The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) was established on October 18, 1983 by the signing in Libreville of its Constitutive Treaty, which was revised and adopted on December 18, 2019 and entered into force on December 28, 2019. August 2020. ECCAS is made up of eleven Member States: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe and Chad. It is one of the eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) recognized as pillars of regional integration in Africa and therefore fully engaged in multiple dynamics related to the construction of the African Economic Community provided for by the Treaty of Abuja.

The main executive body of ECCAS acquired the status of Commission in December 2019, following an institutional reform. The institution’s vision is to promote:« A common future, in an environment of peace, security and stability, ensured by sustainable development, good governance, the growing improvement of the living conditions of citizens, freedom and justice ».


According to its Treaty, the Community aims to promote cooperation and the strengthening of regional integration in Central Africa in all areas of political, security, economic, monetary, financial, social, cultural, scientific and technical activity with a view to to achieve collective self-reliance, to raise the standard of living of the people, to increase and maintain economic stability, to strengthen and preserve the close peaceful relations between its Member States and to contribute to the progress and development of the African continent .

To achieve this, six (6) priority areas of integration have been defined by the Heads of State and Government:

  • Political Integration, Peace and Security. It aims, through political cooperation, to guarantee, within the region, peace and security, which are prerequisites for a state of integration that generates harmonious and sustainable socio-economic development;
  • l’Intégration Économique et Financière. It aims to establish a common market as well as the free movement of goods, capital and services within the regional space;
  • Physical Integration through the development of infrastructure and land use planning, which consists of ensuring road, rail, air and sea links and materializing the sense of common space, the establishment of a common regional market, as well as the free movement of persons, goods and services;
  • Environmental Integration and Rural Development which aims to preserve the conditions of survival for future generations, thus guaranteeing sustainable development, and a significant increase in the production, productivity and competitiveness of the sub-region, in order to ensure food security for people in the community and access to regional and international markets;
  • Social Integration and Human Development, which aims to eradicate poverty in all its forms throughout Central Africa and ensure that every “afrocentralien” can live in good health; and to ensure access for all to quality education, on an equal footing, to acquire technical, scientific and cultural knowledge likely to offer everyone a decent job in an environment where equality and equity gender is ensured. » ; and then
  • (vi) the pursuit of Institutional and Organizational Reform in order to establish all the different community integration mechanisms and revise the legal and regulatory framework.


With an area of 6.67 million km² for an estimated population of 200 million in 2020, the region is favorable for investment and business development. For more than a decade, economic activity in the region has been among the most dynamic on the continent, even if the pace has slowed following the fall in oil prices, with average growth around 5% over the last five years. . A performance certainly attributable to soaring commodity prices, but also to macroeconomic stability and the implementation of good policies that have helped to support growth. The export of hydrocarbons represents 41% of GDP and dominates the economy of the region, closely followed by forestry and extractive mining industries, and finally by agro-industries centered around the processing of cotton, coffee and cocoa, rubber.

To consolidate these achievements and commit to the structural transformation of economies, the region has many assets, in particular:

  • Its pivotal and strategic position in the center of Africa could make it a privileged area for trade between the regions of the continent.
  • Significant resources including oil, mineral and mining (diamond, copper, iron, manganese, cobalt, etc.) some of which are world-class deposits. Proven oil reserves for the region are estimated at 31.3 billion barrels, or 28% of the continent’s total reserves.
  • Significant agricultural, forestry and hydraulic potential. The Congo Basin, estimated at 227 million hectares, is home to the second largest forest and hydraulic reserve in the world. It is therefore one of the lungs of the planet.
  • The richness of its ecosystem: approximately 26,355 m3 of water per inhabitant per year, 27 million hectares of arable land, 135 million hectares of pasture and four ecological zones favorable to the development of agriculture and pastoral activities.
  • Finally, a relatively large hydroelectric potential, i.e. 60% of the potential of the African continent.

Currency Area Population GDP GDP (PPP) GDP (PPP) per capita
(km ²) (in thousands) (in millions of $) (in millions of $) ($ current international)
Kwanza 1 246 700 29 784 122 124 198 299 6 658
Burundi Burundian Franc 27 834 10 864 3 172 7 990 736
Cameroon CFA franc (CEMAC) 475 650 24 054 34 923 89 538 3 722
Central African Republic CFA franc (CEMAC) 622 984 4 659 1 949 3 389 727
Republic of Congo CFA Franc (CEMAC) 342 000 5 261 8 701 28 694 5 454
Democratic Republic of Congo Congolese franc 2 344 858 81 340 37 642 72 319 889
Gabon CFA Franc (CEMAC) 267 668 2 025 15 014 36 682 18 113
Equatorial Guinea
CFA Franc (CEMAC) 28 051 1 268 12 294 30 981 24 439
Rwanda Rwandan franc 26 338 12 208 9 135 24 948 2 044
Sao Tome and Principe
Dobra 964 204 393 686 3 359
Chad CFA Franc (CEMAC) 1 284 000 14 900 9 871 28 985 1 945

