Program performance has improved, with progress in delayed structural reforms; fund supported program aims to restore Cameroon’s and CEMAC’s external and fiscal sustainability and to encourage growth.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the third review of the arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement for Cameroon. The completion of the review enables the disbursement of SDR 55.2 million (about US$76.3 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR317.4 million (about US$438.9 million).
In completing the third review, the Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver for the non-observance of the performance criterion on the ceiling on net BEAC financing and the modification of two performance criteria pertaining to the ceiling on net borrowing of the central government from the central bank, excluding IMF financing, and the continuous performance criterion on new non-concessional external debt contracted or guaranteed by the government.
Cameroon’s three-year arrangement for SDR 483 million (about US$667,8 million, or 175 percent of Cameroon’s quota), was approved on June 26, 2017. It aims at supporting the country’s efforts to restore external and fiscal sustainability and lay the foundations for sustainable, inclusive and private sector-led growth.
Following the Executive Board discussion, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:
“Cameroon’s performance under its ECF-supported program is broadly satisfactory. Most end-June 2018 targets have been met and structural reforms have advanced, with completion of key delayed financial sector reforms.
“The authorities remain committed to the concerted regional effort to rebuild CEMAC’s fiscal and external buffers. To that end, addressing revenue shortfalls and containing investment spending will be key to reaching the 2018 deficit target. Steadfast implementation of the 2019 budget, including measures to mobilize non-oil revenue by gradually removing exemptions and further spending rationalization will be essential to mitigate the risks from the challenging security situation, increasing commodity price volatility and other shocks to growth.
“Public external debt has increased rapidly in 2018, mainly owing to faster-than-envisaged disbursements of foreign project loans. Strictly limiting new non-concessional borrowing and addressing the stock of contracted but undisbursed loans are essential to maintain debt sustainability. Gradual adjustments in administered prices would help reduce subsidies and restore the financial viability of key public utility companies, while lowering risks from contingent liabilities.
“Financial sector reforms should continue to advance, including effective resolution of ailing banks and reduction of overdue loans. Other structural reforms should focus on tackling governance issues and improving the business environment to support private investment and enhance competitiveness.
“Cameroon’s program continues to be supported by the implementation of supportive policies and reforms by the regional institutions in the areas of foreign exchange regulations and monetary policy framework and to support an increase in regional net foreign assets, which are critical to the program’s success.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).