AfDB approves economic integration strategy for Central Africa

Africa economyAfrican Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the Central Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper 2019 – 2025, adopting the bank’s multinational operations in Central Africa over the indicated period

The Central Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP) for 2019 – 2025 builds on the lessons learned from the implementation of previous regional development initiatives. It also lists the Bank’s plans to accelerate intra-regional trade, inclusive economic growth and structural transformation of the Central African region.

It is set to guide the bank’s regional operations in seven member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), namely Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Central African Republic - a combined population of around 130mn people.

The cooperation, integration and economic development goals of the 2019 – 2025 Central Africa regional strategy will be achieved from the basis of two pillars: the first strengthens regional infrastructure (focusing on electricity networks, transport and ICT), while the second supports reforms for intra-regional trade development and cross-border investments and builds the institutional capacity of regional organizations, especially ECCAS and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

“Central Africa has significant oil resources, deposits of precious metals and minerals, huge transboundary water resources, and the continent's greatest hydropower potential. Implementation of the Central Africa integration strategy will encourage regional and national authorities to ensure that cross-border programmes and initiatives are embedded into public resource planning and administration,” said Ousmane Dore, director-general of AfDB’s Central Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.

The infrastructure and institutional capacity-building components of the plan will also support the resilience of the countries in the region. Specific operations will also strengthen resilience to food insecurity, enable the socio-economic reintegration of vulnerable groups, and conserve ecosystems in the Congo Basin.

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