The announcement was made by the Governor of BEAC in a press conference yesterday in Douala.
True to his word that BEAC has placed an order for new coins that were expected to arrive in the country in November, the Governor of BEAC, Abbas Mahamat Tolli, said the coins have effectively been delivered and they were in the process of injecting into the economy of member countries. Speaking in a press conference at the end of the 4th ordinary session of the Monetary Policy Committee of BEAC, the Governor said he could now confirm the coins were available in Gabon and Cameroon. He said companies will henceforth be paid mostly with coins so as to inject the money into the economy in such a way that it doesn’t lead to inflation. He however stopped short of saying how much money has been received in terms of coins saying the money was still being delivered. For now the coins received have to do with coins of high value such as 100 FCFA and 500 coins.
As concerns measures to make sure the coins are not trafficked out of the CEMAC zone and that the coins should be used essentially for the purpose for which they made, that is legal tender, he said some States have taken judicial steps towards pre-empting the situation and that the central bank was monitoring the measures to see how they can help control the illegal transfer of currency. The arrival of the coins is highly welcomed as some individuals and companies have been making direct request for coins at the level of the central bank.
Meanwhile, the Governor announced a slowdown in the growth rate in the CEMAC region due to commercial tensions between the US and China and also due to the uncertainty around the BREXIT coupled with a drop in exports and the industrial production of China. However, he said the economies of CEMAC member countries continue picking up though not as first expected. The growth rate in 2019 was 2.5 per cent as opposed to 1.8 in 2018, inflation maintained at 1.9 per cent as opposed to 2.2 in 2018. As concerns currency reserves management, he said the period of grace given to commercial banks has been extended to December 2020. On the issue of a new currency brought up by CEDEAO, Abbas Mahamat said they were working according to the orientations of the Heads of State meeting in Yaounde who recommended the establishment of a common stable currency and reflecting on the framework for new economic cooperation. He said the central bank is going to make proposals to this effect. He said CEMAC has no intention of extension and that they were waiting for concrete proposals from CEDEAO on the modalities for economic cooperation before they can make any pronouncement.