18 November 2012

Cameroon: IMF Projects Five Percent Growth Rate for 2013

In the latest Sub-Saharan African performance presented in Yaounde last Friday November 16, the institution recommends acceleration to attain emergence.

Officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) say Cameroon like other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa has consolidated a robust economic growth, the sluggish global economy masterminded by crisis of Euro zone notwithstanding. All things being equal, Cameroon, they disclosed, is projected to hit a 5 per cent growth rate in 2013, up from 4.7 per cent in 2012. This among others is as a result of some giant projects that have taken off wherein billions have been injected and thousands of jobs created.

The visiting IMF delegation to the country for their traditional economic review and prospects made the disclosure in Yaounde last Friday November 16 while presenting the October 2012 World Economic and Financial Surveys and the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa on the theme, "Maintaining growth in an uncertain world". The IMF delegation leader, Mario de Zamaroczy, Advisor African Department at the IMF said, "Cameroon is indeed having a relatively favourable economic perspective for the short term especially when compared to other countries." He said there are always risks that can either be external or domestic. "One of the risks that we contemplate is a continued recession in the Euro area and the continued problem of the sovereign debt crisis worldwide. So, if these were to continue, there could be a negative impact on Sub-Saharan Africa and Cameroon," he said.

The delegation recommended that government should carry out in-depth analysis on the impact of giant projects before sourcing for financing from donor agencies. "It is important to maintain a macroeconomic stability, low inflation, continue with recovering a high level of revenue so that the public finance can be balanced, be careful about the debt policy, move ahead quickly with structural policy so that Cameroon which has the ambition to become an emerging market in 20 years has the required high level growth for meeting the objective and also the quality of the growth," Mario de Zamaroczy said.

Programme Budget

Starting from January 1, 2013, the government is introducing a programme budgeting. This budget is followed from an accounting perspective which means that government has to account for all the expenditure according to the budget that will be adopted by the National Assembly during the ongoing budgetary session. Mario de Zamaroczy and his team said with the novelty being introduced, the government is adding a new dimension of efficiency to the monitoring of public expenditure. "With this, before the financial year starts, each ministry has to define what its objectives are and the concrete results that it wants to achieve with the financial means given. It is a very important but complex reform and all the countries that have introduced similar reforms have taken several years to fully achieve the benefits. So, while there will be some progress in 2013, it will take a number of years before we can see major improvement. But it is certainly a very encouraging step in terms of better transparency and monitoring of public finances," he concluded.

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