11 March 2014

Central Africa: ECCAS Financing Proposals Presented

The proposals of the Yaounde meeting that ended on March 10, 2014, will be discussed in Maputo, Mozambique.

After holding the first-ever regional conference on financing infrastructure in the Economic Community of Central African States, ECCAS, in Yaounde on March 10, 2014, a number of alternative ways of obtaining finances were presented to the national and international press at the end of the conclave.

The press conference chaired by Cameroon's Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, flanked by the Deputy Director for African Department of the International Monetary Fund, Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf and the delegation leader of the International Monetary Fund, Mario de Zamaroczy edified the press.

Given that there is an annual shortage of 2,500 billion FCFA to meet set objectives in infrastructure yearly, experts noted that if internal resources like natural resources are maximised and unproductive expenditure curbed, it would help salvage the worrying financing situation. In addition to maximising internal resources, they resolved that an appeal to the private sector through public-private partnership would add to financing.

In order to bridge the gap between needs and finances, participants in the conference equally raised the viewpoint of innovative financing, the role of the capital market and improved access to loan. Nonetheless, the final declaration of the regional conference insisted that while borrowing, member countries should avoid debt accumulation.

During the regional conference jointly organised by the Cameroon government and the International Monetary Fund, the representatives from all ECCAS countries and stakeholders attested that there is need to diversify ways of financing. The proposed alternative sources of financing infrastructure in the region would be the focus of a two-day discussion forum at the Maputo conference in Mozambique scheduled for May 29 and 30 this year.

When the alternative sources must have been endorsed and added to the traditional finance structures among which are bilateral and multilateral assistance, and financial instruments like corporate bank loans, equity finance and debt finance, would greatly propel development in the Sub-region, reduce unemployment and poverty.

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