Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

13 June 2012

Cameroon Signs FCFA 31 Billion ACP-EU Accord

The money is part of the EU's FCFA 124.45 billion package to banana producing countries.

As fruit of the economic partnership agreement reached between some 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and the European Union (EU), popularly known as the ACP-EU Cotounou Accord, Cameroon has benefited 48 million euros, (about FCFA 31, 44 billion) to boost its banana production, a release from the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) has said.

According to the release, the money is part of a 190 million euros (about FCFA 124.45 billion) put at the disposal of signatory countries by the European Union. This information, the release states, filtered out of the Banana and Cotton Ministerial Committee meeting which MINEPAT boss, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, chaired in Port Vila, Vanuato. This was within the sidelines of the 95th session of Ministers of ACP and the 37th session of the Ministerial Council of ACP-EU which went underway in Port Vila on June 10 to round off tomorrow June 15.

Amidst mounting challenges of the cotton sector masterminded by the joint European Union agricultural policy and the American Farm Bill Law on agriculture, the ACP ministers came up with three-point proposals: An inclusive approach in information sharing, greater flexibility in implementing the approach as well as advocated the putting in place of 11 million euros (about FCFA 7.5 billion) by the European Union to follow up already engaged actions to rescue the sector from collapse. One major decision already arrived at in the ongoing Port Vila meeting is that Cameroon will in the next six months, from August 1, chair the ACP Ministerial Council.

The sessions, among others, examined the future of the ACP group, different cooperation programmes with the European Union and most importantly, planned for the upcoming 7th session of ACP Heads of State and Governments billed for Equatorial Guinea later this year. The ACP-EU Accord was signed on June 23, 2000 in Cotonou, Benin and concluded for a twenty-year period from March 2000 to February 2020 but it entered into force in April 2003.

Its objective is reducing and eventually eradicating poverty consistent with the objectives of sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world's economy.

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