Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Cameroon: Major Contribution by President Biya in ACP Summit

Before leaving Malabo on Friday 14 December, the Head of State made two major statements.

The Head of State, President Paul Biya and wife, Chantal left the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo on 14 December after a remarkable participation at the 7th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. President Biya launched discussions in the first panel on Thursday on the theme of the summit: "The Future of the ACP Group in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities," and made another statement at the closed door session on Friday that focused on: "Environment, Climate Change, Food Security, and Rural Development in ACP countries."

Mr Biya who few in on Wednesday 12 December, was accompanied during the summit by his wife, Chantal Biya, the Minister of External Relations, Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo who attended the ACP joint ministerial conference on Wednesday, the Minister, Director of the Civil Cabinet, Martin Belinga Eboutou, the Assistant Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, Magloire Seraphine Founda, Minister in charge of Special Duties at the Presidency, Paul Atanga Nji, Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, the Ambassador of Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea, Lazare Mpouelle Mbala, as well as Cameroon's Ambassador to Brussels, Daniel Evina Ane'e.

Speaking on the future of the ACP, the Head of State said Cameroon remains closely attached to the various partnership agreements signed between the EU and the ACP. However, he noted that while seeking ways to improve on the agreements, it was important for ACP countries to seek to diversify trade links and make the best out of globalisation. He recalled that the benefits of ACP-EU partnership were numerous, yet it was time ACP countries fostered sub-regional cooperation, transformed their economies and searched for a durable alternative to the Cotonou Agreement with the EU that ends by 2020.

Concerning the second panel discussion on Friday, the Head of State noted what Cameroon was already doing in that direction. The initiative taken by Cameroon, he said will cost about FCFA 7,000 billion with about FCFA 6,000 billion of the amount reserved for the production and transportation of electricity while the rest will serve in making energy available to the rural areas, thereby fighting food shortages, improving living conditions and ensuring rural development in the country.

The valuable contribution by Cameroon to the outcome of the 7th Summit of the ACP in Malabo was through Council of Ministers meeting chaired by the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Ganou Djoumessi and Daniel Evina Ane'e, Cameroon's Ambassador to Brussels who chaired the ACP Ambassador's Committee. Both structures were instrumental in preparing the various files examined at the Malabo Summit. As such, the presence of the Head of State at the Summit not only boosted the diplomatic image of Cameroon but equally underlined the central role that the Head of State played in the outcome of the Malabo gathering.

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