Cameroon’s Economic Growth Picks Up Slowly
By Godlove BAINKONG, Cameroon Tribune, 24-11-2013
An IMF report presented in Yaounde on Friday November 22, 2013 shows that the performance is not sufficient to meet development objectives.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Cameroon’s economic growth rate has picked up and could hit 4.7 per cent this year. The 2013 World Economic and Financial Surveys for Sub-Saharan Africa presented to the Cameroonian economic stakeholders in Yaounde on Friday November 22 in a ceremony chaired by the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, accompanied by his colleague of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi and in the presence of a visiting joint IMF/World Bank team, shows that the Sub-region is resilient to global economic hardship and is faring on well.“The economic prospects are good. We are projecting a 5 per cent economic growth rate for Sub-Saharan Africa this year and 6 per cent in 2014 and with what is happening in the rest of the world, we can say it is encouraging,”, Boriana Yontcheva, IMF Resident Representative in Cameroon, said.
The 4.7 per cent projected growth rate for 2013, the IMF report notes, would be an improvement from the 4.1 per cent of 2011 and 4.6 per cent of 2012. The growth rate is improving yes, but remains below the sub-regional average of 5 per cent for 2013 and also not good enough to meet the development objectives of the State. “Cameroon’s growth rate is also increasing but we think there could be higher level of growth in the country with more structural reforms,” Boriana Yontcheva noted. The State had initially planned to attain a 6.1 per cent economic growth rate this year but later reviewed it down to 4.8 per cent.
Within the framework of the emergent vision of the State contained in the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper, government is projecting a double-digit growth rate by 2020 (10.2 per cent) but the IMF survey indicates that if the country were to keep pace with its present economic performance, then its growth rate in 2020 would be 5.4 per cent all things being equal.
Where the Shoe Pinches
The IMF believes the amount of money spent to subsidize energy is relatively high. On the controversial fuel subsidy, the IMF Resident Representative in Cameroon as well as the leader of the visiting, IMF/World Bank delegation, Mario de Zamaroczy, said the powers that be need to carry out an in-depth study to know the category of people who benefit directly from the fuel subsidy so as to know what decision to take about it.
The Way Forward