1. On behalf of our CEMAC authorities, we wish to thank the Executive Board, Management and Staff for the continued support to CEMAC since the adoption in December 2016 of the regional strategy to exit the crisis. Our authorities are grateful for the constructive dialogue with Management and Staff, and for the renewed commitment to support their efforts in addressing the daunting macroeconomic challenges facing the region in a context of security tensions, notably continuous terrorist threats in three of the six countries.
2. Since the inception of the regional strategy—and even more so after the last Board meeting on CEMAC common policies last June—significant progress has been made by member countries and regional institutions on fiscal, monetary and financial sector policies needed to achieve the objectives of the regional strategy. Their efforts, supported by development partners, have been successful in adverting a full-blown crisis with tremendous consequences. However, while four countries are implementing Fund-supported programs as part of the regional strategy, two countries have yet to formally benefit from such support, namely Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Congo which account for 15% and 11% of CEMAC’s GDP respectively. Moreover, the regional authorities recognize that more remains to be done to diffuse uncertainties about the effectiveness of the regional efforts notably regarding the quality and sustainability of fiscal consolidation, closing the gap in external buffers, and restoring confidence.
3. It is in this context of uncertainties that the Extraordinary Summit of CEMAC Conference of Heads of State took place in N’Djamena in last October. Fully aware of the challenges facing the region, the Heads of State have, in a public Resolution, renewed their firm commitment to an orderly, concerted and solidary exit from crisis. In this vein, they have reiterated their commitment to enhance the monetary cooperation between the six countries and to the strict respect of its regulations. They have formulated clear and specific guidance to national authorities and regional institutions and called on the international financial community and development partners to step up their support to further invigorate the regional strategy.
4. Guided by this resolution, CEMAC institutions intend to build on the good progress made thus far by the regional central bank (BEAC), the regional banking supervisory body (COBAC), and the CEMAC Commission in supporting the strategy. The two former institutions have provided policy assurances consistent with their respective mandates through a Follow-up to the Letter of Support to the Recovery and Reform Programs Undertaken by the CEMAC Member Countries. Regional authorities share staff’s assessment of the situation, outlook, and significant risks facing the region, as well as their recommendations to sustain the external viability and economic resilience of CEMAC members. They call on the Fund and development partners to strengthen their support at this critical juncture.