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The challenges of fostering harmony amongst stock markets in the Central African region, by Asanji Burnley N and Chofor Che

The African securities market has witnessed serious development since the early 1990s, but the central African region has not benefited from this evolution. According to an article dated the 2 of April 2015 byThis Day Live, prior to 1989, there were just eight stock markets in Africa of which three were in North Africa and five in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, there are over 22 stock exchanges in Africa. Alongside the rapid expansion of stock markets on the continent, there has also been a significant growth in market capitalization and the number of listed companies.  At present, over 50 per cent of the 54 countries in the continent have formed securities exchanges.

In an effort to promote regional cooperation, individual African securities exchanges created an African Securities Exchange Association (ASEA) in 1993. The ASEA was incorporated in Kenya in the same year. Recently, there have been calls by interest groups for business combination of West African stock exchanges in other to foster unity and a wider securities market to ensure speedy development of the region in line with the ASEA objectives. Why has the Central African region not followed the example of West Africa? Is it a problem of lack of adequate constitutional and legislative parameters in the region? Is it a problem of lack of political will? Is it lack of personnel and institutions? If so what can be done to change the status quo for harmony and unity in the stock exchange market in the Central African region and in Africa at large?

Issues like the rule of law, property rights, protection of investor’s rights are fundamental to the constitutional and legislative environment governing Africa’s stock markets. According to the Doing Business Reports for 2013 and 2014, states in the Central African region like Chad and Cameroon still lag behind with respect to the above mentioned indicators, reason why this part of the continent lags behind when it comes to fostering unity and a wider securities market to ensure speedy development of the region in line with the ASEA objectives.

Lack of political will remains a canker worm in the African stock market environment. Many politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists still prefer to make African stock markets weak because of selfish economic gains, especially making sure that their businesses are financed to the detriment of other growing businesses as argued by Sam Mensah and Todd Mos in a past article on African Capital Markets.  These lobbyists also influence the activities of stock markets so that they can control government shares in privitised companies.

Institutions like Central Banks and government ministries of finance called upon to coordinate affairs of the stock exchange markets in Africa remain wanting. These institutions still find difficulties in understanding and participating in the activities of Africa’s stock markets.

Cultural factors also contribute enormously to the Central African regions slow progress in the stock exchange sector.  A lot of preference is still given to hand to mouth consumption.  Consumers and investors remain reticent to invest in stock markets because of the risks involved. Another factor which contributes to the poor stock exchange market environment especially in the Central African region include ignorance on how the system functions and non-familiarization with the financial markets culture.

There is thus need for a change of events. Giving constitutional and legislative importance to property rights in the Central African region would make owners of property to be confident enough to engage in activities of stock markets especially in obtaining financing for their property. Additionally if investor’s rights are protected constitutionally and with sound legislative instruments, this will equally make them trust stock markets and eventually contribute to fostering unity and harmony in stock markets in the Central African region and in Africa.

Bureaucrats, politicians and lobbyists would definitely not stop influencing the activities of stock markets if there is no external push. It is this important for think tanks, journalists, university dons to continue to put pressure on them to allow the stock exchange sector function free from political influence and pressure.

Revamping Institutions like Ministries of Finance and Central banks called upon to coordinate affairs of the stock exchange markets in Africa is very important. Personnel working with financial Institutions in the Central African region need to be schooled about the activities of stock markets especially in Africa.

Respecting Africa’s cultural values is germane, but if such cultural practices impede on the development of the continent then we cannot continue to talk of Africa’s renaissance. States like Gabon and Equatorial Guinea most understand that collaboration with other states like Cameroon and Chad is necessary for unity and growth in the stock exchange sector regardless of whatever cultural differences.

This article is originally published in French at as ‘A quand l’intégration financière en Afrique centrale?’

Asanji Burnley is a diplomat by training from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC). He is President and co-founder of the Cameroon based Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action (CACLiTA), a partner of the Atlas Network.

Chofor Che is an analyst with Libre, Audace Institute Afrique and He is also co-founder and current Chair of Research at the Cameroon based Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action (CACLiTA). He blogs at


Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


The need for institutional and political means to estop the precarious tampering with Constitutions of African states, by Chofor Che

The revision or modification of state constitutions is important especially if of utmost necessity to the betterment of the state, but there has been a precarious tampering of the fundamental provisions of constitutions in Africa. The case of Burkina Faso which has been plunged into political turmoil, to the recent case of Togo, are glaring examples. Interestingly, constitutional provisions related to the term of office of Heads of state have been modified so as to extend the term of office of these leaders in power. Is it that there are no legal and institutional measures in place to prevent these leaders and their regimes from manipulating fundamental provisions of state constitutions? Are there no political parameters that can be put in place so as to prevent these leaders from manipulating fundamental provisions of state constitutions?

