Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Mission to CameroonPress Release No. 07/198
September 20, 2007
The following statement was issued on September 20, 2007 by Mr. Dhaneshwar Ghura, Mission Chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Cameroon:
"An IMF mission visited Yaoundé during September 6-20, 2007 and held discussions with the government on the fourth review of its economic and financial program, which is supported by the IMF under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. The mission met with Mr. Inoni, Prime Minister; Mr. Esso, State Minister, Secretary General of the Presidency; Mr. Essimi Menye, Finance Minister; Mr. Motaze, Minister of Economy and Planning; Mr. Hayatou, National Director of BEAC; and other senior government officials. Meetings were also held with representatives of civil society, labor unions, donors, private sector, and media.
"Progress has been made in entrenching macroeconomic stability while renewed efforts with structural reforms are needed to accelerate growth. Fiscal and financial targets for June 2007 were met. The overall fiscal surplus was higher than projected, despite a shortfall in nonoil revenues, reflecting lower-than-projected spending. The authorities made progress in enhancing budget accounting, transparency, and tracking. Inflation decelerated considerably in the first half of 2007, primarily because fuel price increases moderated. Cameroon's external position has improved on account of a significant increase in timber exports. However, real GDP growth has been weaker mainly owing to weak performance in the agro-industry sector and declining productivity. Non-oil revenue performance and public investment execution were below expectations. Delays continued to be encountered in the implementation of reforms in the areas of public enterprises, civil service, and rural finance.
"Enhancing growth prospects requires increased focus on measures to improve the quality of spending, enhance the execution of capital- and poverty-reducing outlays, strengthen the business environment, improve access to credit, and combat corruption. The mission urged the authorities to complete the privatization of key public enterprises in the airline, telecommunications, and water sectors. In the context of discussions on the 2008 budget, there was an agreement that nonoil revenue mobilization remains key to ensure the sustainability of the public finances."