Security challenges and the May 2019 Fire At SONARA Slowed Cameroon’s 2019 Economic Growth (+3.9%)

(Business in Cameroon) – On November 8, 2019, at the end of the 5th review of its three-year economic and financial programme (2017-2019) with Cameroon, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed its satisfaction with the Cameroonian government’s implementation of the said programme.

The delegation also took this opportunity to reveal some of the 2019 key indicators on the Cameroonian economy.

According to the institution, Cameroon will end the year with a 3.9% growth, slightly down from the 4.1% recorded in 2018. This decrease is mainly due to security challenges faced by the country since 2013, the IMF indicated.

These challenges mainly relate to the war against the Nigerian terrorist sect Boko Haram in the Far North region and the deployment of the army in the South West and North West regions to contain the pro-independent claims in the two Anglophone regions since late 2016.

In addition, the IMF said, the decrease in Cameroon’s growth is also due to the fire in late May 2019, at Sonara, the country’s only oil refinery. This disaster caused the cessation of refining activities forcing Cameroon to import finished oil products.

Moreover, despite the rebound observed in the oil sector with a 6% sector growth rate in 2019, “after 3 years of deceleration,” there was a slowdown in economic activity in the non-oil sector (3.8%, compared with 4.4% in 2018) in 2019, the IMF points out. Here, we learn, sectoral GDP grew to only 3.8% in 2019, compared to 4.4% in 2018.

Nevertheless, despite the slowdown, economic growth in Cameroon will be much better than that of the entire CEMAC region, making it the economic driver of this community.

Indeed, according to figures released by the Bank of Central African States (Beac), economic growth in the CEMAC region will peak at 2.7% in 2019, compared to 3% forecasted at the beginning of the year.

Let’s note that even though it is lesser than forecasted, it is still higher than the 1.8% recorded in 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *