(Business in Cameroon) - At the end of the 3rd extraordinary meeting of the steering committee of the CEMAC Economic and Financial Reforms Programme (Pref-Cemac), CEMAC Ministers of Economy and Finance suggested member countries should collectively negotiate the cancellation of all their external debts.
If implemented and successful, this cancellation could relieve Cameroon of about XAF6,650 billion of external debts (if to consider the last available figure from the Ministry of Finance).
According to the Ministry, 25.7% of those debts are concessional loans, 57.6% non-concessional loans and 16.7% are budget supports.
Following the cancellation, the remaining debts to be paid by the country will be domestic, estimated by the Ministry of Finance at XAF1,942 billion (XAF1,979 billion according to the National debt commission) and XAF37 billion as government debt.
According to the Ministry of Finance, on December 31, 2019, the outstanding Public and publicly guaranteed debt was XAF8,424 billion (XAF8,650 billion, according to the national debt commission). It represented about 37.3% of GDP while at end-2015, it was XAF5,039 billion, representing 30% of GDP.
The ministry explains that this 67.2% rise over the past five years is notably due to the disbursements of statutory advances granted by development partners (IMF, World Bank, AfDB and France) in the framework of the economic and financial programme signed with the IMF and the acceleration of major infrastructure projects.