Cameroon hosts Central Africa bloc summit

By Bernard Busulwa | Africa Review December 23, 2016

Leaders of the six countries that make up the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) will hold an extraordinary session in the Cameroon capital Yaoundé on Friday, state radio announced.

CEMAC brings together Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

Though the report did not reveal the agenda of the meeting, which it said was at the invitation of President Paul Biya, the leaders would most likely will discuss a devaluation of the CFA Franc amidst growing debate over the use of the currency by African countries.

A Distant Dream

Created in 1945, the CFA Franc is the common legal tender of the CEMAC, and the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

The CEMAC head of states meeting was coming four months after Cameroon unilaterally started implementing an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, allegedly in violation of CEMAC rules.

Besides the devaluation of the CFA Franc, which was still pegged to the French Franc, the presidents of Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, were also likely to discuss sub-regional integration vis-à-vis the free movement of persons and goods, which according some Cameroonians, was still a distant dream.

Official Programme

The Yaoundé summit, according to the official programme, was to open with the meeting of ministers at the Hilton hotel Thursday.

The head of states were expected to jet into the Cameroon capital between 3 and 6pm local time.

They were expected to take part in a dinner at the state house later in the evening prior to the conference that officially opens Friday at the Unity Palace, as the Cameroon state house is called.

Related stories

AsokoNews Brief

Sign up for our weekly Africa Business Digest, highlighting the Top 5 stories per sector