CEMAC Summit : Regional integration reviewed
Heads of State and Government of members countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States, CEMAC gathered this 20
4 March 2019 in Ndjamena, Chad.
The main objective of the summit was to examine the progress made in the implementation of resolutions taken during the Conference of Heads of State that held on 25th October 2018 in Chad.
They scrutinized resolutions that seek to revive economies within the region.
The CEMAC leaders also evaluate the Institutional Reform Program and examined issues relating to financing the Community through the collection of the Community Integration Tax (CIT).
Cameroon was represented at the summit by Prime Minister-Head of Government, Joseph Dion Ngute.
This 14th session of the Conference of CEMAC Heads of State was preceded by the 33rd session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Economic Union (UEAC) which took place on March 22. The Ministerial Committee of the Central African Monetary Union (UMAC) also met on March 23.
14th Ordinary Session of the CEMAC Conference of Heads of State
The Conference of Heads of State of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa held its 14th Ordinary Session on 24 March 2019 in N’Djamena (Republic of Chad), under the very high presidency of His Excellency IDRISS DEBY ITNO , President of the Republic of Chad, Head of State, President in Office of the said Conference.
Were present :
-Her Excellency Mr. Faustin Archange TOUADERA,
President of the Central African Republic;
– His Excellency Mr. Denis SASSOU NGUESSO, President of
the Republic of Congo;
– His Excellency Joseph DION NGUTE, Prime Minister,
Representing the President of the Republic of Cameroon;
His Excellency Mr. Julien NKOGHE BEKALE, Prime Minister, Representative of the President of the Gabonese Republic;
His Excellency Mr. Francisco Pascual OBAMA ASUE,
Prime Minister, representing the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea,
The President of the CEMAC Commission, Prof. Daniel ONA ONDO, reported on the items on the agenda.
In addition to the members of the EUAC Council of Ministers and the UMAC Ministerial Committee, also participated in the work;
– The Vice-President of the CEMAC Commission;
-The Governor of the Bank of Central African States;
– The President of the Community Parliament;
– The President of the Community Court of Justice;
-The First President of the Community Court of Accounts;
-The President of the Development Bank of Central African States;
– The Chairman of the Financial Market Supervisory Commission of Central Africa;
-The Secretary General of the Banking Commission of Central Africa;
– The Commissioners of the CEMAC Commission and the first heads of the institutions,
Organs, Specialized Agencies and Executing Agencies of CEMAC.
The Conference was preceded by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC), held on March 22, 2019, and the Ministerial Concertation Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Monetary Union of Central Africa, held on March 23, 2019,
The solemn Opening Ceremony of the Conference was marked by the speech of the President of the CEMAC Commission and by the speech of His Excellency Idriss DEBY ITNO, President of the Republic of Chad, President in Office of the Community.
On this occasion, the Heads of State and Delegations, through the President-in-Office, welcomed the return of President ALI BONGO ONDIMBA to Gabon after a long period of convalescence that kept him away from his country.
In the same vein, the Conference paid a particularly deserved tribute to His Excellency Faustin Archange TOUADERA, President of the Central African Republic, for the signing on 6 February of the Khartoum Accords, which augur the end of a long period of suffering inflicted on the brotherly people of Central Africa.
At the end of this opening ceremony and after the family photo, the Conference continued its work behind closed doors.
At the beginning of the consideration of the items on their agenda, the Heads of State took note of the Report on the Implementation of the Roadmap of the President-in-Office of the Conference.
At the end of the presentation of his Report, His Excellency IDRISS DEBY ITNO, was warmly congratulated by His Peers, for the excellent quality of this report as well as for the results obtained.
In this respect, for the remaining actions, they instructed the President of the Commission to diligently finalize those in progress.
In turn, the President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO, President dedicated to the Program of Economic and Financial Reforms of CEMAC (PREF-CEMAC) and Prime Minister Joseph DION NGUTE, on behalf of President BIYA, President dedicated to the process of rationalization of Communities, President dedicated to the process of rationalization of the Regional Economic Communities, have made to the Conference the respective reports on the progress of these Programs.
On the progress of the implementation of the PREF-CEMAC, the Conference, taking into account the signs of exit from a long recession that lasted more than four years, congratulated the President of PREF-CEMAC , His Excellency Denis SASSOU NGUESSO, President of the Republic of Congo for the progress made,
On this basis, the Conference encourages all States and all CEMAC economic, monetary and financial institutions involved in the implementation of the Program to continue their efforts to strengthen the sustainability of public finances, and the coverage of our currency by the accelerated implementation of the measures taken for the repatriation of export earnings.
In addition, the Conference urged solidarity among States and accelerated the conclusion of negotiations for the Congo and Equatorial Guinea programs. They reaffirmed their commitment to support these two countries in finalizing discussions with the IMF,
Taking cognizance of the state of progress of the process of rationalization of the Economic Communities, the Conference congratulated His Excellency Paul BIYA, President of the Republic of Cameroon, President dedicated to the Rationalization of RECs for the significant advances recorded in this process of rationalization CERs in Central Africa under his Dedicated High Presidency.
