The Head of State and wife, Chantal Biya arrived in N’Djamena yesterday to participate at the Extraordinary sub-regional gathering today.
An extraordinary Summit of Heads of State of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC, will hold today 31 October, 2017 at the behest of Chadian President, Idriss Deby Itno, who is the current President of the institution. The President of Cameroon, Paul Biya who is attending the event arrived in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena yesterday by 4:50 p.m. accompanied by his wife and a strong delegation of cabinet Ministers handling files related to the event. He was welcomed at the foot of the plane by the Chadian Head of State, Idriss Deby Itno and Wife, Hinda Deby Itno.
Since last year, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, indicated the challenging economic situation in the sub-region and suggested remedial measures to get the economies of the six member countries namely: Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo Brazzaville on track. Even though Cameroon has been witnessing a more favourable economic situation, the drop in the prices of raw materials, especially crude oil has affected all the countries and the hindrances to the movement of persons and goods kept the entire CEMAC zone backwards. In addition, the initial idea of creating an integrated sub-region has been impossible with certain member States holding tight to their national interests rather than community good. Even the CEMAC Additional Act of 25 June, 2013 which Cameroon and Congo agreed to, has only come into effect in Chad, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea between August and October this year. By removing the visa restrictions to the movement of persons within the sub-region for a period of three months if they own a valid diplomatic, service or ordinary passport, intra-regional trade within the zone will likely be enhanced.
Today’s extraordinary summit will as such be expected to look into other salient issues that must be ironed out to foster growth and prosperity in CEMAC member countries. The programme begins as early as 8:00 a.m. with the arrival of personalities and the Heads of State, four of whom were announced to have confirmed their participation will be entering the Hotel Radisson Blu conference hall by 10:30 a.m.
Presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon, Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic will meet to look into ways of tackling the economic crisis facing the sub-region and fostering their integration agenda. Gabon and the Republic of Congo are expected to be represented at Prime Ministerial levels.
Accompanying President Paul Biya to the Summit are the Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze, the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, the Minister in Charge of Special Duties at the Presidency, Victor Arrey Mengot, the Minister, Assistant Director of Civil Cabinet at the Presidency, Joseph LE among other officials as well as close aides to the Head of State.
As if to underline the locomotive role that Cameroon plays within the sub-region, supporters of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM were massively present at the Hassan Djamous Airport in N’Djamena to offer a hectic welcome to the Presidential Couple. Coming from Kouseri in the Logone and Chari Division that is neighbouring Chad and even as far as the Adamawa and North Regions, the CPDM supports danced to the rhythms of several cultural groups in Cameroon. They sought to highlight their attachment to State institutions in the country and the Unity and peace which they insisted that Cameroonians should seek to uphold.