Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

9 July 2014

Cameroon: Economic Partnership Bill for Scrutiny

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, yesterday July 8, 2014 announced in plenary sitting in Yaounde that government has tabled a draft bill on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to be forwarded to the Foreign Affairs Committee for scrutiny.

The bill is to authorise the President to ratify the interim agreement in view of an Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and its member States, on the one part, and the Central Africa Sub-region party, on the other. House Speaker announced that the bill will be defended in committee by the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi.

The agreement seeks to provide for the importation of products from the European Union and also commits the parties to collaborate in order to mitigate the effects on Cameroon's economy following the opening up of its market. The measures include the payment of compensation to be determined by partners.

The EPA, according to the introductory statement of the bill will contribute to reducing poverty by establishing coherent trade partnership and promoting Cameroon's integration into the global economy in accordance with its political options and development priorities. The agreement is also expected to create new and more conducive business climate between the parties in the domains of economic governance, trade and investments, thus providing new growth and development prospects.

Two Private Members Bills Adopted

The bills from the CPDM Parliamentary Group at the National Assembly are on the procedures of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry and the Standing Orders of the Congress of Parliaments. Unlike plenary sittings on the adoption of government bills whereby Cabinet Ministers who defended the bills in committee usually face stiff criticisms from Members of Parliament on the stakes of such bills, yesterday's private members bills went through without resistance.

After reading through draft reports from the Constitutional Laws Committee by rapporteurs, Hon. Mariam Goni and Hon. Emah Etoundi Vincent de Paul, House Speaker and the Chairperson of the said committee, Hon. Zondol, only mentioned some amendments, most of which concerned the English versions of the bills. The draft bills were defended in committee by six Members of Parliament, led by Hon. Théophile Baoro. After cross-checking, the two bills were adopted in plenary.

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