ROC: Cross-border exchanges between Ouesso and East Cameroon

Excerpt from report published by OECD/INICA (February 2005): The preliminary survey on the Sangha region was carried out by INICA local correspondent Mr. Bimbo Senga and is one of the first surveys launched in the western basin within the framework of INICA’s observation project on cross-border dynamics. It was meant to complement data gathered in the nearby Cameroon – Gabon –Equatorial Guinea cross-border area and provide a more general view of Cameroon’s leading role as a motor for regional cross-border trade and integration... With the breakdown of centralised governments in the 80s, the Congo lost its strategic role as a transit country for goods coming from South Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Chad, further isolating the Ouesso commune from the rest of the country. From that point on, local populations in the Sangha region began developing their own survival strategies based on private initiatives and informal activities with Cameroon as the new supply and distribution center...Through interviews with local actors and direct observations, the survey intended to examine the current situation in the area and voice concrete suggestions on how to improve living and working conditions for the community. More generally, gaining insight on how this particular cross-border area has managed to overcome obstacles due to civil strife, corruption and isolation thanks to local cross-border co-operation may
provide guidelines and tools to be utilized in more problematic regions around the DRC. Key Observations: Urban Centers and Solidarity Networks - The Sangha region is administratively sub-divided into five districts: Mokéko, Pikounda, Ngabala, Sémbé and Souanké. There are three urban centres in the cross-border area: Moloundo and Yokadouma (Cameroon) providing manufactured articles and food stuffs to the Sangha region, and Ouesso (Congo). Because great distances separate the region from bigger cities like Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, it has developed significant regional markets..."

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