COVID-19: “The Economic And Financial Impact Of COVID-19 In CEMAC Economies And Tentative Solutions” Theme Of Third Extraordinary Session.

Lead

President Denis Sassou N’guesso of the Republic of Congo and chairperson of CEMAC, Financial and Economic Reform Programme (PREF-CEMAC) steering committee, called for an Extraordinary session on March 28, 2020, aimed at fighting the spread of the deadly Pandemic in the CEMAC countries zone and the consequences on the economies of the sub-region.

With the Sub-Region recording over 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19, His Excellency Denis Sassou N’guesso President of the Republic of Congo and chairperson of PREF-CEMAC, Financial and Economic Reform Programme PREF-CEMAC steering committee, requested the holding of the Third Extraordinary Session, to discuss the economic and financial impact of the coronavirus disease pandemic on the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

Discussions at the meeting under the chairmanship of Gilbert Ondongo Minister of State, Minister of the Economy, Industry and Public Portfolio of the Republic of Congo, centered on the adoption of unanimous solutions aimed at curtailing the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic which is creating havoc across the globe, claiming thousands of lives including the live of CEMAC President of the Audit Bench, Juan Carlos Owona Ela Mangue in Spain. Other aspects discussed at the session was to mitigate the scope of the macro-economic consequences of the crisis on the populations and economies, ensure monetary and financial system stability and, finally, strengthen in the medium term, the resilience of CEMAC countries.

 

Prompt Solutions To Rescue CEMAC Population And Economies…

It must be reiterated that the Third Extraordinary Session rounded up with some immediate and multifarious measures read by the Permanent Secretary Of PREF-CEMAC, H. E. Cyr Djiena Wembou.The urgent measures were unanimously adopted by the session to sustain the populations, health, economies and businesses in the CEMAC countries zone. They are as follows:

1- Over 90 billion CFA Frs was adopted to prioritize financing all public health projects;

2- Over 500 billion CFA Frs to be injected in the monetary and financial systems by BEAC through the BDEAC in all CEMAC member countries by March 30, 2020; and

3- Cancellation of external debts, or renegotiate debts of member countries on new terms according to each country specificities, just to mention those.

Those are some of the fruits of the Third Extraordinary Session of PREF-CEMAC meeting held in Brazzaville, Congo, in which the President of CEMAC Commission, Professor Daniel Ona Ondo, H. E. Gilbert Ondongo, chairman of the PREF-CEMAC steering committee, Abbas Mahamat Tolli, Governor Of BEAC And Deputy Chairperson of PREF-CEMAC, Ministers of Finance, the Economy, Integration and leading officials of relevant community institutions, such as BEAC, COBAC, GABAC, CONSUMAF and UNIPACE all took part. Technical partners, such as the World Bank, IMF, AFDB, UNDP and UNECA also attended. as observers.

 

Louis Paul Motaze, Minister of Finance (Cameroon)

It must be worth noting that despite some of these multifarious measures, Some CEMAC member countries have been grappling with security challenges, in addition to restoring their macro-economic diversification. The consequences of the health crisis-#COVID19, will therefore be significant, immediate, and multifaceted, albeit of different scope depending on the countries mindful of whether they are oil producing or non-oil producing countries, and in the extent of diversification of their productive activities. Furthermore, the impact of the current health crisis may undermine the numerous gains recorded so far, under the structural adjustment programmes and the PREF-CEMAC programmes set up by the heads of states of the CEMAC in Malabo, on July 30, 2016.

While these urgent and prompt measures are highly saluted by desperate populations, economies and businesses in the CEMAC countries zone, everyone has to contribute in the fight against this planetary pandemic called COVID-19, by adhering to ALL the restrictive measures put in place by the Ministry Of Public health and the World Health Organization. Governments cannot do it alone, it is therefore, a collective fight, for the good of humanity.

 

Caroline Okie-Anoma

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