Legal Aspects of the Formation of Electronic Contracts in Tanzania: A Case Study of Tanzania-Japan Business Relationship

Adrian .F Ndunguru


A contract is essentially the main way through which trade negotiations are implemented.[1] The contract normally contains rights and obligations of the parties to a business transaction.[2] In the context of international trade normally the parties to the contract are based in different countries.[3] This factor plays an important and compelling role in the choice of nature of contracts involved which in most cases, is Electronic Contract. Electronic contracts seems to be an effective[4] and efficient means of conducting international trade transactions for they save time and cost of paper work and traveling to meet business partners.[5] The use of electronic contract is also dictated by the changes in the global system of conducting business which is shifting from paper based system to electronic system / cyber market where by communication is simplified electronically ( Internet connection).[6] For example the contracts of purchase of vehicles concluded by Tanzanians who purchases cars from Japan through electronic contracts with the Japanese car dealers

The focus of this research is to examine the legal aspects of formation of Electronic Contracts in Tanzanian Context. The main objective is to examine some legal challenges associated with formation of electronic contract in line with the adequacy of the Tanzania Law of Contract Act in as far as formation of electronic contracts is concerned. The leading question is the extent to which the Tanzanian Laws governing contracts can accommodate the legal challenges surrounding electronic contracts

Other countries like India have already enacted a law to regulate formation of electronic contract. The law is termed The Information and Communication Technology Act.[7] The Act provides for the mode of communicating online offers and acceptance and other matters related to that like the mode of fixing electronic signatures.[8] The findings of this study revealed that Tanzania has no specific law to regulate the formation of electronic contracts.[9]

[1]N.N. Kilekamajenga, The Cyber-Market: Formation of Contract Under The United Nation  on the Use of Electronic Communication in The Open University Law Journal .Vol 2,79.  “One vital criterion in international trade is the cross border transaction of goods. However such exchange of goods is done through agreements.”

[2] S. Vivek , supra, note 2, p.140.

[3] Article 1 of CUECIC

[4] S. Vivek, supra note 2 , p.116

[5] N.N.N. Nditi, The General Principals of Contract Law in East Africa, Dar es salaam University Press, Dar es Salaam, 2009,p 15,48.

[6] N.N Kilekamajenga, supra note 3, p.179

[7]Electronic Contract and the Indian Laws by Asian School of Cyber-Law available at last accessed in December, 2009.

[8] last accessed in December 2009.

[9]Tanzania Position Paper on E-Commerce available at http:// last accessed on 15 June 2010.

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