Douala, 23 October 2013 (ECA) – After two days of intense brainstorming in Douala from the 21st to 22nd October 2013, experts from the United Nations System in Central Africa, their counterparts from CEMAC, ECCAS, specialised institutions, the ADB as well as the leading players of the Steering Committee for the Rationalisation of Regional Economic Communities in Central Africa (COPIL/CER-AC) have proposed 116 activities for Central Africa’s development for the next three years. These activities fall within the domains of infrastructural development, governance, peace and security, industrial development, trade, access to markets, agriculture and food security, science and technology, the fight against HIV/AIDS, employment, training and the improvement of institutional frameworks for development. They were earmarked during the 5th session of the Sub-regional Coordination Mechanism of the UN system-wide support to AU/NEPAD programmes in Central Africa (SRCM).
The experts specifically coming from the African Union Commission, ECCAS, CEMAC, CICOS, COREP, COMIFAC, IFORD, ISSEA, ISTA, OCCEAC, CEBEVIRHA, the NEPAD Secretariat, COPIL/CER-AC, OAPI, ILO, UNIDO, PEAC, ITU, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, ECA and ADB made the proposals with a view to improving the performance of the second Common Indicative Programme (CIP) between the UN system, the African Union, ECCAS and CEMAC, given the very modest results recorded during the first CIP that ran from 2010 to 2012. The prepared second CIP proposed to run from 2013 to 2016 takes into consideration the practicality of running development activities, their regional community relevance and the availability of funds. This resulted in the dropping of several activities that were judged non-compliant to these criteria from a list of 167 originally proposed for the second CIP, as well as the inclusion of new ones thought to be more meaningful to the sub-region.
Opening the session on behalf of Cameroon’s Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development who also oversees the work of COPIL/CER-AC, Mr Eric Dominique Ondoua said Africa, more than ever before, needs reinforced international support given the constraints they face in terms of resources and technical know-how to implement NEPAD projects. Mr Ondoua said the gaps noticed so far also call for better coordination among development partners such as the United Nations which should keep paying attention to the special needs of Africa and seek to reinforce their development partnership with countries of the continent on the basis of mutual responsibility.
On his part, the Deputy Secretary General of ECCAS, Mr Roger Tchoungui said Central Africa recorded significant progress elaborated within the framework of the first Common Indicative Programme (CIP 2010-2012). He however noted that “these gains should not overshadow some weaknesses to be taken into account within the new CIP ... especially the small percentage of joint actions, the lack of coordination, for example in the allocation of resources and the poor flow of information.” He said the second CIP needed to lay emphasis on realistic and achievable activities.
According to Ms Malaika Ndoumbe Ngollo, Representative of the CEMAC Commission in Cameroun, CEMAC maintains a close and diversified working relation with the United Nations System in the domains of agriculture, access to energy, health, studies, statistics and education. She underlined the vision of CEMAC within the framework of Central Africa’s Regional Economic Programme which is to transform the Economic Community into an emergent integrated sub-region which uses good governance to promote human development.
Meanwhile the Director of the Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa of ECA, Mr. Emile Ahohe, who had welcomed personalities and experts to the meeting, closed the session with a message of hope on future of the Sub-Regional Mechanism in question. "We note that the list of projects that we have just proposed is more realistic than the first CIP" he said. "This result, which needs to be improved upon as the projects are implemented, is very worthy indeed," he concluded, while reiterating the commitment of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in its role as facilitator of this Mechanism.