Maintain the Anti-Crisis Push Button
All the six member countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) are aware of the challenges facing the sub region. This awareness can easily be identified in the medley of resolutions that emerge each time their leaders or their representatives meet in confabs. Some of the most recent meetings such as the Heads of State's extraordinary summits in N'djamena and Yaounde as well as the Second Extraordinary Session of the Steering Committee of the Economic and Financial Reforms Programme dubbed PREF-CEMAC in Yaounde, are enough measuring instruments of the desire to change things for the better in the sub region. President Paul Biya, the current Chairman of the CEMAC Heads of State in his address on the occasion of the celebration of the 11th edition of CEMAC day on March 16, while appreciating the effort so far deployed by member countries, reminded them of the fact that the road to be covered remains rugged and challenging. " It is true that the difficult economic context that our community has been going through in recent years calls for rigorous management of our public finances. However, the initial results of our efforts allow us to envisage, with greater serenity, the continuation of our development and, consequently, our march towards emergence."
The development exigencies of the sub region are enormous and that explains why countries need to press the reform accelerator ensuring that their effort touches on every sector. As identified and proposed by experts of the Commission of the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC) and those of PREF-CEMAC, seven projects seem to be of great priority. These include: the construction of 12 border posts equipped with weighing machines and IT equipment, setting up of geostationary satellites, launching of the CEMAC centres of excellence programme, development of cross-border electricity interconnection grids, construction of three dry ports in Douala (Cameroon), Ngueli (Chad), and Beloko (Central African Republic), construction of a regional telecommunications optic fiber backbone and harmonising and interconnecting customs administrations of the CEMAC sub region.
Apart from these, a veritable network of reforms remain to be fostered. Some of such concern the institutional reforms and the implementation of the agreement with the IMF as decided during the Yaounde summit. Of recent, the Heads of State in an extraordinary summit in Yaounde touched one of the most sensitive elements in the whole gamut; that of currency reform wherein they instructed the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) to undertake a study on the possibility of quitting the CFA and creating a common currency for the sub region. Other reforms that need to be accelerated include: the establishment of tools for the revitalization of Multilateral surveillance, namely Triennial Convergence Programmes, credible and comprehensive arrears clearance strategies and the establishment of a more efficient system for Statistical Information. These readily featured in the resolutions of the Heads of State summit in N'djamena. The liquidation of Air CEMAC remains topical pending the transfer of contributions of the Member States to the Community Development Fund (FODEC). Even though the N'djamena conference adopted the Common Policy on Emigration, Immigration and Border Protection of CEMAC, its implementation remains questionable. The Board of Directors of the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC) has already approved financing of integration projects amounting to FCFA 126 billion for Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea having as project portfolio energy, social housing, agro-industry, microfinance, and agropastoral sectors. Their implementation is expected to significantly improve the quality of life of the populations and also strengthen regional integration.