Subregional Coordination Mechanism for Central Africa

While the Economic Community of Central African States  is the only regional economic community in Central Africa, in the context of the African Union, there are several other intergovernmental organizations in the subregion, including the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa and the Central African States Development Bank.

The created in 2009, the subregional mechanism is coordinated at three levels: (a) the annual meeting of agencies and institutions supporting the implementation of the African Union and its NEPAD programme in Central Africa; (b) the network of focal points chosen by each entity and institution; and (c) an ad-hoc unit to provide a linkage between the Central African subregional office and the institution responsible for the NEPAD secretariat in Central Africa.

A joint indicative programme for the period 2010-2012 was adopted in 2010; it covered six priority areas for cooperation, which corresponded to the priorities of the Economic Community of Central African States and the Economic and Monetary Union of Central Africa: infrastructure (transport, energy, water and hygiene); governance, peace and security; industry, trade and market access; agriculture, food security and the environment; science and technology, employment and training; and HIV/AIDS.

A new indicative programme for 2013-2015 was adopted in 2013 and is currently being implemented. It includes uncompleted activities from the first programme, new activities proposed by the regional economic community and intergovernmental organizations of the subregion, and areas of support indicated by development partners. In all, 167 activities were proposed, but based on the experience of the Regional Coordination Mechanism, which focused on a few priority areas, it was recommended that the subregional coordination mechanism should focus on about 60 activities. This would be closer to the 58 activities (out of 96) which were actually implemented under the first indicative programme. These activities would be selected based on the following principles:

(i)      Emphasis on joint projects of agencies and partner institutions

(ii)    Priority  to requests from regional economic communities and their specialized institutions and intergovernmental organizations, which are the key beneficiaries of technical and financial support from the mechanism.

(iii)   Priority to activities already included in the programme of activities of partner institutions.

(iv)  Priority to projects that support regional integration and involve more than one country.

(v)    Activities that do not support integrated programmes should be limited to one.

These principles should lead to better outcomes from the activities undertaken in  Central Africa. The secretariat of the subregional mechanism has produced a matrix of proposed programme activities. It should be noted, however, that the mechanism is still operating at activity level instead of at outcome level, which should be the next step in its development.