Revamping CEMAC Economies : Heads of State Revise Common Strategy
President Paul Biya of Cameroon in his capacity as the current Chairperson of the sub regional Heads of State Conference yesterday August 18, 2021, presided over an extraordinary Summit, via video conference, which came up with a 24-point recommendations.
The raging Coronavirus pandemic, or betterstill Covid-19, which continues to wreak havoc across the globe, posing as a serious threat to life and livelihood may still be around but CEMAC Heads of State are more than ever determined to keep the economies afloat and life moving after all. They have agreed that solidarity, permanent vigilance and unwavering mobilisation are imperative in taking concerted, coherent and effective action within the community susceptible to clipping the wings of the common enemy so as to serenely pursue already outlined growth objectives to journey the sub regional out of under development.
An extra ordinary Summit of CEMAC Heads of State which Cameroon's President, Paul Biya, chaired via video conference at the State House yesterday August 18, 2021 was an opportunity for the leaders to evaluate the macroeconomic situation in the CEMAC zone in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as have an in-depth analysis of recovery measures. Apart from the Republic of Congo that was represented by her Prime Minister, the other Heads of State of the sub region personally participated in the high-level conclave. Leaders of partner development bodies like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank Group, the CEMAC Commission as well as the representative of the French Minister of Economy and Finance equally took active part in the in-camera deliberations.
In his opening as well as closing speeches, President Paul Biya observed that the Covid-19 crisis has caused considerable human, economic and social consequences with unprecedented impact worldwide. "Achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals is now in serious jeopardy," he said. Given that CEMAC leaders have been federating their efforts amidst the predicament; through a joint response to the new crisis, the Chairperson of the CEMAC Heads of State Conference prayed for heightened solidarity. "We must remain vigilant and mobilised, for this rapidly changing health crisis is still around. Together, we must resolutely continue the crucial phase of the fight against this virus through vaccination,” he added. Mr. Biya underlined that Africa needs broad and equitable access to the vaccine. "Indeed, how can we achieve herd immunity with less than 5 per cent of our citizens currently vaccinated," he questioned.
While acknowledging efforts put in by development partners since the outbreak of the pandemic notably the debt service suspension initiative, the Summit's Chairperson observed that the trends in the sub regional public debt and the challenges of sustainability call for more rigorous and more transparent management, in line with the requirements of good governance.
What Way Forward?
The Heads of State brainstorming produced some 24-point recommendations to keep the sub regional economies breathing despite the odds. According to the Final Communique read by Cameroon's Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey, making CEMAC economic recovery a common course, revitalising the money market, diversifying the economies, developing adapted human resources and improving the business climate so as to attract substantial direct foreign investments should be non-negotiable.
Success in whatever is planned, President Paul Biya believes, lies in peace, security and stability of the financial systems. Ingredients which the sub region must strive to uphold and polish up so as to collectively win the battle against Covid-19 and its related consequences.