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Yaoundé - 27 January 2023 -
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Cameroon: The Deposits and Consignments Fund is finally operationalized

Cameroon: The Deposits and Consignments Fund is finally operationalized
  • Comments   -   Tuesday, 24 January 2023 07:54

(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian President, Paul Piya, signed last January 20 a decree appointing the first leaders of the National Deposits and Consignments Fund (CDEC). The Head of State has chosen Richard Evina Obam (pictured) as the Director General of this body, which has been under consideration since the law of April 14, 2008 (completed by the decree of April 15, 2011).

This senior tax inspector, who becomes the first CDEC Director General in Cameroon, was, before his appointment, the Director General of the Autonomous Amortization Fund (CAA). He will be assisted in his new mission by Anne Geneviève Kingué Etamé, who has been appointed deputy director general of CDEC. The board of directors is chaired by Sylvester Moh, the current director general of the Treasury at the Ministry of Finance.

As a reminder, Cameroon welcomed in November last year a delegation of the Forum of Deposit Funds. During the visit, Lassina Fofana, the MD of the Deposits and Consignments Fund of Côte d'Ivoire (CDC-CI) and head of the delegation, said: “the presence of the Deposit Funds Forum here follows the 6th International Conference of the Deposit Funds Forum, which was held in Libreville. This conference ended with the decision to create, like in the WAEMU zone, Deposit Funds in the Cemac Zone”.

Lobbying

The visit was also the occasion for the Cameroonian Minister of Finance to insist on the need to operationalize this organization in Cameroon. "The Forum's working visit to our country will undoubtedly improve the perception of the authorities and the public on the issues and challenges of the establishment of a deposit fund, and also ease the reluctance of some of our partners on the complementarity of this instrument in the service of the development of countries,” he said. The Minister recalled that the main mission of a deposit fund is to collect, secure and make long-term returns on “untapped” resources to direct them toward supporting public policies. These resources come from regulated savings, deposits from notaries or the legal professions, administrative deposits and guarantees, funds from national savings banks or social security funds, pension funds, and insurance and guarantee funds.

For the time being, the resources that the CDEC is called upon to centralize and manage are controlled by other public entities or the private sector, which do not welcome the creation of such a body. This situation was the main reason the operationalization of the CDEC was blocked for almost 15 years.

Yet, in other countries, the Deposits and Consignments Fund is seen as a powerful instrument for development. In France, for example, this organization was created in 1816 and is the key tool for financing social housing, universities, business development, and the energy transition. Through its investment fund STOA Infra & Energy, the Deposits and Consignments Fund of France holds a 10% stake in the Nachtigal dam construction project (420 MW) in Cameroon.

The Deposits and Consignments Fund of Gabon (CDC) was created in 2010 and is active in real estate development, through its subsidiary Avorbam Investissements. The latter was born from the merger between the Gabonese CDC and the company T2G, a subsidiary of the Moroccan group TGCC. In addition, CDC is currently leading a project in this Cemac country to build hybrid solar power plants to boost access to electricity. Let’s note that Gabon is the only country in the Cemac to have such a functional entity.

Brice R. Mbodiam

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