The annual conference of the heads of state of the Economic and Customs Union of Central Africa (UDEAC) opened in Brazzaville on Friday (22 December).
The annual conference of the heads of state of the Economic and Customs Union of Central Africa (UDEAC) opened in Brazzaville on Friday (22 December). It was attended by Presidents Albert Bernard Bongo (Gabonese Republic), Ahmadou Ahidjo (Cameroun), Jean Bedel Bokassa (Central African Republic) and Marien Ngouabi (The People's Republic of the Congo).
President Ngouabi, the current president of the union, told the opening session of the conference that the meeting would mark an important step towards economic co-operation and regional integration of the member states. After a formal opening, the conference continued behind closed doors. It was revealed that the conference would discuss a draft agreement of free movement of people among the member states. The talks lasted tow days.
The head of state meeting followed talks between finance ministers of the four countries, and the President discussed questions raised in the previous talks.
SYNOPSIS: The annual meeting of the Heads of State of the Economic and Customs Union of Central Africa began in Brazzaville on Friday. Host President, Marien Ngouabi of the People's Republic of the Congo, greeted the three visiting presidents as they arrived at Brazzaville's May-Maya Airport. First to arrive was President Ahmadou Ahidjo of Cameroun. The other countries in the union are the Gabonese Republic and the Central African Republic.
The greeting of the visiting presidents and the formal opening of the talks were the only public aspects of the meeting. However, the host President revealed that he heads of state would be discussing a draft agreement on freedom of movement among the member states. The Presidents' meeting follows talks between the four countries' finance ministers. Questions raised at the earlier mustangs were discussed by the heads of state.
Congolese President Ngouabi said the conference was not just a routine meeting. He said it would mark an important step towards economic co-operation and further unity.
The second head of state welcomed was the Gabonese Republic's President Albert Bernard Bongo. The talks were due to begin on the day of the arrivals but were postponed until the following day.
The last of the four presidents arriving in Brazzaville was the Central African Republic's President Jean Bedel Bokassa. The series of talks lasted two days. The rusts of the earlier ministerial talks were said to have been very encouraging despite the redrafting of several agenda items.