IMF approves new disbursement of CFA46.8bn, despite mixed performances

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced Monday it has concluded the 2nd review of the agreements with Cameroon, under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The approval of this second review enables the disbursement of $72.9 million, or CFA46.8 billion for the African country.

This new financing brings to $346.1 million, or just over CFA222.2 billion, the volume of disbursements already made by the IMF since the 3-year program was concluded on July 29, 2021. The institution, however, deplores that “the overall program performance is mixed, with delayed structural reforms in some key areas.”

“Cameroon’s performance under the program remains on track and structural reforms are advancing, albeit with delays in some key areas. The authorities are committed to achieving the program’s objectives and accelerating the pace of reform implementation to support private sector-led economic diversification,” said Kenji Okamura, IMF Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair.

CFA1 trillion at stake

The acceleration of reforms under the IMF-led program, particularly in the areas of transparency, good governance, and the fight against corruption, is “essential to promote growth and help catalyze additional donor financing,” Kenji Okamura said. Indeed, according to the Cameroonian government’s forecasts, the current economic program could generate up to CFA1,000 billion for the public treasury.

“This program highlights a financing gap of around CFA1,000 billion for the period 2021-24, of which the IMF’s contribution is around CFA375 billion. The remainder (CFA625 billion) will be provided by other financial partners as budgetary support,” said Jean Tchoffo, Chairman of the technical monitoring committee for economic programs (CTS), a specialized body of the Ministry of Finance. This was during the annual conference of the Ministry’s central, decentralized and external services held on February 25, 2022, in Yaoundé.

Jean Tchoffo indicated that the budgetary support will come from four main international donors, including the World Bank (WB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union (EU), and the French Development Agency (AFD). Nevertheless, “the various disbursements expected from these partners are subject to some mutually agreed conditions,” he pointed out.

Brice R. Mbodiam

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