The Institutional Reform of ECCAS

December 19, 2019

The institutional reform of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) was ordered by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of ECCAS during its sixteenth ordinary session held in N’Djamena on May 25, 2015. On this occasion, the Conference approved the proposal made by the General Secretariat “to initiate a profound reform of ECCAS” and indicated its agreement for the immediate start of this process under the authority of the Chairman-in-Office of ECCAS, His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, with the support of the Ministers in charge of the integration of the Member States and a cabinet of experts.

This institutional reform aimed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of ECCAS with the aim of achieving a major qualitative leap in the governance of the Organization to make it a viable and strong Regional Economic Community, endowed with an Executive architecture renovated and adapted to the challenges of the day. This objective falls within the framework of strategic axis n° 9 of ECCAS Vision 2025, which recommended by 2015, to transform the General Secretariat into a Commission to enable it to respond to new strategic challenges and operational integration.

It has two major challenges, in particular:

  1. i. Integrate into a single and harmonized legal and institutional framework, all the components of the regional integration process within ECCAS, namely economic and trade integration, political integration and social stability, physical integration and ‘socio-cultural integration.
    1. ii. Contribute to accelerating the process of rationalization of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Central Africa in connection with, on the one hand, the Decision of the 7th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held from June 25 to July 02, 2006 in Banjul, and on the other hand, the will of the Heads of State and Government of ECCAS materialized by the launch of the rationalization process under the enlightened leadership of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, dedicated president of the said process.

For the conduct of this process, the Conference set up a Steering Committee Decision n°83/CEEAC/CCEG/XVI/17 of June 2, 2017 on the creation, attributions, composition and functioning of the Steering Committee of the Institutional Reform of ECCAS. The Steering Committee was assisted by a Technical Committee of Experts and a Technical Unit composed of the General Secretariat of ECCAS assisted by a specialized Cabinet. The Steering Committee was responsible for ensuring the coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the process of institutional reform of ECCAS.

At the end of the first phase of institutional reform, two main results have been achieved.

First, the revision of five fundamental texts of the Community namely, (i) the revised Treaty establishing ECCAS ratified by 10 member states and which entered into force on August 28, 2020, (ii) the draft Organic Framework of ECCAS, (iii) the draft revised Staff Regulations of ECCAS, (iv) the draft text revising the Financial Regulations of ECCAS and (v) the draft revised Protocol relating to the Peace and Security Council of Africa Central (COPAX).

Secondly, the first phase of the reform resulted in the appointment by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, during its 17th Ordinary Session, held on July 31, 2020, of the seven members of the ECCAS Commission as it follows.

Job titleFirst and Last NameCountry
President of the CommissionH.E Mr. Gilberto Da Piedade VERISSIMORepublic of Angola
Vice-President of The ECCAS CommissionH.E Ms. Francisca TATCHOUOP BELOBE Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECCAS CommissionMr. MANGARAL BANTERepublic of Chad
Commissioner for the Common Market, Economic, Monetary and Financial Affairs of the ECCAS CommissionMr. KANIMBA François Republic of Rwanda
Commissioner for the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development of the ECCAS Commission Mr. TABUNA HonoréRepublic of Congo
Commissioner for Spatial Planning and Infrastructures of the ECCAS CommissionMs. NGAKONO Marie Thérèse Chantal wife of MFOULA EDJOMO Republic of Cameroon
Commissioner for Gender Promotion, Human and Social Development of the ECCAS CommissionMs. KAPINGA-Yvette NGANDUDemocratic Republic of Congo

To finalize the reform, the Conference of Heads of State instructed the President of the ECCAS Commission to speed up the establishment of the other Community institutions provided for in the revised Treaty, the revision of the remaining fundamental texts and the preparation of the necessary implementing texts.

The revised Treaty recommends the establishment of the Community Parliament of ECCAS, the Community Court of Justice, the Community Court of Accounts, a Central Bank and a Development Bank.