Yaounde, Cameroon, 9 June 2016 (ECA) – There are clear signs that the campaign for structural transformation and regional integration, which ECA has been championing for years, now is sinking among Central Africa’s policy makers. This follows cross-cutting acclamation received by the Commission today in the Cameroonian capital, as Ms Giovanie Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary in Charge of Knowledge Delivery led the presentation of a three out of a gamut ECA reports published this year.
Top state officials from host country, Cameroon; a college of ambassadors from CEMAC countries and the CEMAC Commission; academics; and policy planners from several African countries praised ECA’s practical approach to unpacking the social and economic challenges of the region and suggesting avenues for improvement. The publications presented included the Economic Report on Africa 2016, the 7th edition of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA VII) and the maiden batch of ECA’s country profiles for the Central African sub-region.
ECA economists unpacked the main messages of the Economic Report on Africa 2016 themed around "Greening Africa's Industrialization, ” noting that it prescribes an inclusive path oriented to create jobs, generate income and wealth; as well as to cut down on wasteful consumption, resource depletion and environmental degradation. All of this, in view of bequeathing a greener future to the world.
The experts said Africa could only achieve its emergence by taking advantage of regional integration as prescribed by ARIA VII. They teased out the variables of Innovation, Competitiveness and Regional Integration and how they interact with one another across Africa, noting the need for investment in human capital and an integrated approach to intellectual property, while making it clear that that innovation is not optional if Africa is to achieve structural transformation.
The ECA functionaries took a cursory look at the country profiles for Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo and Sao Tome & Principe focusing their major thrust on the need for stability and international support (Central Africa), an energy revolution (Cameroon), quick transport services facilitation (Congo) and a recourse to high quality tourism and a robust system of internal financing (Sao Tome& Principe).
Meanwhile Ms Giovanie Biha held very engaging discussions with CEMAC ambassadors; Cameroon’s ministers for Energy, and Environment; top officials of Cameroon’s Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development; as well as the Head of the country’s National Institute of Statistics.
ECA’s Country profiles, she said, “are created to push African countries to go for credible statistical data, appropriate the data and reflect its evidence in their policy decisions.” She particularly appreciated the resilience of Cameroon to the sharp fall of oil prices due to its relatively diversified economy and praised the country’s effort at an energy leap-forward, through its Lom Pangar, Mekim and Memvele hydro electrical projects.
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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
PO Box 3001
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
Contact for its Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa
P.O. Box 14935 Yaounde, Cameroon
Tel: +237 2 22231461