Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Finance.
What is your appraisal of the last two C2D programmes?
The last two contracts were a success and an avenue for experimenting. They have permitted us at the level of the Strategic Orientation Committee to identify at the third phase of the C2D ideal measures to put in place to get the best results. The whole idea is not only about debt relief. It revolves around reinvesting the funds in sectors that can serve the common good. The third phase of C2D will be that of maturity and it involves FCFA 400 billion for the development of our country.
How are the areas for intervention selected within the C2D programme?
There is no discrimination in terms of places where C2D projects are implemented. Take the case of the recruitment of teachers, it was a national issue. We will continue to keep in mind that it is the entire nation that has to benefit from this huge investment.
Are there some innovations to make the third phase of the programme more effective?
We have been able to review our process. We want to make sure that by the end of the day, we pay the debt and get the money invested in our economy. We have added another thing above all these measures in terms of procedures. We brought in, in terms of innovation, budgetary support. This means that if we had problems using resources tied to programmes and projects, we have an alternative to support the national budget through direct channelling of the resources into the treasury. This will really help balance our operations.
Where actually are the funds for the C2D programme coming from?
The payment we are making in terms of reimbursement of our debts is paid back to our account at the central bank in Yaounde. So the money is not coming from elsewhere. When we make payments, we do so out of our account at the central bank. We do not entertain an account where we withdraw from the French treasury as regards the C2D programme. We should not mix our monetary policy with respect to our imports and exports procedures and activities. In whatever country you are in, you need foreign [hard] currency to cover your importation. Cameroon does this through the central bank of France and other partners. We are doing it happily with total satisfaction using our operational account.
Why the focus on Bamenda and Maroua for this third phase?
We want to think that these regional capitals need road infrastructure. Their lighting systems need improvement. They should have income generating activities to support their population. This is because it does not make sense to invest if you don't create wealth that will help maintain these infrastructures. This process is not top-bottom approach. We discussed with all stakeholders and we have a framework. The ultimate goal is to get to a point where we shall have interconnected regional capitals, creating a movement of activities.