Experts to review forest industry’s role in Central Africa’s Transformation

Yaounde, 30 Jan. 2015 (ECA) – How can central African economies redesign their forest industry in order to speed up structural transformation in the sub-region? This question will beg for answers and inspire recommendations for policy makers of the sub-region, during the 31st session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) of Central Africa slated for Brazzaville, Republic of Congo from 4 to 6 March 2015.

Organized in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Congo, through its Ministry of Economy, Finance, Planning, Public Investment and Integration, the session will deepen reflection on, and craft strategies for an industrial process that is hinged on the judicious exploitation of the forest resources of the sub-region which boasts of the second largest forest basin in the world. These deliberations are expected to result in recommendations that would prove very timely against the backdrop of the current global slump in the price of oil, which happens to be the key contributor to the growth of Central African States.  The theme of the forthcoming session has been chosen in tandem with recommendations made during the 30th session of the ICE, held in March 2014 in N’Djamena (Chad) on Industrialization and the retooling of firms for a transition towards a green economy in Central Africa. 

During the Brazzaville meeting, representatives from member States as well as those from sub-regional institutions together with development partners, will also exchange ideas on current and emerging development issues and make recommendations for the harmonization and coordination of inclusive economic and social policies in Central Africa, based on the working papers prepared by ECA. The session’s delegates will also be briefed on progress made in the priority programmes of sub-regional institutions as well as the on ECA’s recent initiatives. 

The 31st session of the ICE will be held on the heels of an Ad hoc Expert Group Meeting, from 2 to 3 March 2015, during which participants will review an ECA-drafted report on the theme: “Progress and prospects of macroeconomic convergence in Central Africa.”The said document and its recommendations (which would have been improved upon by the experts), will be widely disseminated among decision makers in the sub-region as a reference tool to help boost national and sub-regional efforts in macroeconomic convergence. 

About the ICE

The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) is the policy organ of each sub-regional office of ECA. It was established by the UN General Assembly as a subsidiary body of the African Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which deliberates on current and emerging development issues at sub regional level and recommends actions for socio-economic development policy coordination and harmonization among member states. 

Video on last year’s session of ICE held in N’Djamena, Chad in 2014