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eSignature Legality Guide

eSignature Legality in Cameroon

Electronic Signature has been recognized by law in Cameroon since 2010, starting with the passage of the OHADA Uniform Act on General Commercial Law and subsequently by the Laws on Cyber Security and Cyber Criminality and the Law on Electronic Communication.

eSignature Legality Summary

Under Cameroonian law, a written signature is not necessarily required for a valid contract - contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically or in a physical paper document (Cameroon Civil Code; The Organisation pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (OHADA) Uniform Act on General Commercial Law). The Laws on Electronic Commerce and Cyber Security and Cyber Criminality specifically confirm that contracts cannot be denied enforceability merely because they are concluded electronically. To prove a valid contract, parties sometimes have to present evidence in court. Leading digital transaction management solutions can provide electronic records that are admissible in evidence under Section 17 of the Law on Cyber Security and Cyber Criminality, to support the existence, authenticity and valid acceptance of a contract.

Use Cases for Standard Electronic Signature (SES)

Use cases where an SES is typically appropriate include:

  • HR documents, such as employment contracts, benefits paperwork and other new employee onboarding processes

  • commercial agreements between corporate entities, including NDAs, procurement documents, sales agreements

  • certain consumer agreements, including new retail account opening documents

  • certain real estate documents, including lease agreements, and other related documentation for residential and commercial real estate

Use Cases for Other Types of Electronic Signature (e.g. Digital Signature, AES[1], QES[2])

Use cases where an electronic signature other than SES may be required include:

  • certain real estate documents, including lease agreements, and other related documentation for residential and commercial real estate

    • Company Registration Certificate issued to an applicant who submits an application for registration electronically.

    • Electronic Acknowledgement of receipt by the Company Registrar of all applications filed to him by electronic means, such as:

      • applications for registration of securities,

      • applications for renewals of registration,

      • Applications for modification (rectifications) of information in the Company Register, information related to the liquidation of companies, etc.

  • documents exchanged between the Company Registry of each particular court, the Centralized National Company Registry as well as with the Centralized Regional Company Registry must bear QES of the authority sending the document.

Use Cases That Are Not Typically Appropriate for Electronic Signatures or Digital Transaction Management

Use cases that are specifically barred from digital or electronic processes or that include explicit requirements, such as handwritten (e.g. wet ink) signatures or formal notarial process that are not usually compatible with electronic signatures or digital transaction management.

  • contracts which create or transfer real property rights, not including lease agreements

  • contracts which legally require the intervention of courts, public authorities, or other professions exercising public authority

  • contracts or private deeds relating to family and succession law

  • private deeds relating to securities (personal or real securities)

[1] An AES is an “advanced electronic signature”, a type of electronic signature that meets the following requirements: (a) it is uniquely linked to the signatory; (b) it is capable of identifying the signatory; (c) it is created using means that are under the signatory’s sole control; and (d) it is linked to other electronic data in such a way that any alteration to the said data can be detected.

[2] A QES is a specific digital signature implementation that has met the particular specifications of a government, including using a secure signature creation device, and been certified as ‘qualified’ by either that government or a party contracted by that government.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, so DocuSign cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

Last updated: November 1, 2019


  • Law on Electronic Communication

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