The Government of Cameroon and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have expressed optimism on realising structural transformation of the country and the regional integration of the Central African subregion.
Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate as the new Director of the Subregional Office for Central Africa – Mr Antonio M.A. Pedro presented his letters of introduction to Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations – H.E. Mr Lejeune Mbella Mbella.
In welcoming the new Director, H.E. Mr Mbella Mbella saluted ECA’s engagement in accompanying Central African countries in general and Cameroon in particular in their development efforts. He particularly praised the efforts made by ECA and the African Union in elaborating Agenda 2063.
The Minister also acknowledged the body of ECA’s work to advocate the structural transformation of African economies while assuring his guest that Cameroon is knee-deep into development projects aiming to increase energy supply, to boost its transport infrastructure and to develop the information and communication technologies sector in order tobecome an emerging country by 2035.
On his part, Mr Antonio Pedro was upbeat on the prospects of the ECA deepening its policy advisory services for the Central African subregion in general and Cameroon in particular. “We believe that the key to unlocking Africa’s true potential rests in its capacity to mobilise endogenous growth drivers, namely those arising from expanding infrastructure development and urbanisation, the growth of its middle class, the demographic dividends of its youthful population, and, of course, the structural transformation of its economies,” he said.
“I am very happy to see that this is at the core of Cameroon’s development strategy, which bodes well for the quality of engagements we should privilege, that is: high-level consultations and sharing of ideas and experiences with the view to clarifying the pathways to Cameroon’s structural transformation and that of Central Africa in general,” Mr Pedro added.
Mr Antonio M.A. Pedro is a national of Mozambique and a mineral exploration geologist. With over 30 years of broad experience and exposure to development issues and management at national, sub-regional, and continental levels across and beyond Africa, his focus is to promote the inclusive and sustainable development of natural resources in Africa and globally.
He joined ECA in 2001 where he was appointed Chief of Infrastructure and Natural Resources Development at the Commission’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Before his appointment to his current position as Director of the Commision’s Sub-regional Office for Central Africa in Yaounde, Cameroon, he occupied the same function at ECA’s Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa in Kigali, Rwanda for more than 7 years.
As a means of advancing governance in the extractive sector, his current personal research interest focuses on the development of a new governance framework – the sustainable development licence to operate (SLO) – which explores the nexus and dynamic relationships between the extractive sector, structural transformation, the decoupling agenda, political economy, leadership and change processes, to name a few.
He took up his new function as Director of the Subregional Office for Central Africa of ECA on 15 August 2016, replacing Mr Emile Ahohe of Benin, who retired from the UN on 31 May 2016.
Source: Footprint to Africa