Walk The Solidarity Talk!

The number of times Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, current Chairperson of the Conference of Heads of State of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), mentioned the word “Solidarity” in his speech during the extraordinary summit of the sub-regional leaders on August 18, 2021 is telling of a burning issue worth handling head-on. In effect, the challenges the sub regional economies have faced in recent past; moving from a global drop in commodity prices and today Covid-19, require robust and concerted efforts.
Holding a CEMAC Heads of State Summit via video conference; as was the case on Wednesday August 18, 2021, was to say the least unprecedented. But the ravaging pandemic obliged the sub-regional leaders to respect the universally-accepted social distancing; one of the acclaimed combat measures. This certainly deprived them of the physical warmth of previous meetings each time they met, but the urgency of revitalising the economies necessitated the distance meeting to evaluate the path covered, and chart the way forward. 
The 24-point recommendations that sanctioned the Summit are now like a compass to guide field actions. All and sundry are certainly looking up to the CEMAC leaders and other stakeholders; notably technical and financial partners, to materialise the recommendations. And like President Paul Biya elaborately put in, there is need for togetherness if CEMAC must stand the test of time. “To overcome such challenges, we have, as in 2016, one major asset: OUR SOLIDARITY. It enabled us to take concerted, coherent and effective action within our Community. This time again, we can show such solidarity and forge ahead towards a structural transformation of our economies,” the President said. Visibly, the teething problem of keeping the CEMAC economies above the murky waters of Covid-19 rekindled the solidarity spirit in the leaders shown through their massive participation in the Summit.
That five of the six Heads of State actively took part in the video conclave with the Republic of Congo represented by a Prime Minister is indicative of the stakes of the raging crisis. Understandably so as the pandemic is sparing no country. It has showed no mercy to human life, national and sub-regional economies. It is common knowledge that the Covid-19 pandemic brought about a deterioration of the macroeconomic and fiscal balances. The trends in CEMAC foreign exchange reserves have declined, the regional integration has had insufficient knock-on effects on intra-community trade. Coupled with...



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