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Africa Region : Transport : Trade Facilitation (CEMAC) Project, Volume 1

mardi 5 juin 2007, par M.M.

CEMAC which includes Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, was officially created in 1994 to replace the previous Customs Union (CU) UDEAC (Union Douanière des Etats d’Afrique Centrale). The six current CEMAC members cover an area of approximately 3 million square kilometers and have a population of about 32 million. CEMAC’s main long-term objective is to create a common market for goods, services, capital and labor. Trade and transport facilitation, along with a functioning CU, are essential to reach this objective. CEMAC is itself included in the broader ECCAS (Communauté Economique des Etats d’Afrique Centrale - Economic Community of Central African States), 1 which shares the same broad objectives. In March 2006, the CEMAC member states adopted a Trade and Transport Facilitation Program comprising the following : (i) implementation of a regional institutional framework ; (ii) harmonization of national regulations ; (iii) interconnectivity of customs information technology systems within the region ; and (iv) implementation of a pilot trade and transport facilitation project on the N’Djaména-Douala (about 1,850 kilometers) and Bangui-Douala (about 1,450 kilometers) surface transport corridors. This program is consistent with the ECCAS transport development plan, which includes the N’Djaména-Douala and Bangui-Douala corridors as its first priority. The program is based on several regional studies carried out between 2003 and 2005, highlighting infrastructure constraints and remaining Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) to intraregional and external trade, and their negative impact on economic growth of the member countries and the region as a whole. Intra-regional trade among the six countries is still less than 5 percent of the total trade in the region. This is primarily due to the dominance of oil, and forestry, mineral and agricultural commodities in all countries’ trade mix, as well as the similarity in production structure of goods and services in the region. Furthermore, the current inefficient transit system which hinders regional integration, and the poor condition of road, and to a lesser extent rail infrastructure, keep the share of intra regional trade to a very low level. The major international trade routes in the CEMAC area consist mostly of the N’Djaména - Douala and the Bangui - Douala corridors, which link the port of Douala by road or by a combination of rail and road to landlocked CAR and Chad. Other alternative corridors carry only limited traffic. Some of the road sections are currently being rehabilitated by several other development partners (European Commission (EC), Arab donors, France, Japan, etc.). However, the committed funding remains insufficient to secure an all weather road network between the main CEMAC trade centers as per the objective of the “Réseau Intégrateur CEMAC 2000”.

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Africa Region : Transport : Trade Facilitation (CEMAC) Project, Volume 1

www.worldbank.org


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