n Acta Juridica - Promises of future performance and informal-sector transfers of personal property : the example of Anglophone Cameroon

Volume 2011, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



The informal sector in Cameroon's anglophone regions reveals that business does function there, and that property is sold in commercial transactions, but that most transactions are simultaneous exchanges. Sophisticated formal business laws designed to facilitate the exchange of promises of future performance, even between strangers, do technically apply to these transactions. These formal laws, however, are not implemented deep in the informal sector and, consequently, fail to support informal-sector actors who seek the market-enhancing and capital-forming benefits of such promises. While further simplification of substantive contract law can make it easier to apply in the informal sector, enforcement remains a major obstacle to that law's effectiveness. Only when contract law is enforced in an inexpensive and reliable manner will informal-sector entrepreneurs be prepared to accept offers of future performance, thus significantly increasing the range of possible commercial transactions. In Cameroon's anglophone regions, one possible method of streamlining enforcement is through enhanced customary courts.

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