Libreville (Rep. Gabon), March 28, 2023 – On the sidelines of his mission to evaluate his teams based in Libreville, the Managing Director of the African Development Bank, Doctor Serge Marie N’Guessan paid a courtesy call on the President of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission, His Excellency, the Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo.
Discussions between the two personalities focused on (01) cooperation between the African Development Bank (ADB) and ECCAS, (02) integrating projects, notably in infrastructure, energy and trade, whose regional rate remains one of the lowest on the continent, and ECCAS’s priorities for visibility. “We expect ECCAS to truly play its role as the driving force behind the implementation of integration projects in the region…and it is for this reason that we want to obtain guidance from the President of the ECCAS Commission on the desiderata of the institution”, said the AfDB Managing Director.
Very relaxed, the President of the ECCAS Commission, who was delighted by the presence of the AfDB Managing Director on his premises, hammered home his message: “The AfDB is our development bank. “The AfDB is our development bank… We owe it our current performance in supporting infrastructure construction”.
Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo deplored the low level of trade between ECCAS member states, and vehemently condemned the manifest individualism of certain states, which always go it alone in carrying out certain projects, forgetting that it is union that makes strength. With regard to the essential role of energy, the Chairman of the Commission asked himself “How can we develop our economies without energy?
Turning to transport infrastructure issues, the Chairman of the Commission announced that a summit of Heads of State was in preparation, at which a review of infrastructure in connection with the Plan Directeur Consensuel des Transports en Afrique Centrale (PDCT-AC) would be carried out, and new orientations would be given by them to relaunch bankable projects with a view to salvaging what can still be salvaged from this Plan, which has been floundering since its creation in 2002, with its share of requirements for payment of counterpart funds by beneficiary countries.
The number 1 of the ECCAS Commission also spoke of (a) the project in preparation for the creation of a State Compensation, Cooperation and Development Fund based on the Community Integration Contribution (CCI), (b) the problem of governance of the fund and the security situation in some of the region’s countries.
The General Manager welcomed the project on compensation, cooperation and development funds for ECCAS member states, as well as the one on governance. He pointed out that the support to be provided by the AfDB to ECCAS stems from the needs expressed by ECCAS.
A meeting is scheduled within a reasonable timeframe between ECCAS and ADB experts to further refine the projects, so that concrete action takes precedence over words, to the great satisfaction of both institutions.