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Cameroon seeks to rejoin AGOA amid slowing export revenues

A picture taken on March 15, 2018 shows a general view of Cameroon's port of Douala   -  
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REINNIER KAZE/AFP or licensors


Cameroon is looking to rejoin the US's trade initiative for Africa, as the country works to boost export revenues amid falling foreign exchange earnings.

Cameroon's economy minister Alamine Ousmane Mey said his country has started talks with Washington for admission back into Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), which grants African countries tariff-free access to the U.S. market.

The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, and global shocks triggered by the conflict in Ukraine have hit Cameroon hard, denting economic growth and undermined its ability to repay debt.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that Cameroon, a Central African oil producer, will record 4.3% economic growth this year.

The Fund has classified Cameroon as being at high risk of debt distress. But, the Fund added, that Yaounde's debt could still be sustainable with with sound fiscal reforms and management.

In 2019, the US kicked Cameroon out of the AGOA program for rights violations by security forces in the restive southwest and northwest regions.

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