Has Covid-19 Provided a Lifeline For Cameroon's Ailing Economy?

Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Cameroon, an oil exporter with a bloated bureaucracy, was still reeling from the 2014-2016 oil price collapse - one of the most significant oil price slumps in modern times. The country had also increased security spending countering Boko Haram incursions in the north since 2014, while battling to quell an armed secessionist struggle in its English-speaking regions since 2017. In the midst of the ravaging coronavirus, the World Bank's Development Committee and the G20 finance ministers rolled out a Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to help the governments of some of the world's poor countries to free up financial resources they could use to respond to Covid-19. Cameroon was one of the countries that indicated it had a problem simultaneously managing its debt burden and the unprecedented health crisis.

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A view of Yaoundé.

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