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World Bank Group Supports DRC’s Efforts to Reform Laws, Join OHADA

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, February 12, 2010 – The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group is supporting efforts by the Democratic Republic of Congo to reform its business environment which includes joining OHADA, a 16-country initiative spanning West and Central Africa that seeks to create a common legal framework to facilitate private sector-led economic growth.
The World Bank Group supported the organization by the OHADA Secretariat and the DRC Ministry of Justice of a four-day workshop in Kinshasa from February 9-12 that brought together public and private sector delegates from 16 current member countries and the DRC to discuss the proposed changes to 2 OHADA laws, namely the law on secured transactions and the general commercial law. The modernization of the commercial registries was also part of the agenda.
OHADA, established in 1993, is the French acronym for ‘Organization pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires’, which translates into English as’ Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa’. The DRC’s goal is to complete the process of formally joining OHADA before the end of the first semester of 2010.
Adamou Labara, IFC Resident Representative in DRC, said, “The World Bank Group is actively supporting the DRC’s accession process to OHADA. The selection of Kinshasa to host this conference indicates that OHADA welcomes the DRC into the regional processes even before its accession process is fully complete. DRC’s eventual accession to OHADA will send a very positive message to the private sector, both domestically and abroad.”
Joseph Kabila, Democratic Republic of Congo President said: «The private sector initiative is limited, or even discouraged, by the investment climate. We need to change this situation urgently. I have decided that the improvement of the investment climate should be a priority objective, one of them on which our Government’s efficiency should be judged, our governmental majority cohesion should be assessed and our administration and legal system should be evaluated».
DRC has embarked on an ambitious reform process to modernize its legal framework. The World Bank Group is supporting DRC’s efforts to upgrade its laws and adopt transparent, modern, and simple administrative processes in order to improve the business environment and help attract domestic and foreign investment into the economy.
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by helping improve the business environment in African economies.
About the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group helps governments implement reforms to improve their business environment, and encourage and retain investment, thus fostering competitive markets, growth and job creation. Funding is provided by the World Bank Group (IFC, MIGA, and the World Bank) and over fifteen donor partners working through the multi-donor FIAS platform.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled US$14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .