IMF Forecasts Bright Future For Cameroon’s Economy

There is a slow but steady and sure economic growth in sub Saharan Africa thanks to favorable external factors such as an increase in fuel prices. The economic perspectives of the sub region according to a delegation of the International Monetary Fund, IMF on a working visit to Cameroon in collaboration with the World Bank, show the growth will be progressive in 2018 and 2019, rising from 3.4 percent this year to 3.7 percent growth rate in 2019. This represent an improvement from 2.8 percent in 2017, and 1.4 in 2016.

As for Cameroon, the future appears brighter. The Bretton Woods institution revealed a projection of a 4.2 per cent growth rate for the country’s public investment budget against 3.2 last year and 3.7 in 2016.

The IMF team and officials of the World Bank who cautioned Cameroon against heavy indebtedness met with Prime Minister Philemon Yang during separate audiences on the 4th of May within the framework of the working visit. Same day, PM Yang, had talks with a delegation of the IMF/World Bank 10-day long mission  and Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Daniel Owen, leader of the IMF/WB Joint Mission told reporters after the talks with the Head of Government that they discussed the recent developments in the economy of Cameroon and acknowledged the challenges the economy faces.

He also said that they equally discussed the situation of external debt and the fact that the debt is very high in Cameroon. It is important to be very restrained in taking new on loans, particularly non-concessional loans, according to Daniel Owen’s declarations.

Commenting on the fiscal situation of Cameroon, the head of the IMF-World Bank  Joint Mission said, they agreed with the the Prime Minister that the importance of maintaining the fiscal adjustment path that they earlier agreed under the program upon (Cameroon and the IMF in June 2017 signed and Extended Credit Facility Programme amounting to FCFA 227.646 billion).

The centrepiece of the extended credit facility program is on the adjustment of the fiscal deficit which according to the IMF is rather high in the past 6 per cent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016.

The IMF and World Bank advised that even though the economic perspectives for Cameroon are favourable, the country should strive towards reducing the deficit should be brought down to quite  around 2 per cent GDP. This they said, should be done as part of part of the effort to stabilise the situation in Cameroon.

Waineng Wanmbui

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