Date : May, 24th 2023
Time : 2pm to 4.30pm
Muna Foundation | Yaounde (Onsite Registration)
Online Zoom (Online Registration)
After independence, African leaders placed regional integration at the centre of their economic and political vision. Several initiatives were put in place, including the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. But in a bid to achieve regional integration and rapid socio-economic development, the 1980 OAU Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted the Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa 1980-2000. In adopting this Plan of Action, African leaders emphasised the strategic need for regional integration. However, Africa’s drive towards regional integration was to receive a further boost in 1991 with the adoption of the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) as an integral part of the OAU. The Treaty establishes the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as the pillars of the integration process. Among these is the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), established in 1983.
During its first decade of existence, ECCAS recorded mixed results, aggravated by the numerous conflicts to which its member countries were subjected, both within and outside their borders, leading ECCAS to focus its main priorities on maintaining peace, security and stability, which are essential conditions for economic and social development, physical, economic and monetary integration, and the development of a culture of human integration. Also, in 1998, the ECCAS programme was restructured and expanded to include not only economic issues, but also political and security issues. Despite these changes, ECCAS remains one of the least integrated regions and one whose borders are least open to its members. Given this state of affairs, it is reasonable to ask whether regional integration in ECCAS is more of a matter of the political will of its leaders than the will of its populations (people).
Format of the debate
The structure of the 90-minute debate is as follows:
- The debate panel will consist of TWO (2) experts. One will argue FOR the proposal and the other AGAINST the proposal. The moderator will give opening remarks and inform the audience about the matter on ground, this will take 5 minutes. He/she will proceed by inviting the debaters to the stage. Each debater will have 10 minutes for their opening remarks. The next 40 minutes will be devoted to moderated discussions, with each team having 3 minutes to respond. Twenty (20) minutes will be devoted to questions from the audience and each debater will have 2 minutes for the closing speech.
- The entire debate will be video recorded and broadcasted live on the social media platforms of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation. During the debate, the panelists will have to defend their point of view with facts, statistics and experience. No presentations (e.g. PowerPoint) will be allowed. Panelists are also expected to give interviews to the media after the debate and to share a meal with the team.
- Expected results
At the end of this debate, participants will be much more aware of the main motivations for regional integration in ECCAS as well as the main actions to be undertaken by both politicians and people to bring about change, particularly in the areas of peace and security, governance and democracy, human rights and freedoms.
- Target audience
The debate targets more than 50 participants from various fields of expertise and will enable them to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Participants include speakers, think tank leaders, humanitarian organisations, non-governmental organisations, academics and researchers, students, and civil society actors.
The debate is organised by the Nkafu Policy Institute with financial support from its partner Open Society Foundation (OSF-Africa).
- About Nkafu Policy Institute
The Nkafu Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan think tank of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Its mission is to provide independent, in-depth and insightful policy recommendations that advance the Cameroonian economy and the economies of other sub-Saharan African countries. Nkafu seeks to advance public policies that help all Africans prosper in free, fair and sustainable economies. Its reputation is based on its independence, high quality research and innovative policy prescriptions. https://nkafu.org/Tel : +237 654 86 72 54
- About Open Society Foundation-Africa
OSF-Africa’s vision is to build a globally respected, dynamic and integrated Africa characterised by democratic governance, sustainable development and economic systems that produce more just, inclusive and accountable outcomes with and for Africa’s people and environment. In pursuit of this vision, OSF-Africa’s mission is to advance gender justice and women’s rights, deepen democracy, accountable governance and inclusive development in Africa through participatory and strategic grant making and advocacy. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/