Country

Overall project value

Proportion carried out by BKP Development (%)

No of staff provided

Name of client

Origin of funding

Dates (start/end)

Cameroon and Central African countries (Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, D.R. Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tomé & Principe, and Chad)

EUR 179,984

100

1

National EPA Negotiations Monitoring and Coordination Committee

EDF

10/2011 – 03/2012

Detailed description of project

Type of services provided

The European Union is currently negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with eight countries in the Central African region (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and São Tomé & Principe). Cameroon is the only country in the region to have signed, on 15 January 2009, an interim EPA. According to the interim EPA, which covers all goods sectors, Cameroon would liberalise 50% of imports from the EU, in value terms, over 10 years and 80% of imports, in value terms, over 15 years.

Following the signature of the interim EPA, the negotiation process slowed down. It also became clear that the resumption of negotiations with a view to achieve a full regional EPA with Central Africa requires better coordination between stakeholders. In this light, the project was designed to allow Cameroon and the Central African region to continue the EPA negotiations with better preparation and analysis, and to formulate a regional common trade policy, in particular with respect to the establishment of a regional mechanism to compensate customs revenue losses and to formulate and implement regional sector policies.

The specific objectives of the project were to strengthen the capacities of Cameroon and the Central African region to conclude EPA negotiations in a satisfactory way and to strengthen their trade analysis capabilities, with the aim to formulate a common trade policy for the Central African region and to facilitate the work on administrative and customs aspects.

The results were the following:

  • Formulation of a common trade policy, taking into account sectoral policies and regional aid-for-trade and trade facilitation strategies;

  • Technical notes on the establishment and operation of a regional mechanism aimed at compensating customs revenue losses, and analysis of country strategy priorities, the orientations of the Regional Economic Programme and regional sector policies;

  • Technical capacities of EPA negotiators strengthened;

  • Establishment of a regional Central African trade policy review system at the WTO.

  • Advice on trade negotiations;
  • Technical support to trade negotiators;
  • Formulation of a regional trade policy;
  • Capacity-building.