Gathering Storm Clouds: Political and Economic Uncertainty in Central Africa

The Central African region is facing remarkable pressure along several fronts. The recent downturn in global commodity prices is exacerbating an already fragile fiscal situation in the region. Moreover, rapid population growth is accentuating the challenges related to poor service delivery, while the uncertainty around future political transitions lends itself to a pessimistic outlook. Although the region faces serious problems, interconnected regional and country specific policy approaches provide the best opportunity for peace and prosperity in the region. While the report does take a brief detour to explore some country-level indicators, the predominant focus is on the trajectory of the region and situating that within an African context. This report largely takes CEMAC as its unit of analysis and aims to frame the complex political dynamics in the region within the context of structural changes occurring across demographic, social and economic systems. In general, and despite their stark differences, the CEMAC countries all evidence a neo-patrimonial governance system that pays scant attention to the promotion of collective human development.