In most African State Constitutions like the Constitutions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, the provision on the mandate of Heads of State is easily modified. There are to provisions in these State Constitutions which prevent the manipulation of important provisions like the mandate of Head of States.

South Africa and Botswana have put in place Constitutional Courts which ensure that the separation of powers is upheld. For instance in South Africa, it is difficult for the executive arm of government to revise fundamental provisions of the 1994 Constitution. Other states like Togo and Burkina Faso put in place Constitutional Councils which have proven to be inefficient in preventing the manipulation of State Constitutions.

The balance of power amongst the executive, the legislature and the judiciary branches of government in African states, remain imbalance. The executive branch of government remains the most powerful. Judges of courts are still appointed by Heads of State and so pay allegiance to the head of this branch of government. With such a status quo, Heads of State will continue to manipulate fundamental provisions of State Constitutions so as to remain in power.

A weak opposition is also a major reason why leaders in Africa continue to manipulate state constitutions. According to an article dated the 18 of November 2014 by ‘Oeil d’Afrique’, political leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Burundi, Gabon, Senegal and Equatorial Guinea met in Paris and signed a declaration with aim to halt African Heads of State from modifying fundamental provisions of State Constitutions like terms of office in power. There is no gainsaying that holding such meetings and signing declarations is not a panacea to the status quo. Leaders of opposition parties in most African states have not been able to come to a consensus and select one candidate, during presidential elections.

African states cannot boast of a well-structured and institutional civil society which can be able to estop leaders from modifying fundamental provisions of State constitutions. According to a November 2014 report by France 24, civil society groups planned to join leaders of opposition parties in preventing the President of the Republic of Togo, Faure Gnassingbȇ, from manipulating fundamental provisions of the Constitution of Togo. This action was unsuccessful because civil society groups still do not have one voice as to why fundamental provisions like the term of office of the Head of State should not be modified.

The press in African State is still weak. Many African States like the Gambia cannot boast of an adequately independent press. Many journalists have been arrested and died in African prisons for opinions against the modification of fundamental provisions of State Constitutions.

There thus need for a change of the status quo. Constitutional drafters in collaboration with a vibrant civil society and leaders of political parties need to ensure that there is a provision in State Constitutions which prohibit the manipulation of the term of office of the Head of State.

One of the roles of Constitutional Courts is to check on the abuse of power by one arm of government. There is thus need for state institutions like Constitutional Courts and Councils to be able to challenge the modification of fundamental provisions of State Constitutions in Africa.

Civil society groups in Africa need to be well organized and have one voice when it concerns important issues like the manipulation of the term of office of Heads of State. In this same line, the Press in Africa needs to be vibrant and bold in speaking out against the modification of fundamental provisions of State Constitutions.
It does not suffice to only have a weak separation of powers as we have in most African states. There is need for institutional and political parameters to be able to stop the manipulation of State Constitutions.

This article is originally written in French and published at as ‘Comment stopper le tripatouillage des Constitutions en Afrique? on the 12 December 2014.

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Uncategorized



Concretizing The Peace Deal In The Central African Republic – Chofor Che , Published by, 4 August 2014

On the 24th of July 2014, France 24 reported that various armed groups met on Wednesday in Congo Brazzaville and agreed on a ceasefire. Over 170 Central African officials also took part in these talks, including members of transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza’s government, lawmakers, members of political parties and civil society. France 24 added that there has still been no agreement on important issues such as disarmament.

This very vital peace deal gives the Central African Republic (CAR) an opportunity to remain united and puts aside an envisaged division along religious lines of the war torn state between the Christian south and the Muslim north. The head of the Seleka delegation, Mohamed Moussa Dhaffane, reportedly, had earlier on demanded that a power-sharing deal was a precondition to any peace settlement. Guy-Herve Gbangolo, a representative of the Democratic Front of the Central African People, a militia group operating in western Central African Republic said such a demand by Seleka group was an aberration to a concrete peace deal.

This three-day meeting chaired by Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso and supported by representatives of over 30 states was meant to resolve a calamity in the Central African Republic that has led to the death of thousands of civilians and produced more than a million refugees.

According to France 24, even as talks were going on Monday the 21st of July 2014 in Brazzaville, more violence broke out in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui. This fresh violence led to the death of a former Seleka rebel and sparked new attacks from the anti-Balaka militias.

The Central African Republic plunged into pandemonium in 2013 after the principally Muslim Seleka rebels took over power in a March 2013 coup d’état. This coup d’état was followed by looting, killing and raping between Muslims and Christians. The conflict indeed took the dimension of an inter-religious conflict. The United Nations warned the international community of an ‘ethno-religious cleansing’ in the conflict ridden state during an interview with FRANCE 24in February 2014.

