the International Monetary Fund forecasts that its growth rate will reach 6 per cent in 2014. Francophone Africa and more particularly the OHADA zone, which covers 17 West and Central African jurisdictions, has the potential to attract increasing interest from investors.

Further to its adoption by the Council of Ministers of OHADA, the Reformed Uniform Act on Companies (“R-UAC”) has been published in the Official Gazette of OHADA on 4 February 2014 and will come into force on 5 May 2014.

The R-UAC is largely inspired by French corporate law and practice and will greatly enhance the reliability and flexibility of structuring investments within OHADA countries. It will be of particular interest for the structuring of joint ventures as well as private equity transactions and may be used in combination with the tools and mechanisms historically and generally used in the context of international transactions.

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