In order to speed up this process and capitalize on the results thus recorded, the Dedicated President of this Program informed the Conference of the organization of an Extraordinary Joint ECCAS / CEMAC Summit in the near future.
Continuing its work, the Conference of Heads of State followed successively the communications of the Governor of the Central Bank.
With regard to the issue of repatriation of export earnings, especially of large companies, the Conference gave the CEMAC Commission the task of defending the common and mutually supportive position of the six Member States in order to bring them into compliance strictly the exchange regulations in force. In this regard, the Heads of State and Delegations gave specific guidelines for the conduct of the said mission.
Examining issues related to Multilateral Surveillance, the Conference took note of the macroeconomic performance of member states and the state of compliance in 2018 with the new convergence criteria of CEMAC, which are still contrasting from one State to another. In order to remedy this and, above all, to have a reliable early warning system for crises, the Conference instructed the President of the Commission to speed up the establishment in Member States of tools for the revitalization of Multilateral surveillance, namely Triennial Convergence Programs (by 31 July 2019), credible and comprehensive payment arrears clearance strategies (by 31 December 2019), as well as National Multilateral Surveillance Cells, including the establishment of a more efficient system for Statistical Information,
Referring to the liquidation of the Compagnie Communautaire “Air-CEMAC, and the allocation of the bonus of this liquidation, the Conference on the one hand, adopted two additional Acts which repeal one the creation of the said company and the other fixing headquarters and, on the other hand, decided to transfer the contributions of the Member States to the Community Development Fund (FODEC).
With regard to the finalization of CEMAC Institutional Reforms, the Conference decided on the election of Deputies to the CEMAC Community Parliament by indirect universal suffrage and the empowerment of the Community Schools. It therefore invited the Commission to submit to it at its next session the modalities for organizing this election.
On the state of the implementation of the free movement of persons in CEMAC zone, the Conference of Heads of State adopted the Common Policy on Emigration, Immigration and Border Protection of CEMAC, In this regard, it instructed the President of the CEMAC Commission, on the one hand, to accelerate the application of the Additional Act for the abolition of visas for all CEMAC nationals circulating in the Community area, and, on the other hand, to take vigorous action for the implementation of the said Common Policy.
In turn, the President of BDEAC presented the situation of his Institution and the Reforms carried out within it. From this report, it appears that it has significantly increased its volume of interventions to finance the economies of the sub-region. However, while welcoming this improvement, the Conference recommended to the President of BDEAC the continuation of the reforms in order to restore its credibility and further increase its financing capacities. In this regard, the Conference instructed the Governor to accelerate the process of disbursement of funds to the benefit of BDEAC to enable the financing of enterprises.
Reacting to the presentation of the COSUMAF President’s report, the Heads of State gave detailed guidance with a view to resolving the particular difficulties faced by this institution. In this context, the Conference instructed the BEAC to implement the provisions of the Additional Act unifying the financial market of Central Africa.
Addressing the question of Community financing, the Conference of Heads of State called on the Ministers of Finance to strictly apply the autonomous financing mechanism of the Community and to complete, by 31 December 2019, the clearance of all the arrears due by 31 December 2018 by the states, while recommending an improvement of governance at the level of all Community institutions.
In addition, they particularly urged the President of the CEMAC Commission to deepen reflection on alternative sources of Community funding.
Taking cognizance of the operational difficulties of the Inter-State Center for Higher Education in Public Health of Central Africa (CIESPAC), the Conference decided to empower CIESPAC administratively and financially in relation to its current supervisory role. Coordination Organization for the Control of Endemics in Central Africa (OCEAC). CIESPAC will thus be established as a Specialized Institution, like other Community Schools.
Under the individual measures, the Conference of Heads of State endorsed the appointment of Mr. BEMBA BERAL as Permanent Secretary General of the Rose Card System CEMAC.
Examining the question of the return of the Commission to its headquarters in Bangui, the Conference recommended to the President of the Commission to propose a timetable for a gradual return to be agreed with the Central African authorities.
Speaking before the closure of the work, the Representative of the Head of State of Gabon thanked the Heads of State and delegations for the support and solidarity they expressed for His Excellency ALI BONGO ONDIMBA, President of the Gabonese Republic to whom they wish best wishes for a speedy recovery.
At the end of their work, the Heads of State and Delegations expressed their thanks to the President of the Republic of Chad, to the Government and to the people of Chad for the warm welcome and the marks of delicate attentions of which all their respective delegations made the object during their stay in N’Djamena.
The work of the fourteenth ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State took place in an atmosphere of serenity and frank fraternity, demonstrating their firm will to advance integration in Central Africa,
The fifteenth ordinary session of the CEMAC Conference of Heads of State will be held in Yaounde Republic of Cameroon, under the Presidency in Office of His Excellency Paul BIYA, President of the Republic of Cameroon.
N’DJAMENA, March 24, 2019
For the Conference of Heads of State,
The President in Exercise
IDRISS DEBY ITNO