In 1999 Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Central African Republic agreed upon a convention to establish the Commission Internationale du Bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha (CICOS) and ratified this Convention in 2003 as a first step towards an enhanced cooperation in the fields of navigation and the protection of the water resources. The GIZ-project “Gestion Transfrontalière de l’Eau dans le bassin du Congo” (GETRACO) was based on the agreements of the CICOS-Convention and contributed to the achievement of its common objectives.
In the framework of the first phase AFC/BCE supported CICOS in setting up the Congo Basin Information System (SIBCO), as well as, the internal information network in CICOS via project component 4 (responsibility of AFC): Creation of an Information Management System, following the objective: The coordination of the river basin management is being implemented according to common principles and strategies defined by the riparian states.
Results of the first phase were: (1) Basic data for water resources management and navigation is made available to the CICOS by national experts of the riparian states in a compatible way. (2) The cooperation between the member states in the fields of inland-navigation and water resources management is improved. (3) An Information Management System is established. (4) A multilateral agreement upon data exchange is prepared.
Phase II of GETRACO supported the organizational development of CICOS and facilitates implementation of its new responsibilities (management of water resources in the Congo Basin, since signing of the Addendum in 2007), and provided continued support to previously initiated activities (navigation sector, information system). GETRACO II was organized in five components whereas AFC/BCE had been responsible for component 1: Development of an information system for the Congo Basin (SIBCO).