The Central African Republic turned one of the darkest pages of its troubled history when Faustin-Archange Touadéra was sworn in as its new president on 30 March .
After almost three years of protracted conflict that killed thousands and displaced more than 400,000, the people of CAR understandably aspire to peace and decent living conditions, and are hopeful that Touadéra will build a united, better-governed country.
Forest governance advocates, including Fern’s partner CIEDD, remember President Touadéra for championing and signing the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) when he was prime minister (2008 - 2013). The VPA has brought significant advances, such as strengthening forest communities’ rights in the country’s legislation.
However much more remains to be done to set the now-stalled VPA process back in motion, and to ensure proper law enforcement, transparency and accountability.
The new president’s task is immense. Not only should Touadéra launch new reforms, he must also live up to earlier governance commitments. This includes making natural resources work for the people of CAR. Rural populations and forest communities must be an integral part of the success equation.
Categories: Central African Republic