(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian government announced in March 2021 that it has requested a loan of $18.9 million (about CFA12.3 billion at the current value of the US dollar) from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). These resources were intended to support Cameroonian small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, more than a year after this announcement, the loan is still not available.
We learned that it was only on June 10, 2022, that the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, signed the decree empowering the Minister of Economy to reach the financing deal with the bank. The loan will be disbursed under a partnership between Badea and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) through a joint Arab-African Trade Bridges program that aims to help African countries fight against Covid-19. In March 2021, this partnership facilitated the release of $100 million (CFA54.8 billion) by Badea to support 44 African countries, including Cameroon.
The National Institute of Statistics (INS) reported in a survey that due to insufficient production inputs during the pandemic, 35.1% of local companies had to cancel customer orders in 2021. These cancellations, which mainly affect SMEs (38.1%) and industrial production units (38.9%), represent an average of 47.1% of the monthly sales of the companies over the period, INS said.
"Nearly eight in 10 companies report a decline in sales levels in 2021 during the 30 days before the survey (which was conducted in July 2021, ed)," the document states.