(Business in Cameroon) - During the cabinet meeting held January 23 in Yaoundé, the Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze, produced an update on Cameroon's membership in international organizations.
He revealed that the volume of Cameroon's contributions to international organizations has increased considerably over the past decades. It stands at XAF10 billion on average for 196 listed international organizations.
According to the official, the main constraints inherent in the payment of contributions due to international organizations are related in particular to the absence of data on bank domiciliation and the location of certain beneficiary organizations as well as the late communication of information on changes in the amounts of statutory contributions by the legislative bodies of these organizations.
“Many memberships are made without following the procedure in force, mainly the necessary authorization, and without any feedback on our membership; in particular on the level of contribution expected annually per organization,” the 2020 budget orientation document reported.
In order to control expenditure related to the contributions paid by Cameroon to international bodies, the Minister of Finance indicated that a management mechanism comprising short and medium-term measures has been put in place. The creation and operationalization, in July 2019, of the mixed permanent platform Ministry of Finance/Ministry of External Relations, in charge of monitoring and evaluating the state's contributions to international organizations, constitutes the backbone of this mechanism.
Reduction of memberships
Eventually, Mr. Motaze said, it is planned, among other things, to regularly update the list of international organizations Cameroon contributes to, the development of a three-year programming of the State's commitments under its contributions to international bodies, and the definition of a reference framework for analyzing the sustainability of the State's financial commitments to international organizations. Clearly, there is a plan to rationalize the expenses related to Cameroon's participation in international organizations.
The government indicated, during last year's budget orientation debate, its plan to reduce the country's membership in international organizations. They certainly contribute to the diplomatic influence of the country, but to do so without respecting the procedure in force, without prior cost-benefit analysis, has the opposite effect.
Cameroon receives many large arrears requests from international organizations. According to the Government, this situation seriously disrupts the implementation of the State budget and damages the country's image. For example, last March, Cameroon was suspended from the World Trade Organization (WTO) for failing to pay its dues amounting to XAF180 million.