CEMAC weakened by hiatus at top of commission
The executive organ of the Central African bloc is being lead ad interim by Gabon's Daniel Ona Ondo, even though Baltasar Engonga Edjo of Equatorial Guinea was appointed to the post over a month ago.
The main foreign investors in the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa are alarmed by the regional body's foreign exchange regulations, considering them to be too tough. But despite intense lobbying, a relaxation of the rules looks unlikely, the central bank having set itself ambitious objectives for foreign currency reserves.
Several major firms are vying for a contract, worth up to €150m, to keep Senegalese territorial waters safe from pirates and illegal fishing. A bid by French IT firm Atos has already been rejected, but France's CS Group and Spanish and Emirati groups are still in the running.
Eager to boost his country's influence, the French president wants to attract international institutions and private foundations active in development aid to Paris. Among the major organisations being courted are the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education.
With France's active support, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) is on a mission to obtain some of the special drawing rights (SDR) funds attributed to developed countries to offset the impact of Covid-19.