7.27.2014

Cameroon’s Development Decisions Remain Sovereign

By Pius NYUYLIME, Cameroon Tribune, 25-07-2014
The visiting World Bank Vice President for Africa Region, Makhtar Diop, on July 23, 2014, clarified pressmen on the partnership between his institution and Cameroon.
Increase in fuel price, capital flight, credit disbursement and several other issues were topical during the meeting at the Yaounde Hilton yesterday between pressmen and Makhtar Diop, the visiting World Bank Vice President for Africa Region
.  After a busy day with government officials epitomised by the audience at the State House, the World Bank official sacrificed time to explain to pressmen the relations his institution is entertaining so far with Cameroon. This took place shortly after his meeting with the Governor of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), Lucas Abaga Nchama.
Development decisions such as the one to step up the price of fuel remain sovereign, he told reporters dismissing the fact that they were imposed on Cameroon by the World Bank. He however appreciated the fact that it was necessary taking into consideration the high cost on the State coffers. The World Bank official shared the concern of pressmen on the huge amount of money leaving Africa each year for Europe bringing untold consequences to the population. “It is a serious problem”, he said, stating that it is important to work in collaboration with countries that admit such capital.
The Central African Banking Commission (COBAC) , he said should constitute an important instrument to ensure control of such illicit capital transfer.  The World Bank on its part has some instruments that it uses to ensure control and is working towards collaborating with countries of the G20 in order to further tighten control to that effect.
As to why World Bank disbursements for development projects in Cameroon should remain so low, about 23 per cent in the first half of the year whereas Cameroon needs to accelerate the execution of such projects, he disclosed that it is quite normal for projects that run for several years. Disbursements are made in instalments and should not normally surpass 20 percent per year, for projects that stretch up to five years and have to do with infrastructure development.
Prior to his meeting with the press, the World Bank official met with the Governor of BEAC to discuss cooperation between the two institutions. This cooperation according to Lucas Abaga Nchama is translated through financial support on major projects under the responsibility of the Bank of Central African States.  The meeting was occasion for the BEAC boss to inform his guest on the economic situation in the CEMAC sub region including the latest growth forecast of 6.1 per cent for 2014. Makhtar Diop leaves for Douala today where he is expected to meet representatives of the private sector.

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