(Business in Cameroon) - On May 17, 2019, during a consultation organized jointly by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, representatives of four African countries, including Cameroon, called for a balanced approach to the growing difficulty they face in paying off their debts.
While the Zambian and Senegalese representatives indicated that they are taking steps to address their debt, their Cameroonian peer Richard Evina Obam requested broader sources of financing, including Islamic Bank’s support.
Richard Evina Obam, who heads Cameroon Autonomous Amortization Fund (CAA), says that in the space of seven years, the profile of public debt in most low- and lower-middle-income African countries has deteriorated significantly. Moreover, the number of countries facing serious debt challenges has doubled. Côte d'Ivoire's Minister of Finance, Adama Koné, also called for an increase in “innovative and strategic sources of financing,” and suggested that “bonds denominated in CFAF be available on the markets.”
“World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and the African Development Fund (ADF) are working towards a joint mission to better address debt vulnerabilities in IDA and ADF countries,” replied Akihiko Nishio, the World Bank's Vice President of Development Finance.
The African Development Bank's Senior Vice President, Charles Boamah, said that debt management must take into account investment and development needs. To achieve its sustainable development goals (health, education and infrastructure), Africa needs $500 billion.