Central African States have reaffirmed their commitment to accelerate the negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) during a summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
On Saturday Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba called for the signing of an “economic partnership agreement (EPA), that is fair and balanced” with the EU, on behalf of the economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC).
Negotiations between the EU and CEMAC ( which consists of Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea) began in 2003 but only Cameroon has signed an agreement with the EU.
Member states from Central Africa have not concluded an agreement with Brussels unlike countries located in West Africa. The agreements are expected to facilitate the export of African products to Europe.
Economic growth in Central Africa is expected to slow to 1.7% in 2016 against 2.5% in 2015 due to reduced public investment and lower oil production.
Countries in the sub-region recorded a growth of 4.9% in 2014.
The Governor of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has advised the member states to diversify their economies to less feel the shocks caused by falling oil prices.