Central Africa is made up of 7 countries which are neither politically nor socio-economically uniform. Still, more than 70% of the region is rural. Many Central African countries are among the poorest in the world. While cooperation with Central Africa poses specific challenges, we provide programmes for sustainable development in various relevant sectors.
Central Africa is rich in natural resources and contains the second largest tropical forest area in the world. The region is an important source of raw materials, such as wood and oil for many industrialised countries in the EU.
Wealthy countries in the region, however, have not yet succeeded in transforming their natural resources into opportunities to provide high living standards for the general population.
Central Africa’s main development challenges are:
- fostering peace, security and stability
- preserving the fragile ecosystems and ensuring their sustainable use and development
- climate change and illegal trafficking of fauna and flora
- diversifying economies and improving food production
- promoting a better investment climate, an integrated regional economy and improved infrastructure
Our cooperation with Central Africa under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) centres on identification and formulation studies and the implementation of actions under the Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) for Central Africa.
The volatile political situation and weak regional integration in Central Africa have been obstacles to regional cooperation, straining our policy and political dialogue with the region. This is further complicated by the multiple memberships of some countries in regional organisations.
The Central African region benefits from support under thematic programmes such as the Global Public Goods and Challenges and supra-regional cooperation under the Intra-Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) programme.
Regional Indicative Programme (RIP)
The RIP for Central Africa (2014-2020) makes €350 million available to the region and supports political and economic integration to reduce poverty. The programme focuses on 3 key areas within various sectors:
- political integration and cooperation for peace and security
- economic integration and trade
- sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity
At regional level, those responsible for implementing the programme include the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
The political integration and cooperation on peace and security sectorimproves the political stability in the region as well as enhancing democratic governance. More specifically, support is foreseen for the realisation of ECCAS' road-map for peace and security and for actions reducing structural insecurity such as improved support for border management and maritime security.
Through actions in the economic integration and trade focal sector we aim at supporting inclusive economic development and regional economic integration. Focus is on strengthening the capacities of regional and national institutions to establish an integrated regional market. We also support interconnecting regional infrastructures through blending and for accompanying measures for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The sustainable management of natural resources biodiversity sector focuses on actions supporting the preservation of biodiversity and fragile ecosystems as well as providing support for the sustainable management of natural resources. Projects will not only address conservation needs but also the socio-economic development of populations settled in surrounding areas.