Yaoundé, 23 June 2017 (ECA) - Stakeholders in Central Africa’s structural transformation are gearing up for the 33rd meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE2017) dubbed, “Made in Central Africa: from the vicious circle to the virtuous circle.”
Commenting on the theme of the four-day event, which is scheduled for 26-29 September 2017 in Douala, Cameroon, Antonio Pedro, Director of ECA’s Sub Regional Office for Central Africa (ECA/SRO-CA) said there is need to reflect on why GDP numbers for the sub-region are at variance with economic realities on the ground.
“The choice of this theme is motivated by our observation that Central Africa recorded an average real growth rate of about 5 per cent between 2010 and 2015 without a relative growth in industrialization, intra-regional trade, or the living standards of the populations,” explained Mr. Pedro. “Countries in the sub-region are still ranked at the bottom of the Human Development Index.”
Against this backdrop and given that the current production system in the sub-region has not generated a virtuous circle of inclusive and sustainable growth, ECA has recommended that productive assets and resources be redirected towards more productive sectors, particularly the manufacturing industry and modern services - in a bid to accelerate structural transformation.
For Mr. Pedro, therefore, ICE 2017 is “an opportunity to reflect on how to break the vicious circle of non-inclusive growth through the constitution of a diversified and competitive industrial fabric, which not only allows for better integration of Central African countries into international value chains, but also massive creation of decent jobs.”
The meeting also aims to review progress made in the implementation of ECA/SRO-CA’s 2016 programme of work and provide directions for the implementation of the Office’s 2017 programme. The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts is an organ entrusted with the supervision of ECA/SRO-CA’s activities.
ICE 2017 will bring together representatives of ministries in charge of planning, economy, industry, mines, trade, and small and medium-sized enterprises; delegates from ECCAS, CEMAC and their specialized agencies; representatives of UNIDO, FAO, UNDP, AfDB, the private sector, civil society, universities and research centres in the sub-region.
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