With the support of its development partners, ECCAS is investing in programs that should contribute to accelerating regional integration in Central Africa and the achievement of the objectives set out in Vision 2025. Especially :

In the area of peace and security: improving political stability in the region. To guarantee this stability, the States created in February 2000, the Peace and Security Council for Central Africa (COPAX). The results obtained since 2004 are appreciable, particularly with the strengthening of the capacities of the Multinational Force for Central Africa (FOMAC) and the Early Warning Mechanism for Central Africa (MARAC).

In the field of transport: the region’s strategy focuses on the Consensual Development Plan for Transport in Central Africa (PDCT-AC) which includes 14 priority projects including all the transport infrastructures that support the international trade of the States of the region (main ports, international airports, railways, river and lake networks). In this context, road transport facilitations have been launched and their achievements will fill the important missing links of the major West-East (Lagos-Mombasa) and North-South (Tripoli-Cape Town) trans-African corridors. Also in the field of air and sea transport, it was noted for an efficient implementation of the PDCT-AC the need to improve connectivity by air and sea in the region.

In the field of energy infrastructure, ECCAS activities aim to develop and consolidate a regional energy market, piloted by the Central African Power Pool (PEAC), recognized as an appropriate institutional framework to stimulate regional cooperation and materialize the political commitment of member countries to work together to exploit the enormous energy potential of the region. Studies are underway for the construction of electrical interconnections between the countries of the region and with the rest of Africa, in particular from the Inga dam (DRC), a major factor in integration between the large regions of Africa. In addition, and in order to make better use of the region’s water resources, a regional water policy was adopted in 2009. The aim is to provide Central Africa with a forward-looking framework for the management of its water resources by integrating the relevant orientations of the Hague Conference.

With regard to the environment: the specific work program of ECCAS pursues the overall objective of developing natural resources to increase their contribution to the economy of our States and improve decision-making through the observation of ecosystems and climate change. With a global and continental vocation due to the importance of the Congo Basin, the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) is the main body responsible for the conservation and sustainable management of the forest and savannah ecosystems of this basin. In addition, a short-term process for the integration of disaster prevention and adaptation to climate change in national and regional policies, programs and projects has been initiated and implemented at the ECCAS level.

In the field of trade and industry, main axis on which the Community’s integration strategy is based, the activities revolve around the major objective of achieving the creation of a regional common market and, ultimately, in coordination with the other regions, the creation of the great African common market. The free trade area (FTA) has been in effect since 2004; it should result in a Customs Union (CU), in particular a common external tariff (CET) and a common commercial policy with regard to third parties. The Community should also proceed in the medium term with the harmonization of the economic policies of the Member States with a view to making the regional common market operational. Other work to standardize the exceptional exemptions granted under certain special regimes (mining, forestry and petroleum codes, etc.) will be undertaken, with a view to achieving a vast regional common market.

In the field of Agriculture and food security, strategic actions have been initiated, in particular by the development and adoption of the Common Agricultural Policy of ECCAS (PAC-CEEAC) and the Regional Agricultural Investment Program, Food and Nutritional Security (PRIASAN) in May 2015. To this end, significant progress has been made following the organization of the Meeting of Ministers of ECCAS Member States in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and the round table of donors. held in December 2017 sanctioned by a Ministerial Declaration in support of the transformation of Agriculture in Central Africa in accordance with the commitments of the Malabo Declaration of June 2014.

In this perspective, several Technical and Financial Partners including AfDB, BADEA, FAO, ECA and the EU have expressed their intention to support ECCAS in implementing a number of community initiatives arising from PRIASAN, in particular the financial support for (i) the Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Support Project in Central Africa (PREJAC), (ii) the establishment of the Special Regional Fund for Agricultural Development (FSRDA) to facilitate the access of small farmers to inputs, agricultural equipment, small processing and storage units. (iii) the support project for the development of promising sectors, in particular the cotton-textile and clothing value chains and the meat sectors, (iv) support for the development of livestock and the pastoral economy and (v) support for the revision of the CAP and PRIASAN. All of this financial support is estimated at more than 90 million USD.

In the field of Gender Promotion, Human and Social Development, all the rich and varied initiatives that are taken aim to accelerate the development of human capital. Priority has been given generally to the improvement of Human Capital, but more specifically to the human condition through the sectors of health, social affairs, culture, employment, sport, gender, education, youth and migration with a view to strengthening regional integration.

