(Business in Cameroon) - Between January and July 2021, Cameroon disbursed XAF728 billion to service public debts, according to the national sinking fund CAA. That envelope includes XAF151.2 billion as interest and XAF577.6 billion as principal.
External debts captured 87.3% of the funds and the remaining 12.7% covered domestic debts. Due to the steady rise in the state’s financial needs (because notably of the security expenditures caused by the fight against Boko Haram and the anglophone crisis), debt service has become a real challenge for the Cameroonian public treasury. For instance, it was obliged to defer the payment of over 73% of its 2015-2025 Eurobond by organizing a refinancing operation in June 2021.
Debt service also affects public investments. According to official sources, public debt service is gradually becoming burdensome, thus affecting public investment budgets. In the 2021 finance law, the country revealed that like in 2018, the volume of debt service (both domestic and foreign) has started rising while public investments dropped slightly. For instance, Cameroon's debt service increased from XAF727.5 billion in 2017 to XAF1,027 billion in 2018 while public investment fell from XAF1,586.9 billion to 1,291.5 billion over the same period.