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AfDB Adopts Strategy for Regional Integration in Central Africa

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Tunis, 27 April, 2011 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) today approved its 2011-2015 Regional Strategy for Central Africa. The strategy is designed to reduce poverty through infrastructure development as well as institutional and human capacity building.

The strategy is in line with mandates of the AfDB Group and the African Union. It will involve the implementation of regional operations identified in sector programmes of regional economic communities, namely, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC). It also bears special relevance to Central Africa’s master plan for a transport and power pool.

The strategy is based on two pillars. The first focuses on strengthening weak infrastructure, which has proved to be a major constraint to Central Africa’s economic growth. Infrastructure development will include preservation of the Congo Basin, which is vital to the region and Africa as a whole. This is consistent with Bank Group strategy on climate risk management and climate change adaptation.

The second pillar focuses on regional institutional capacity building, which is key to infrastructure management within the framework of the Bank’s strategy to promote regional integration. The project will help integrate communities within the central African region, and reinforce project ownership both at regional and country levels.

Central Africa has the lowest infrastructure network on the continent, especially in the transport and energy sectors. This impacts negatively on the region’s productive capacity, trade, and social conditions. It is the least integrated region in Africa, despite its huge natural resource potential.

The Economic Community of Central African States is made up of Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe.

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