The Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) is now headed by a commission whose task is to tackle the integration of the eleven countries in the region.
The new team was installed Tuesday, September 1 in Libreville, the headquarters of the institution, to replace the General Secretariat that was dissolved, in order to implement the reforms leading to this end.
The appointment of the members of the CEEAC Commission was made since July 30, during the 17th ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of this sub-regional body.
Held by videoconference, it was chaired by Gabon’s Ali Bongo who, on this occasion, passed the torch of the CEEAC chairmanship to his Congolese counterpart Denis Sassou Nguesso, endorsed by acclamation.
For this new start, the eleven leaders of CEEAC's member countries have in turn appointed Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo of Angola, as president of the institution.
Upon assuming office on Tuesday, he indicated that security and the free movement of goods and people between member states would be the priorities of his five-year term.
“During this term, we will have to resolve the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR); there is also the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Boko Haram in Chad and Cameroon. These are the challenges that we must meet because if we do not have peace in these countries, there will be no development in the sub-region,” he told RFI, warning about the other challenges of integration.
“We have the visa problem. I myself am Angolan; in order to come to Gabon, I have to apply for a visa. It's not normal,” he said.
The 17th ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the CEEAC focused on the institutional reform of the sub-regional institution.
This was ordered on May 25, 2015 by the bloc gathered in Ndjamena, the capital of Chad, to improve the efficiency of the community.
Created 37 years ago in Libreville, the CEEAC lags behind in terms of integration, compared to other regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) or the Southern African Development Commission (SADC).
The region is however rich in oil, minerals, timber and other natural resources but the lack of roads hinders access to this market of 150 million consumers.