Press Release: Press Statement by the IMF Mission Chief for Cameroon

August 8, 2005

The following statement was made by Ms. Doris Ross, the IMF mission chief for Cameroon, in Yaoundé on August 4, 2005:

"The purpose of the IMF team's visit was to review economic policies and developments during January-June 2005 in the context of Cameroon's economic program monitored by the IMF staff, and to discuss policies and structural reforms that would underpin a medium-term economic program.

"Our overall assessment at the end of the mission is that Cameroon's macroeconomic performance to date is encouraging. In particular, good progress was made in the area of budget implementation and increased transparency. We found, however, that progress was mixed regarding other elements of the Government's economic program that is being monitored by IMF staff. We therefore emphasized that, in the months ahead it is important for Cameroon to build on the achievements thus far, and to address the remaining challenges decisively.

"We started discussions with the Cameroonian authorities on an economic program over the medium-term that could be supported financially by the IMF under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. In this context, we stressed that it is important for Cameroon now to focus on the future, leading up to the completion point under the HIPC Initiative, but even more so the future beyond that. We made some progress and look forward to further discussions to come to an agreement on how best to address the challenges facing Cameroon.

"These challenges are: (i) how to enhance growth, maintain macroeconomic stability to enable all Cameroonians to increase their income and reduce poverty; (ii) how to improve the use of government resources and increase investment in people and public infrastructure such as roads, clean water and electricity; (iii) how to reduce impediments to private sector activity and improve the overall business climate, make Cameroon more attractive to investors, both Cameroonians and from abroad.

"We plan to return to Yaoundé at end-August to resume discussions on a medium-term program. We look forward to working with the government to enable Cameroon to reach the completion point under the HIPC Initiative, and beyond that, plan for the many important challenges lying ahead."


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