By Josephine Akaerr
The African Energy Chamber which represents nearly every segment of the energy sector, has announced the extension on the implementation of the BEAC Forex Regulation from January 1, to December 1, 2021. The is based on the decision made by Governor of BEAC, H.E. Abbas Mahamat Tolli no. 119/GR/2020 to delay the implementation, signed on November 5th 2020.
The energy industry and everyday people do believe this is a step in the right direction, however, it is simply not enough.
“While we thank BEAC for listening to the Chamber, businesses, workers and foreign investors, we still believe that these regulations need to be stricken down. Though extended, the regulations as they stand, without amendments, are the most dangerous and Anti -African regulations in the world and cannot be left hanging on people’s heads without being corrected,” said Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk.
One of the core principles of The Economic Community of Central African States is the promotion and strengthening of cooperation in order to achieve collective self-reliance, raise the standard of living for its peoples, increase economic stability and contribute to the progress and development of the sub-region and the African continent as a whole (Art 4 ECCAS Treaty). These Regulations stifle the vision and spirit in which the treaty was signed.
These regulations violate the very ethos of government bodies, which is to serve the interests of its people and to ensure that any regulations passed do not obstruct economic growth and self-reliance of the people in the CEMAC region.
The Chamber believes that we must continue to fight for the ability of small businesses, everyday people, investors, especially oil and gas companies to hire, invest, grow, succeed and create jobs in Africa as this is required for our post-COVID-19 recovery.
Certain provisions in the BEAC Forex Regulations appear to be anti-fair trade and against the objective of the AfCFTA, an agreement which has been ratified by all CEMAC member states. One of the key objectives of the Agreement is to “create a single market for goods, services, facilitated by movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration of the African continent,” it states.
Therefore, these regulations are counterproductive as they have diminished the attractiveness of the CEMAC for foreign direct investments and cross border trade.
“It is because of this that the Chamber asserts that it will continue with its intention to litigate against regulations that put extremely deterrent barriers for entry of investors in Gabon, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic and Chad. The regulation in itself is in clear contradiction with the spirit of the AfCTA. It is illegal. It should be repealed and replaced with a more pro-growth and pro-jobs regulation which the chamber is willing to provide to BEAC,” Ayuk concluded.
The Chamber believes that this regulation will contribute to the growing challenge of energy poverty, corruption and the increasing role of bureaucrats in business affairs. The question is simple, why add more burdens and barriers?
Businesses, everyday people and people on the front lines need to be protected from this and the Chamber is committed to seeing it through. Our mission here is loud and clear: we are dedicated to being resolute in this provocation.