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Major Funding Support Announced for Central Africa’s Priority Projects at Upcoming Paris Roundtable

In a significant development, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have given their preliminary approval to back the upcoming Paris Roundtable. This event, organized by the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and scheduled for November 28th and 29th, is set to gather crucial funding for Central Africa’s second program of priority integrated projects. With strong interest from various partners, including AFD, this conference aims to replicate the success of its predecessor held three years ago, showcasing the commitment of international institutions to support the region’s development goals.

In their recent interactions with members of the high-level delegation from CEMAC, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have given their preliminary approval to support the organization of the Paris Roundtable aimed at securing funding for Central Africa’s second program of priority integrated projects.

Scheduled for November 28th and 29th in Paris, France, this donor conference, orchestrated by the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), is anticipated to be a resounding success, following in the footsteps of its previous iteration held three years ago. With just three months remaining until the event, several partners have already expressed strong interest, with AFD prominently among them, as indicated by Jean-Baptiste Ondaye’s report summarizing his mission spanning from June 26th to July 4th, 2023, encompassing Europe and Dubai.

As reported by the Congolese Minister of Economy and Finance, who also holds the position of President of PREF-CEMAC, discussions held on June 26th, 2023, in Paris revealed AFD’s readiness to offer technical assistance in organizing the roundtable, contribute to financing CEMAC’s second program of priority integrated projects, and advocate on behalf of the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Following a productive session with the delegation on June 28th in Luxembourg, the Bank itself has provided preliminary approval to support CEMAC in securing financing and executing 10 out of the 13 priority integrated projects outlined in the second program adopted on March 17th in Yaoundé, Cameroon. These projects notably comprise 8 related to road and rail infrastructure development, alongside 2 focused on electronic interconnectivity.

The Congolese government official further reports that on June 29th in Brussels, Belgium, discussions with the Director-General of International Partnerships at the European Union Commission showcased the organization’s interest in four projects: the development and asphalting of the Garoua-Boulai-Baboua road within Corridor 2 (Cameroon-CAR), the extension of the railway line between Ngaoundéré and N’Djaména (Cameroon-Chad), improvements to navigational facilities and ports on the Congo River and its tributaries (Congo-CAR), and support for the integrated development of the timber industry in the Congo Basin.

During a meeting in Dubai on July 2nd, the Senior Vice President of Blend Finance made a commitment to assist and bolster the Steering Committee of PREF-CEMAC in securing funding for this second program from sources within the Islamic finance sphere.