Reinforcing Existing Ties

Richard KWANG KOMETA | 14-09-2017 23:50

In matters of friendship in international relations, cooperation and interest play a lot. Cameroon and the International Monetary Fund, IMF have over the years shared so much in common that their interests and areas of common vision can only be reinforced given the issues of mutual  concern which they entertain.
Recent drop in crude oil prices, cash crops as well as other raw material on which the economy of Cameroon depend has resulted in the country looking for new opportunities to stay afloat and sustain the resilience observed over the years. As the locomotive of the Central African economic bloc, Cameroon hosted the IMF and other international bodies in a sub-regional meeting in Yaounde on 23 December, 2016. Heads of State of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC, at the gathering, discussed the difficult world economic situation that was having a toll on the sub-region as a whole.
Going by the declarations of various IMF officials, a little push from donor partners like the FCFA 390.4 billion (666 million dollars) loan offered by the IMF to Cameroon on 26 July, 2017, the country is expected to witness renewed growth. The three-year IMF Extended Credit Facility according to the Deputy Managing Director of the Bretton Woods institution, Mitsuhiro Furusawa is to make up for unforeseen expenses engaged by the country to tackle the consequences of an expensive war against Boko Haram among other issues. “After showing resilience due to a larger diversification, the Cameroonian economy is now facing a slowdown in its growth, a decline in customs and foreign revenues and a growing public debt”, Furusawa pointed out following the granting of the loan to Cameroon. His current three-day visit to the country is coming on the heels of an IMF inspection team led by Ms Corenne Delechat that was in Cameroon from 22-29, August 2017 to evaluate the evolution of the national economy.
The entry into force on 4 August, 2016, of the Economic Partnership Agreement between Cameroon and the European Union in addition to the economic slowdown, estimated by the IMF to drop from 4.4 per cent in 2016 to 3.7 per cent in 2017, do merit particular attention. In spite of the diversified nature of the national economy, such a slow growth is coming at a time some external factors have continued to exert pressure on public finances leading the Head of State to sign a decree on 17 May, 2017 to increase the maximum debt limit of Cameroon for this year from initial FCFA 1.000 billion to FCFA 1.700 billion.
During his visit to the country, it will not be too much of a conjecture to expect that the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF will have the opportunity to make a firsthand appraisal of the reality on the ground and put in place more concrete measures with government officials so that support from his institution will better prepare Cameroon for future economic challenges. 

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