Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Gabon: Cameroon - Gabon - Cooperation Agreements Under Scrutiny

The 13th edition of the Cameroon- Gabon Enlarged Joint Commission session will end on friday in Yaounde with the signing of cooperation agreements in the areas of consular issues, forestry, agriculture, higher education, maritime fishing, tourism, small and medium-sized enterprises, professional training and the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments.

The opening ceremony of the Commission session that comes 14 years after that held in Libreville, Gabon on July 18, 1997, took place on March 3, at the Yaounde Conference Centre. Cameroon's Minister of External Relations, Henri Eyebe Ayissi, is leading the country's delegation, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and the Francophony of Gabon, Paul Toungui is leading the Gabonese delegation.

Minister Eyebe Ayissi in his opening speech described the Commission session as the best occasion to review Cameroon- Gabon bilateral cooperation and explore ways of diversifying them to fully exploit the potentials in the two countries. Experts will during the two-day Commission meeting review and update the judicial frameworks of the respective cooperation agreements intended to foster sub-regional integration. The Cameroonian delegation submitted draft agreements in the areas of tourism, science and technology, maritime fishing, women's empowerment and the family and higher education. There is also partnership between Cameroon's National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM), the General Directorate of Taxation of Gabon, as well as a draft Memorandum of Understanding between ENAM and Gabon's National School of Administration (ENA). The framework agreements, Eyebe Ayissi said, will translate into concrete action the interest of Presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon and Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon for the two countries to be the pool of cooperation and development in the sub-region.

The leader of the Gabonese delegation, Paul Toungui said, officials and experts will make a diagnosis of cooperation and explore new avenues. The Gabonese delegation submitted for scrutiny draft agreements in the areas of regular diplomatic consultations, reciprocal promotion and protection of investments, promotion and development of small and medium-sized enterprises, justice, forestry, agriculture and professional training.

Many members of government both from Cameroon and Gabon were present for the opening ceremony of the Commission session. Work later on continued in three sub-commissions. The Gabonese Foreign Affairs Minister was also programmed to have separate audiences with Cameroon government officials. The session ends today with a joint communiqué and the signing of agreement documents.

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