Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

24 July 2012

Central Africa: President Paul Biya Attends Cemac Summit

The Head of State arrived in Brazzaville yesterday to join his peers to examine integration issues in Central Africa.

President Paul Biya arrived in Brazzaville yesterday July 24, 2012 for the 11th Summit of Heads of State of the Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC. On arrival at the Maya Maya International Airport, he was received by his Congolese counterpart, President Denis Sassou N'Guesso. Both leaders had a brief airport chat before taking a long drive standing in the Presidential limousine that took them over 200 m as they responded to the standing ovation from the hundreds of fans that came out to welcome President Paul Biya to Brazzaville.

The jubilant crowd that included supporters of the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement, CPDM, waved at the Head of State either using the Cameroon flag or simply clapping, singing and shouting as the President Biya and his Congolese counterpart, Denis Sassou N'Ngousso appreciated such a warm welcome reserved for the Cameroon Head of State.

Before the popular reception offered the Head of State, he also had the usual official airport reception with a bouquet of flower handed to him by 13-year old Attipo Nelle Offeyene Antoinette, handshake with the President of the CEMAC Commission, Antoin Ntsimi of Cameroon and a host of Congolese officials, the singing of the CEMAC Anthem, an inspection of the Guard of honour and he had a word for the several members of the constituted corps that turned out to welcome him at the airport.

Apart from the official opening of the CEMAC Summit that is taking place in Brazzaville this morning, there will be a close-door session by the Heads of State before the final communiqué and the closing press conference where clarifications will be given on the major outcome of the Brazzaville Summit.

From the 23rd Conference of Ministers of the CEMAC Sub-region that held in Brazzaville on July 22, 2012, it emerged that the Heads of State will have at least 20 crucial issues to examine as they meet for their 11th session today, July 25, 2012. The issues include the financial management of the institution, Air CEMAC, the Common biometric passport for CEMAC member countries, the Douala and Libreville Stock markets, and the level of implementation of reforms initiated within the CEMAC zone a few years ago. This issue of reforms cited among others by the President of the Conference of CEMAC Ministers, Pierre Moussa is a veiled reference to the rotation of posts of heads of the major CEMAC structures within member countries, and especially the election of the President of the CEMAC Commission. Antoine Ntsimi of Cameroon who has occupied the post for the last five years ended his term in May 2012. Despite controversy that cropped up involving Antoine Ntsimi and the President of the Central African Republic, some sources say he is still likely to be a candidate for the same post.

By 3:00 pm yesterday the Presidents of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno; Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and François Bozizé of the Central African Republic and Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon were already in Brazzaville for the Summit. The new leader of Soa Tome and Principe, Manuel Pinto Da Costa was also being announced for today as an observer at the Summit.

Later in the evening, President Paul Biya was represented at the launching ceremony of the Forbes Afrique magazine by the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Dloumessi. Samuel Eto'o whose picture is on the cover page of the Magazine was also present at the launching ceremony.

Apart from the Minister, Director of the Civil Cabinet of the Republic who flew in from Yaounde with the Head of State for the Summit, the Minister of Transport, Robert Nkili, the Minister in Charge of Special Duties at the Presidency, Victor Mengot, Minister, Assistant Secretary General at the Presidency, Seraphine Magloire Founda, and the Director of State Protocol, Simon Pierre Bekele, the official delegation from Cameroon also include those who were already in Brazzaville for the Ministerial Conference. They are the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Dloumessi, the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey and Cameroon's Ambassador to Congo, Njimoluh Komidor.

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