Press Release: IMF Staff Mission Completes Article IV Discussions with Cameroon

February 14, 2005

The following statement was issued on February 12 in Yaoundé by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission:

"A staff team from the International Monetary Fund, led by Ms. Doris Ross, visited Cameroon during January 28-February 12, 2005. Its discussions with the Cameroonian authorities built on those in December 2004 (see IMF Press Release No.04/272). They concerned economic developments and prospects for the Cameroonian economy and an economic program for 2005.

"Discussions focused on how strengthening public finances and structural reforms could help achieve the shared goals of stronger growth and poverty reduction. In this regard, the IMF team was encouraged by the Government's determination to adopt a strong 2005 budget directed toward both raising more public resources and improving their use. The IMF team welcomed the Government's intention to step up its efforts to restore financial discipline in public enterprises, to accelerate the use of debt relief obtained under the Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), and to enhance transparency in fiscal management, including in the oil sector. This effort, along with strengthening governance and promoting structural reforms in line with Cameroon's Poverty Reduction Strategy, will help increase the well being of the population.

"The authorities and the IMF team have made good progress towards reaching agreement on an economic program for 2005 that would seek to enhance economic growth and contribute to poverty reduction as well as lead to renewed financial support from the Fund. They will continue discussions with the intention of reaching understandings as soon as possible. The implementation of an agreed economic program for 2005 could, at a later date, pave the way for a new arrangement under the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). In turn, successful implementation of a program supported by a new PRGF arrangement would enable Cameroon to reach its completion point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and benefit from debt reduction beyond that it has already enjoyed since 2000."


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