It is important to applaud the efforts towards peace in the Central African Republic. All the same, Africans need to learn from the scenario of the Central African Republic which has led to thousands of deaths. One reason why we continue to have coups d’états in Africa is because regimes in place do not take the interests of individual rights seriously. Free markets are not promoted. Chronic bureaucracy and corruption remains the order of the day especially in states in the Central African region. State institutions such as the judiciaries remain weak and dependent on the executive branch of government.

States like the Central African Republic are very wealthy states but the populace keep on languishing in poverty. This is the reason why armed groups cannot sit back and see corrupt government officials plunder the state’s resources. It is thus vital that in ensuring that the peace deal succeeds, the interests of individuals should be taken into consideration. Free markets should be given a chance to strive in the Central African Republic. President Catherine Samba-Panza’s government needs to revamp the private sector and involve both the public and private sectors in policy formulation and implementation.

Disarmament is also crucial in ending the conflict in the Central African region. If both parties really want to end this conflict, then they have to seriously think about disarmament. If not the peace agreement will yield no fruits.

The African Union also needs to be serious about her role in curbing conflict on the continent.  For some time now this international body has received a lot of criticisms for not acting swiftly when a calamity befalls a member state. Why then should tax payers’ money be used for unimportant missions and conferences while Africans continue to die because of conflict? African leaders therefore have a lot to do in ensuring that peace reigns on the continent. We cannot continue to shove under the carpet real problems like youth unemployment and poverty which are serious contributing factors to conflict in Africa and at the same time talk about peace agreements.

A holistic approach which involves all and sundry is thus needed to curb conflict on the African continent such as the one in the Central African Republic. If such measures are taken into consideration especially by African leaders, then we can start envisaging peace in the Central African Region.

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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


Africa’s Largest Self-Sufficient Solar Microgrid Project Created through Technologies from MAECI, GE and Princeton Power Systems, By SCHENECTADY, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 04, 2014

The government of Equatorial Guinea has selected MAECI Solar, a division of Management and Economic Consulting, Inc., in collaboration with GE Power & Water (NYSE:GE) and Princeton Power Systems, Inc., to install a 5-megawatt (MW) solar microgrid system on Annobon Province, an island off Equatorial Guinea in west central Africa. The solar microgrid will feature 5-MW solar modules and system integration by MAECI, an energy management system and controls from Princeton Power Systems and energy storage from GE. The island-wide microgrid will provide reliable, predictable power, supply enough electricity to handle 100 percent of the island’s current energy demand and be the largest self-sufficient solar project on the continent of Africa.

“MAECI is fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the development of Equatorial Guinea over the past few years,” said Chris Massaro, senior vice president, MAECI. “We are extremely excited to bring this solar microgrid solution to Annobon Island as well as support President Obiang Nguema’s vision to raise the quality of life for the people and bring economic diversification to Equatorial Guinea. This project brings both. The Annobon Electrification Project will be the platform for economic growth on the island by bringing a much needed power supply that will enable the development of multiple industries, add 700 to 1,000 direct and indirect jobs to Annobon Island and significantly raise the standard of living.”

Annobon Province has a population of approximately 5,000 residents. Today, the residents have reliable electricity for up to five hours per day and spend an average of 15-20 percent of their income on supplemental power. The solar microgrid in development will eliminate this expense entirely and provide reliable electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The project is a part of Equatorial Guinea’s National Economic Development Plan Horizon 2020, which aims to make Equatorial Guinea an “emerging economy” and accelerate its development and democratization by 2020.

“We’re excited to be a part of this historic project for Annobon Province and Equatorial Guinea,” said Jeff Wyatt, general manager of GE’s solar and energy storage business. “GE’s energy storage technology will help enable reliable, predictable power for the residents of Annobon through balancing the real-time supply and demand of solar and withstanding extreme heat environments without the need for air conditioning. This is an ideal technology for microgrids like Annobon Island.”

The Annobon microgrid is enabled by the Princeton Power Systems’ BIGI-250 energy management platform, the world’s first three-port industrial-scale solar energy management system, with UL listing and thousands of operating hours in commercial applications since 2012. Princeton Power Systems has extensive prior experience working with GE’s energy storage team. GE’s batteries, in addition to providing superior high temperature performance and improved safety, offer environmental responsibility with non-toxic and recyclable materials and worldwide support.

“Today, over 1 billion people are without power. We are taking our experience in microgrids from Alcatraz Island, the U.S. Department of Defense and private sector customers to now apply it to improving quality of life for people in rural areas where grid power does not exist or is not reliable,” said Ken McCauley, president and CEO, Princeton Power Systems. “We look forward to future global projects across the world to provide power to these areas to have hospitals, lighting and other basic human needs.”

