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ECCAS and ECA are delving a strengthened partnership around the development of regional value chains

7 June, 2024
ECCAS and ECA are delving a strengthened partnership around the development of regional value chains

Yaounde, 7 June 2024 (ECA) - Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission Chairperson, Ambassador Gilberto Verissimo, paid a courtesy call to ECA's Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa in Yaounde, on the sidelines of his participation in the 6th COPIL/CER-AC Council of Ministers Meeting held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from June 06 to 07, 2024

The Chairperson's visit was an opportunity for ECA-CA experts, led by Jean Luc Mastaki Namegabe, Director of the Office in Central Africa, and the ECCAS team to take stock of the economic situation in the sub-region and review the major achievements of the partnership between the two institutions, saluting a long-standing collaboration spanning the last 40 years. These exchanges also provided an opportunity to discuss future projects that will further our shared ambitions.

The rich discussions resulted to critical areas of collaboration with a view to deepening economic integration in Central Africa. It was emphasized that the promotion of industry should play a central role in efforts to regionalize economies. This involves the local transformation of the resources and raw materials with which the 11 economies of the sub-region are richly endowed, the priority value chains being timber, mining, agro-industry and oil-gas. This ambition is in line with the aspirations set out in the Douala Consensus, which the entire subregion adopted in September 2017. "Central Africa has made commitment for economic diversification, and for us, as for all the endorsers including ECCAS, the Douala Consensus remains the roadmap. Together with ECCAS, we advocate that the transformation of raw materials through regional value chains will crystallize our integration efforts, because without local manufactured products, there can be no real intra-regional trade", said Jean Luc Mastaki, Director of the ECA Sub-Regional Office.

To facilitate and accelerate the set up of industries, ECA has developed tools, the most important of which is the New Generation Special Economic Zone (NGSEZ). A model for domesticating added value, promoting local content and upgrading technical and industrial skills. ECA hopes to extend the maturing model between the DRC and Zambia to establish sufficient cross-border SEZs to attract more investments. Cameroon, Chad and Congo are well in the maturation of national scale SEZs.

To facilitate and accelerate economic diversification driven by inclusive and sustainable industrialization, ECA has developed tools, the main one being the Master Plan for Industrialization and Economic Diversification in Central Africa (PDIDE-AC). The Plan highlights New Generation Special Economic Zones (NGSEZs) as catalysts for the domestication of added value, the promotion of local content and the development of technical and industrial skills. ECA is working to extend the maturing model between DRC and Zambia to promote some priority cross-border value chains. Cameroon, DRC and Congo are moving well in the maturation of national scale SEZs.

Industry, value chains and intra-regional trade are inconceivables without quality infrastructures in the fields of energy, transport and telecommunications. Despite efforts, Central Africa is still lagging behind other sub-regions in terms of infrastructure, according to the Report on the State of Regional Integration in the ECCAS, CEMAC, CEPGL Zone produced by the ECA.

ECA's call for a review of the implementation of the Plan Directeur Consensuel des Transports en Afrique Centrale (PDCT-AC) has been taken up by the ECCAS Commission Chaiperson: “We are in the process of preparing an assessment of infrastructure in Central Africa. We would be delighted to benefit from the support of the ECA, our traditional partner" pledged Ambassador Gilberto Verissimo.

Embracing the issues of innovative financing for economic diversification, ECA highlighted the opportunities offered by the development of the carbon credit market, as well as other options for accessing green financing that can be mobilized through an environmentally-friendly industrialization model. By better accounting the natural capital, ECCAS economies, located at the heart of the Congo Basin, will be able to take advantage from an effective advocacy tool for better mobilization of resources driven by the ecosystem services provided by their biophysical cover.

The ECCAS-ECA partnership is born of an “umbilical link that the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Economic Community of Central African States should enable us to celebrate and consolidate for even stronger links in the future”, mentioned Adama Coulibaly, Head of the Sub-Regional Initiatives Section at the ECA-CA Office.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826