President Daniel Ona Ondo and René Obam-Nlong inaugurate the "Development Policy Meetings."

December 12, 2019, Clermont-Ferrand

Within the framework of the Labex IDGM+, FERDI in partnership with CERDI launched the "Development Policy Meetings" between public decision-makers or leading political figures and interested public, in particular students from CERDI Université Clermont Auvergne.

This seminar series is part of the Labex IDGM+, which combines research and economic development policy.

The President of the CEMAC Commission and former Prime Minister of Gabon, Daniel Ona Ondo and the Administrator of the African Development Bank and René Obam-Nlong opened this seminar series by meeting CERDI-UCA's students.

After introducing the CEMAC institutions, Daniel Ona Ondo recalled the importance of regional integration for poverty reduction and CEMAC's support for regional projects aimed in particular at opening up the region. He also cited as an example the PREF-CEMAC programme set up following the fall in oil prices, which had had a major impact on the economies of the five oil-producing CEMAC countries. This regional programme, combined with national adjustments with the IMF, has enabled 5 out of 6 countries to return to positive growth, even if it remains low.

In his speech, René Obam-Nlong, recalled that regional integration is one of the 5 priorities of the African Development Bank (AfDB). For the AfDB, Central Africa represents 10 countries. The region lags behind in development cooperation, and often receives less funding than other African sub-regions. Its member countries are poorly diversified, fragile and exposed to shocks. Trade integration is thus fundamental to improving relations and developing trade within the sub-region. Fairer taxation and debt are also important issues in Central Africa. The Bank's objective is therefore to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), to inform CEMAC and ECCAS the economic policy decisions, and to support the countries' efforts in terms of regional integration. The institution is present in almost all countries (only Congo has no country office).

These presentations were followed by a discussion with students on issues related to monetary integration, the connection between CFA-WAEMU and CFA-WAEMU, the link between IMF programs and flexibility in infrastructure development, CEMAC's fiscal efforts and its role on this issue, and the AfDB's role in the ZLECA negotiations.