Abstract: The trend towards harmonization of contract law is increasingly developing, but orientations may be very different, due not only to the respective contexts, but also to the nature of objectives pursued. The present essay describes and compares three recent harmonization projects, two in the African context of the Organisation pour l’harmonisation en Afrique du droit des affaires (OHADA), the third one initiated by the Organisation pour l’harmonisation du droit des affaires dans la Caraïbe (OHADAC). The first African project, as requested by the Council of Ministers of OHADA, took strong inspiration from the UNIDROIT Principles, as the intention was to elaborate a modern instrument apt to attract investors. This project, however, has not been adopted, in particular because of a marked reluctance to depart from the French legal tradition, which is prevailing in most (but not all) member States. An alternative project, based on a private initiative, is in the process of being elaborated, with the view to remain within the dominant legal tradition and to avoid disorienting practitioners. As to the project that has just been prepared in the framework of OHADAC, it takes much inspiration from existing uniform law instruments, including the UNIDROIT Principles. At the same time, it is mainly concerned not to retain rules which could appear to be unacceptable in certain parts of a region where the legal systems are very diverse.
European Review of Private Law