About Princeton Power Systems

Princeton Power Systems, based in New Jersey and founded in 2001, designs and manufactures state-of-the-art technology solutions for energy management, microgrid operations and electric vehicle charging. The company is a global leader working with customers and partners across North America, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. It manufactures UL and CE-certified power electronics that are used in advanced battery operations and alternative energy, with built-in smart functions for ancillary services. The company solves power issues to allow continued growth of distributed renewable energy by providing energy storage solutions that are proven to work, even in harsh environments. Princeton Power Systems builds integrated systems and designs, commissions and operates microgrids for leading organizations, including Fortune 500 automakers and industrials and non-profit organizations. The company proudly manufactures its products in the United States. More information about Princeton Power Systems is available at


MAECI is an international consulting and project implementation firm that has formed very successful project partnerships, both as lead firm and as sub-consultant, with government ministries and departments, universities and colleges, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies more specifically in developing and emerging countries with strong emphasis in Western Central Africa and completed projects totaling in excess of $1 billion.

About GE

GE (NYSE:GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


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The Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action is born. Join us in our vision and mission, by Chofor Che

CACLiTA known as the Central African Centre for Libertarian thought and Action is a Central African Region based think tank grounded on free market ideals and limited government. This think tank is envisaged to be headquatered in Yaoundé, the political Capital of Cameroon, though for the moment the team still works from home.

CACALiTA’s vision is to be the premier Centre for freemarket oriented and Liberal policy analysis, education and reform in the Central African region. Furnishing governments, organisations and individuals with evidence based policy alternatives is part of our vision.

CACLiTA’s mission is to advocate for free market ideals especially in the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors. Of course CACLiTA aims to reshape policy in the above mentioned sectors by clamouring for a change in governance. Drawing on developments in other parts of Africa and the world to strengthen the political and economic atmosphere in the Central African region, especially in states like Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic,Gabon, Congo Brazaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is part of our mission.

CACLiTA seeks to reach out to policy actors in the public and private sector, politicians and academics. At a later stage CACLiTA will also reach out to university students in a bid to reshape thier thinking on how to influence policy in the above mentioned sectors.

CACLiTA thus intends to add value via workshops, the production of policy briefs and media debates by engaging policy actors from both the public and private sectors to brainstorm on how to improve the the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors. In the long run CACLiTA will be able to influence the way politicians, public and private actors and academics think with respect to adequate privatisation in the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors.

Our Team
CACLiTA has two major experts who have researched widely in the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors. Chofor Che is the lead expert of CACLiTA who was a Cato Institute intern in the fall of 2003 and currently an associate of the initiative, an African focused libertarian and free market initiative. He holds a Master of Laws from the University of Pretoria and is currently a Doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His works have appeared at, Le Martin,, NextAfrique, ContrePoints, and Algé He was also a parnelist at the World Congress on Local and Regional Government Leaders which took place in Morocco from the 1 to the 4 of October 2014.

Ananga Michael Ananga is a Senior Corporate Counsel at C.S.P.H (The Hydrocarbons Prices Stabilization Fund). He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University School of Law, in Boston, MA where he specialized in Corporate Finance law. He thereafter interned at Hunton & Williams LLP in Richmond, VA while preparing for the New York State Bar Exam and later was a full associate at Alston & Bird LLP in Atlanta, GA working on Corporate and Securities Law issues in the Business Practicing Group. In 2007, he relocated to Cameroon and started working at CSPH. With such a rich pool of experts, CACLiTA is able to convey the message of improving the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors in the Central African region.

Our Partners
CACLiTA will thus have the opportunity to collaborate with regional think tanks like the Ghanian based IMANI Ghana and the South African based Free Market Foundation. CaCLiTA envisages to organise workshops and student seminars with the Moroccan based

Our international board of advisers include celebrated libertarians like Franklin Cudjoe, Dan McLaughlin, Joe Shepherd and Dr. Emmanuel Martin.

CACLiTA also thanks the Atlas Economic Research Foundation especially staff like Dr. Tom G Palmer and Cindy Cerquitella for harnessing this dream and nouturing it with support.

CACLiTA thus calls on all lovers of liberty and free markets especially those in the United States of America, Europe and Africa to join in the mission of CACLiTA. We will thus be grateful with whatever assistance you can offer including technical advice, financial and material assistance; you can give us to advocate for liberty and free markets in the Central African region.

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Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Rethinking social accountability in Africa: lessons from the Mwananchi Programme | Event | Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

See on Scoop.itAfrica’s development

Despite evident economic progress in Africa, inequality is slowing the rate at which growth delivers better services to poor people.

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Posted by on September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


Notice & Information pour les OSCs sur le sommet de l’UA de janvier 2014-Institut Africain de la Gouvernance

See on Scoop.itAfrica’s development

The Citizens and Diaspora Organization Directorate of the African Union Commission (CIDO) has the honor to inform African Civil Society and Diaspora Community that the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 24 to 31st January 2014.

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Posted by on September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


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