CFP: The Informal Economy in OHADA Space: Economic, Legal …


Economic activity needs visibility, readability and credibility. These qualities provide the economic actor with a framework conducive to the development of sustainable partnerships and the appropriate growth of its results. Indeed, the company’s identity and organization are of significant contribution to its expansion. They contribute to the legal security of business relationships and strengthen the confidence of partners, particularly in the financing of economic activities. From an internal point of view, the organization of the company has a significant influence on the direction of actions, the choice of methods and the predictability of results; the organization is a decision making support. In addition to their microeconomic scope, socio-economic data make it possible to define public policies that are coherent and adapted to the context. The latter are effective when they are defined according to the real context, actual needs and available means of implementation. They are based on planning and therefore on the close relationship between socio-economic objectives and the means of achieving them. Health, education, employment, infrastructure, the fight against inequalities and the environment are generally among the main areas raised in the countries and to be addressed as a priority.

On the economic level, data are expected from actors in the various sectors of activity. Several means are used to make them available. Among them it can be mentioned the companies’ registration, which is one of the objectives of OHADA Member States. Indeed, the OHADA Treaty, adopted in Port-Louis (Mauritius) on October 17TH, 1993 and revised in Quebec City on October 17TH, 2008, undertook to promote the establishment of an economic space with legal and judicial security to attract foreign investment and consolidate domestic investment. To this end, the various texts adopted in its implementation have given significant value to the company’s structure. The nomenclature of company structures (sole proprietorships and companies) is extended and the internal organization methods are specified, in particular through an efficient accounting system. However, twenty-five (25) years after the establishment of OHADA, the economic link of the Member States is still characterised by the predominance of the informal economy compare to the slowness of the type of “formal companies” expansion. Donors, especially the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have committed to support the informal economy and integrate its activities into the development strategies of the African continent. As for OHADA, it has not remained on the fringes of this dynamic. The enactment of the entrepreneur’s status, the simplified joint stock company, the cooperative company’s status, the simplification of Limited Liability Company’s status, the simplification of company accounting and the enactment of simplified collective procedures are perfect examples of this. Actors in the informal economy therefore benefit from a number of legal means adapted to their activities. OHADA has gone even further by recommending that Member States to take tax and social incentive measures for the status of the entrepreneur.

The lack of legal, economic and social efficiency of the various means implemented for the enterprises’ registration requires that we question the relevance of the approach chosen to consider the informal economy. It is within the framework of this reflection at the service of the economic development of OHADA Member States that ERSUMA is organizing an international colloquium on the theme: “The informal economy in the OHADA space: economic, legal, political and socio-anthropological approaches” at its headquarters in Porto-Novo (Republic of Benin), from May 27TH to 29TH, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of its twenty (20) years of activity.



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