Central Africa: CEMAB Economic Outlook – Member States Urged to Diversify Economies

The call was made at the 37th Session of the College for Multilateral Surveillance, held in Douala, August 30.

Member states of the CEMAC economic bloc have been urged to draw up and implement policies that facilitate the diversification of their economies and to put in place triennial convergence programmes. The call was made during the 37th ordinary session of the College of the Multinational Surveillance held in Douala from August 29 to 30. It was made by the Head of the Department of Economy, Monetary and Finance, Clement Belibanga, who equally predicted an improvement in the economy of the sub region. He noted that there has been a 16.2 per cent increase in budgetary revenue and a 3.6 per cent drop in budgetary expenses for the economic bloc, but regretted that the progress was basically pushed by an increase in oil prices, instead of diversification of the economy. Cameroon was praised for submitting its Triennial Convergence Programme at the end of December 2018 which was adopted by the Council of Ministers of UEAC in N’Djamena this year. Congo is said to be following suite, while other countries have been called upon to emulate Cameroon’s example. Participants examined the implementation of the triennial programmes by the various member countries; the final report on multilateral surveillance for 2018; and the perspectives for 2019 and 2020. They equally evaluated the economic and financial situation of the sub region and the state of compliance with the criteria for convergence of CEMAC. They also scrutinized the state of relations between member countries and the IMF and other measures geared at supporting the programmes. The meeting took place within the context of dropping prices of raw materials exported by CEMAC countries, economic tensions and uncertainty about Brexit, leading to a slowdown in global economic growth. At the regional level, the period is equally characterised by the approval of IMF programmes with CEMAC member states. Petroleum exploitation is also affected by security concerns in the Lake Chad Basin and the Central African Republic, as well as the crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.

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Author: skvaller

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