13 June 2019

Africa: National Assembly - Continental Free Trade, Environment Bills Tabled

They were presented before the House during a plenary sitting chaired by the Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguié Djibril on June 12.

Atotal of three bills were on June 12, 2019 tabled before Members of Parliament at the National Assembly for scrutiny in the course of a plenary sitting Chaired by the House Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguié Djibril. The bills pertain to deepening African economic integration through free trade, the protection of the environment and ratifying certain provisions of the finance law for the 2019 financial year.

Bill No 1050/PJL/AN (first to be tabled) seeks to ratify Ordinance No 2019/1 of May 29, 2019 to amend and supplement certain provisions of the finance law of the Republic of Cameroon for the 2019 financial year. Explanatory notes about the bill state that the amendments are to help align with the current macroeconomic and budget framework which modified the assumptions on which the finance law was prepared while taking into account the findings of the latest review of the ThreeYear Economic and Financial Programme concluded with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Summarily, the budget revision increases the 2019 State budget from FCFA 4,850.0 billion to FCFA 5,212 billion, that is an increase of FCFA 361.5 billion in absolute terms and 7.5 per cent in relative terms. The second is Bill No 1051/PJL/AN which seeks to authorise the President of the Republic to ratify the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Zone (ACFTZ) signed on March 21, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Concerning the objectives, the agreement aims to deepen African economic integration by establishing a single market for goods, services, investments, intellectual property rights and the movement of people. Supporting documents on the bill indicate the ratification of this international legal instrument by Cameroon will help to foster SouthSouth cooperation, capture new markets, optimize customs revenue and diversify resources supply.

Lastly, the bill deposited at the House Chamber, Bill No 1052/PJL/AN prays the President of the Republic to ratify the amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, adopted in Kigali on October 16, 2016. The amendment mainly seeks to contribute to preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment, protecting human health, ensuring careful and rational use of natural resources and limiting exponential global warming.

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