Emerging from violent conflict, the Central African Republic has made impressive progress over the last three years. The peaceful and successful elections completed the political transition in Central African Republic and restored constitutional order. We now witness a historic window of opportunity for the government and parliament to lead the country towards stability, recovery and development. The Central African Republic and its people now have a unique possibility to break free from a cycle of fragility and crises and to contribute to the stabilisation of the region.
Despite this promise for a better future, the challenges remain significant and urgent. In addition to tackling the impact of several years of armed confrontation, CAR is working to overcome structural deficits in the areas of governance and development. It is also addressing significant humanitarian challenges and aiming to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable groups of the population.
To do so, significant support from donors and partners will be required. The main objective of the Brussels Conference on the Central African Republic will be to draw together commitments to help the authorities restore peace and security, renew the social contract and revive the economy.
In order to develop a consensus on needs and priorities for the next five years the CAR authorities requested the support from the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Union to prepare a joint Recovery and Peace Building Assessment. This work will serve as basis for the national strategy to tackle recovery and peacebuilding.
The European Union has mobilised more than 500 million EUR since 2013 to respond rapidly to the crisis in CAR. In line with its comprehensive approach, the European union has deployed the full range of its instruments, in the field of humanitarian aid, development and security, of its security, including the deployment of military and election observation missions and the creation of the first ever European multi-donor trust fund (Bêkou). The United Nations, the World Bank and bilateral donors have provided invaluable assistance to CAR.
Despite this support, complemented by other bilateral partners, many needs are still not met, the level of funding needs to be increased and CAR needs to be firmly kept on the international agenda in order to achieve a sustainable recovery and peace in an extremely challenging national and regional context.
It is against this backdrop that the European Union, together with the Government of the Central African Republic and in close cooperation with the World Bank and the United Nations, is organising the Brussels Conference on the Central African Republic, which will take place on 17 November in Brussels. This Conference will provide an opportunity for the CAR authorities to not only present to the international community their national strategy and to outline its stabilization and development priorities for the next five years but also to set out their reform commitments.
The Conference will also provide a forum for the country's partners to respond by presenting their additional commitments to contribute to implementing the authorities' strategy and to help to address one of the most protracted crisis situations worldwide.
The proceedings will be divided into a morning session for strategic interventions and an afternoon session, in which partners will be able to express their pledges for support.
In addition to the conference itself, two events will be organised, respectively for representatives of civil society and private investors.
You will find more detailed information on the conference in the programme:
Two side events are foreseen in the margins of the Conference:
1. Workshop for civil society and religious platforms
This workshop on "the civil society's contribution to recovery and peace building in CAR" will take place on 16 November 2016, under the auspices of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO).
Discussions will focus on the main components of the Plan for Recovery and Peace-building and will offer a space for dialogue between Central African and international civil society organisations, the CAR authorities and EU representatives. It will collect relevant contributions and recommendations from non-state actors on the implementation of the Central African Republic national strategy on recovery and peace-building. A representative sample of local and international NGOs who are effectively active and offer contributions in their respective fields of expertise have been selected and depending on their field of expertise participants be invited to contribute to different working groups on the following topics:
Peace, security and reconciliation:
Economic recovery and inclusive development:
Rapporteurs will present the main results and recommendations from the workshop to the participants of the Brussels conference for CAR on 17 November.
2. Working Lunch with the Private Sector
This lunch will be organised by the European Business Council for Africa and the Mediterranean (EBCAM) on Friday 18 November
In view of the importance of the private sector's role in the development of the Central African Republic, the President of the Central African Republic and relevant Ministers, EU representatives, a dozen Directors of EU Chambers of Commerce working on Africa (EBCAM), selected companies interested in investment opportunities in CAR will discuss investment opportunities in CAR during a working lunch.