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BEAC Projects 6 % Growth Rate for Sub-Region 

By Divine Ntaryike Jr

Cameroonpostline.com — Officials at the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, have projected a 6 percent growth for the six-member Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States, CEMAC.  A release from the sub-regional financial powerhouse suggests the projection is among others hinged on increasingly positive macroeconomic indicators.

If the rate is ultimately attained, it will mark a 2.2 percent hop from the 4 percent growth rate reached in 2011.  The bank, managed by Equato-Guinean-born Lucas Abaga Nchama, adds that inflation will also dangle around 2.2 percent in 2012.  It also reiterates that the CFA franc will not be devalued as rumored since December.

Meantime at the dusk of last year, BEAC scaled down its sub-regional economic growth forecast for 2011.  It hinted figures for the bloc will stand at 4.8 percent, down from earlier predictions of 5.2 percent.  According to officials however, the economies of member countries would be reinforced by increasing oil and gas production, bulging investments in the services sector as well as swelling public works.

Projections for Cameroon indicate the country will lag behind others.  According to the IMF, the country’s growth rate will swing between 3 and 4 percent in 2012.   The forecast falls below government projections.  The Ministry of Finance announced in the course of 2011 it expected the figure to kiss 5 percent especially as the country continues to reap profits from principal exports including oil, cocoa, coffee, rubber, cotton and wood among others.

Despite the contradiction, the gradual growth rise for Cameroon comes on the back of the recent global financial crisis which provoked a growth nosedive to 2 percent in 2009. 

The IMF notes with satisfaction, the country’s capacity in resisting the effects of the current financial crunch blamed on debt crisis in Europe and the U.S., but warns there exists a couple of hurdles that may snail-pace the attainment of the government-slated 5 percent rate.

These include weak competitiveness of the private and banking sectors, slumps in purchasing power and excessive budgetary allocations for the functioning of state institutions.  The Breton Woods institution recommends that the government should enforce measures that enable the private sector fully play its role as creator of jobs and wealth. 

It also recommends the construction and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads.  The horrible state of roads significantly slows down the evacuation of produce from the farms to the markets, implying a 40 percent loss for farmers due to the non-commercialization of their harvests. 


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