Economic Growth : AfDB Predicts Good Times For Cameroon

The forecast is contained in the 2019 African Economic Outlook launched on January 17.

The African Development Bank has launched the 2019 African Economic Outlook, forecasting Cameroon’s real GDP will grow by 4.4% in 2019 and 4.7% in 2020, thanks to new energy and transport production infrastructures, as well as rising world oil prices. The publication analysing macroeconomic developments and prospects in Africa was launched at the headquarters of the Bank in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, January 17.

Cameroon’s current account deficit, the bank said, is projected to stop increasing at 3.1% of GDP in 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, inflation is projected to remain below the 3% requirement of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The AfDB report however noted the aforementioned growth prospects have some uncertainties, especially as expected budget revenue in 2019 depends heavily on fluctuating world oil prices. Cameroon, the bank said, will also have to continue efforts to restore the fiscal balance, rebuild foreign exchange reserves, and strengthen regional currency parity. It pointed out that the worsening security situation in the North-West and South-West regions could also darken prospects for economic growth, noting that these regions host important areas of agricultural production and the country’s largest agribusiness. “If the crisis continues, it could increase expenditures for defense and security and affect the 2019 budget,” it said.

The development finance institution suggested that in order to withstand challenges brought about by the weakness of Cameroon’s growth base and its great exposure to fluctuations in world prices for raw materials, the government could adopt measures such as implementing value chain projects in the agro-pastoral and fisheries sectors to boost economic resilience. “Strengthening resilience also requires improving the economy’s competitiveness, especially with greater support for facilitating transport, developing trade at the regional level, taking account of the country’s geographic location, and providing support for private sector.

In a retrospective view of the macroeconomic performance of the country, it was disclosed that real GDP growth reached an estimated 3.8% in 2018, up from 3.5% in 2017. Domestic demand was the core of economic growth.

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