Central African Governors "need resources to move forward"

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The Governors of Central Africa, at a consultative meeting with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, on Tuesday, 26 February 2019, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, reviewed national and regional projects and with the Bank's leaders the foundations for an increased development of their region.

Taking advantage of this forum, AfDB Vice-President and Chief Economist, Célestin Monga, presented an economic picture of the continent, and more specifically Central Africa, highlighting the main challenges to be faced in improving growth peace and security, macroeconomic management and stability, the pursuit and strengthening of basic infrastructures and regional integration. He also stressed the need for States in the region to diversify their economies through agro-industry, fisheries and livestock. Embopassing the step, the Governor of Gabon, Hilaire m confirmed this momentum. "This policy has already been fruitful since the Government of my country has been working for a few years to transform the timber on the spot. Some 80 wood-processing companies exist in Gabon.

The Director-General of the Bank for Central Africa, Ousmane Doré, underlined the significant impact of the projects financed by the financial institution on the populations.  "The Bank's commitments in the region reached 13 billion million in 2018, for a total of 531 operations," he said, adding that 2019 would be a year of extensive cooperation with the region. afdb.org

In support of his remarks, Mr. Doré cited several ADB-financed transformer projects. Thanks to the African Development Fund, four of the seven countries in the region (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Chad and Equatorial Guinea) have been interconnected in less than ten years by road axes. This is Cameroon, the Central African Republic (car), Congo Brazzaville and Chad. These corridors divided the transport costs between production areas and consumption areas by five. Another example is the transport facilitation programme between Douala, Bangui and Ndjamena, which has developed trade in the area as well as trade outside the CEMAC area, improving the efficiency of the transport supply chain.

In the energy field, two projects have emerged, one in Kribi, the other thanks to the interconnection of power grids between the car and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The "backbone Central Africa" (Cameroon, Congo and RCA) fibre optic project aims to improve connectivity, e-banking and the transfer of information on the business climate and markets. The Bank also funded a project to strengthen the drinking water supply of the city of Libreville, Gabon. In November 2018, at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, the African Development Bank, Africa50 and other partners entered into a financing agreement amounting to 500 million million for the construction of the first bridge road-rail linking the two Congolese neighbours, Republic of Congo and DRC.   

In order to highlight the importance of a capital increase for the Bank, the Vice-President in charge of finance, Swazi Tshabalala, returned to the strategic orientations of the first meeting of Governors held last year in Rome. "The Bank's priorities, high 5, are at the heart of Africa's development agenda," she reiterated.

The Governors supported the African Development Bank. "We have a bank that innovates. We need significant resources to advance Africa and our region, said the Bank's Governor for Cameroon, Alamine Ousmane Mey. His counterpart for Equatorial Guinea, Lucas Abaga Nchama, underlined the continent's enormous development needs, noting that "the increase in capital (of the Bank, ed.) is important. Our future lies in regional integration. "

Closing the list of speakers, the Governor of the Bank for Chad, Issa Doubragne suggests that "we have every reason to hope". What President Adesina answered, as a conclusion: "we will continue to work hard for the Africa you want."

Moctar FICOU/VivAfrik

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