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YAOUNDE, Cameroon, January 26, 2018/ — A brainstorming session dubbed “Pathways to economic diversification in Central Arica” has been scheduled for 31 January 2018 at the Hilton Hotel in Yaounde, Cameroon. Participants will deliberate on the operationalization of the Douala Consensus.

The Consensus, which was reached during the 33rd Intergovernmental Committee of Experts for Central Africa (ICE2017) in September 2017, underscores the urgent need to accelerate the process of diversification of Central African economies through the promotion of industrialization based on natural resources – especially agricultural – and driven by trade and urbanization.

The Douala Consensus also argues for a paradigm shift “from a resource model for infrastructure to a resource model for industrialization (R4Id)”.

Antonio Pedro who heads the sub-regional office of the Economic Commission for Africa in Central Africa ( ECA/SRO-CA) explained that the meeting is in keeping with a promise made by the ECA during ICE2017.

“ECA affirmed its willingness to support Member States and the Regional Economic Communities of Central Africa in the implementation of the Douala Consensus through the organization of regular meetings with all stakeholders and sharing experiences from other regions of the African continent.”

During the one-day brainstorming session, said Mr. Pedro, a discussion paper prepared by ECA/SRO-CA will be presented to stimulate the exchange.

“Participants will reflect on the modalities of the operationalization of the Consensus, by identifying key intervention areas for the development of strategies oriented towards economic diversification and the development of a competitive industrial fabric for the structural transformation of the subregion,” added Mr. Pedro.

Commenting on the expected outcome of the meeting, the ECA/SRO-CA director said, “This brainstorming session will prepare a roadmap, setting out clear actions and roles to guide the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and strategy to accelerate the process of economic diversification, industrialization and structural transformation in Central Africa.”

The meeting will bring together representatives of Cameroon’s Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT); representatives of the Regional Economic Communities; former ECA officials and consultants residing in Cameroon as well as senior economists from UNDP offices in Central Africa. The private sector, civil society, universities and research centers of the subregion will also be represented.

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