(Business in Cameroon) - On January 22, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the fifth review of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement with Cameroon. According to the final release, the completion of the review allows for the disbursement of about $76.1 million (about XAF44 billion). This brings the total disbursements under the agreement to about $590 million (about XAF344 billion).
“Cameroon’s performance under the ECF-supported program has been mixed. All end-June 2019 performance criteria have been met but four out of the five indicative targets for end-June were missed. Structural reforms are advancing but with delays," said the IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting President, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, after the Executive Board discussion.
In this regard, the Executive Board approved Cameroonian authorities' request for a waiver for non-compliance with the continuous performance criteria regarding the non-accumulation of new external payment arrears.
Mitsuhiro Furusawa added that it is essential for Cameroon to stay the course on fiscal consolidation to provide fiscal and external buffers. The authorities are encouraged to broaden the non-oil revenue base, reduce discretionary tax exemptions, combat tax fraud and evasion, and improve tax and customs administration.
According to the IMF, “completion of the Treasury Single Account reform and reduced recourse to direct interventions and exceptional spending procedures will help improve cash management and budget execution and strengthen fiscal transparency and budget credibility.”
Cameroon's three-year ECF arrangement (2017-2019) was approved on June 26, 2017, for an amount of about $666.1 million (nearly XAF400 billion). The arrangement aims at supporting the country's efforts to restore external and fiscal sustainability and lay the foundation for more sustainable, inclusive and private sector-led growth.