In the field of Gender Promotion, Human and Social Development, all the rich and varied initiatives that are taken generally aim to accelerate the improvement of the human condition. Priority has been given to it to develop more specifically human capital through the sectors of health, social affairs, culture, employment, sport, gender, education, youth and migration with a view to strengthening regional integration. From the point of view of health infrastructure, we note that the Central African Health Organization (OSAC) is now operational. Within the framework of the programmes, decisive actions are undertaken, among which are the implementation of regional epidemiological surveillance and health security projects (REDISSE IV), the management of issues relating to inclusive social protection, the Development of a Dashboard for monitoring indicators of children’s rights in Central Africa. In terms of gender, we can note the attention given to (i) the strengthening of gender issues in peace, security and stability mechanisms and the integration of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts; (ii) the Regional Network of Women Mediators of Central Africa, (ii) strengthening the empowerment of women and the establishment of the Regional Network of Women Entrepreneurs. Then there is culture as a tool for human and social construction which is promoted through the cultural and creative industries. It should also be noted, a more professional approach to sports governance with the design of an entire talent detection program. Education, Training, Science, Technology and Innovation are becoming a concrete way to respond to everyday problems. Finally, migration issues, the challenges they raise, the opportunities they could help seize and the good practices they inspire in the context of successful regional integration.


Notwithstanding these efforts, it should be noted that many challenges are still to be met to achieve an appreciable level of regional integration in Central Africa.

At the political level, understanding and rapprochement between countries, in accordance with the spirit of the African Union, represent the greatest challenge to regional integration in Africa; The region is made up of fragile states, landlocked countries and forest countries. This configuration gives all its meaning to the process of regional integration in Central Africa. The densification of basic infrastructures, the improvement of the interconnections of national transport networks between the countries of Central Africa, the increase in the levels of electricity consumption per inhabitant (currently 12.5 kWh against 17.3 for the continent), improving access to ICT (per 1,000 inhabitants there are 10.2 Internet access lines, 21.6 mobile telephone lines and 3.6 fixed telephone lines against 61.8, 37.6 and 32 ,4 respectively for the continent) are major challenges that the region aims to meet to promote the emergence of a dynamic and competitive private sector.

In terms of trade and integration, the priority activities to be implemented relate, in particular, to the effective application of a certain number of decisions, in particular:

  • protocol on the free movement and right of establishment of nationals of ECCAS countries,
  • facilitation of customs procedures,
  • establishment of the compensatory mechanism,
  • adoption of a common CEMAC/ECCAS CET,
  • elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers,
  • adoption and implementation of agricultural and industrial policies to support the process of structural transformation of the economies of the region. In general, ECCAS intends to build the capacities of all stakeholders for the development of intra and interregional trade. The strategy to achieve this is based on the following four pillars:
  • Participate in a pan-African network to be created to improve cooperation and coherence in the development of interregional trade;
  • Make the Commission a driving force for the development and promotion of intra- and inter-regional trade;
  • Make regional trade support networks proactive in policy dialogue, support and coordinated promotion of trade;
  • Strengthen productive capacities and improve the export competitiveness of companies in growth sectors.

In terms of Agriculture and Food Security, ECCAS has enormous agro-ecological potential which needs to be developed based on continental initiatives, in particular Agenda 2063 and international initiatives including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the 2030 horizon. Priority actions should be articulated around:

  • The development of competitive agro-silvo-pastoral and fisheries value chains based on the comparative advantages of Member States;
  • The land issue and agricultural land grabbing in the Central African region and the directives to be proposed within the framework of the CAP;
  • The new issue related to transhumance with all aspects related to climate change, agro-pastoral conflicts, the fight against the loss of biodiversity, cross-border crime and trafficking of all kinds;
  • The promotion of improved seeds, including issues relating to biotechnologies, biosafety and seed regulations through community texts (Decision, Directives or Regulations);
  • Strategic food reserves with regard to the diversity of food systems;
  • The promotion of product quality and standardization at the regional level, within the framework of the promotion of the regional market and integration into international trade taking into account the ZLECAf;


  1. The organs of the Community are:
  2. a) The Conference of Heads of State and Government;
  3. b) The Council of Ministers;
  4. c) The Commission;
  5. d) Specialized Technical Committees
  6. e) The Committee of Permanent Representatives;
  7. f) The Interstate Committee of Experts;
  8. The institutions of the Community are:
  9. a) The Community Parliament;
  10. b) The Community Court of Justice;
  11. c) The Court of Auditors of the Community;
  12. d) Financial institutions;
  13. e) Specialized institutions.


Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

Boulevard Triomphal omar BONGO ONDIMBA

BP 2112 Libreville – Gabon

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