CEMAC Leaders Approve Free Movement During Extraordinary Summit


CEMAC Heads of States

 

On October 31, 2017, Heads of States of the countries that form the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cemac), have met in N’Djamena, Chad in an Extraordinary Summit convened by H.E Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad and current acting president of CEMAC.

The summit was attended by H.E President Paul Biya (Cameroon) and the other five Heads of state of the CEMAC member countries namely: Chad, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo Brazzaville. The leaders were meant to discuss:

  • The Financing of CEMAC commission
  • Free movement of peoples and goods within the CEMAC Zone
  • The appointment of officials to posts within the CEMAC commission etc.

The Head of State was accompanied by his wife First Lady Chantal Biya, as well as a strong delegation of cabinet Ministers handling files related to the event. These included the Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella; the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze; the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey; the Minister in Charge of Special Duties at the Presidency, Victor Arrey Mengot; the Minister, Assistant Director of Civil Cabinet at the Presidency, Joseph LE; among other officials and close aides to the Head of State.

During the opening of the extraordinary summit, three main speeches were made. The first by the Mayor of N’Djamena who welcomed the August guests. This was followed by a speech from the outgoing President of the CEMAC Commission; Congolese born Pierre Moussa. In his speech, H.E Mousa detailed five years of economic and financial troubles and some successes that have plagued the region, accentuated by terrorism for which he says has hindered growth in the region. He discussed the political instability in the Central African Republic (CAR) that resulted in the transfer of the CEMAC Commission Headquarter from the CAR to Equatorial Guinea. He also saluted the resolved of the six member countries to tear down the border wall and make regional integration a reality. H.E Moussa handed over the role of president to former Prime Minister of Gabon, Daniel Ona Ondo.

On his part, the host, President Idriss Deby of Chad focused on terrorism, economic and financial issues of the region and solidarity. On Terrorism, President Deby saluted regional cooperation that he claims has been very effective in the fight against terrorism. On economic and financial issues, the Chadian Head of State was optimistic that the ambitious programme implemented by member countries will register positive results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the issue of solidarity, H.E Deby was impressed by the recent visit of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the Central African Republic, as a good expression of solidarity with a people who have witnessed political instability.

One of the key achievements of the summit was the announcement of the free movement of people and goods within all six CEMAC countries or community. The Republic of Cameroon also adhered to this policy thanks to the adoption of the Additional Act by CEMAC Heads of State on 25 June 2013.

This move was hailed as a crucial action for the implementation of measures to overcome the considerable impact of some crisis that has plagued the zone, sub-regional structures. It was believed that this move will get the economic situation in the sub-region on track. Although in the case of Cameroon, she has been witnessing a more favorable economic situation.

However, it should be noted that the drop in the prices of raw materials, especially crude oil has affected all the countries and the hindrances to the movement of persons and goods allegedly kept the entire CEMAC zone backward.

Another important issue at the summit was the recognition of the catalytic role played by His Excellency Paul BIYA as the pillar of CEMAC, for his role towards the sub-regional integration. This was highlighted by President Idriss DEBY and also acknowledged by the former President of the CEMAC, Pierre MOUSSA. It also featured in the final press release of the summit. The summit ended with a renewed determination to close-in ranks.

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