23, April 2020
Cameroon is one of the 77 developing countries benefiting from the 12-month moratorium on foreign debt servicing decided on April 15 by the G20 during a video conference. The information was revealed the following day by the French ambassador to Cameroon Christophe Guilhou, at the end of an audience with President Paul Biya.
According to the media service of the French embassy, the moratorium (which succeeded in part thanks to French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts) postpones the payment of bilateral debts by 12 months.
In its 2020 budget, Cameroon had set a little over XAF720 billion for the payment of its debts. Out of that amount, XAF232.2 billion was set aside for the payment of its bilateral debts for this fiscal year.
With this moratorium, the G20 countries aim to let beneficiaries concentrate on the health crisis at hand and worry about debt repayment later. However, since the debt is not canceled, it will just add to debt servicing in 2021. African countries must, therefore, continue to lobby for the cancelation of their debts.
“We also call for the cancelation of the debt of African countries…The IMF must be ready to respond to our countries’ increased demand for resources. The World Bank must also systematically support all countries since a specific scheme is applied for IBRD and IDA borrowers whose loans are classified as non-performing,” said Alamine Ousmane Mey at the Spring Meetings of the Bretton Woods Institutions. He was speaking as the chairman of the African Consultative Groups (ACG) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG).
According to Cameroon’s Ministry of Finance, On December 31, 2019, Cameroon’s outstanding public and publicly guaranteed debt were estimated at XAF8,424 billion, or about 37.3% of GDP. At XAF6,650 billion, the country’s external debt accounted for 77.1% of the total debt.
Culled from Business in Cameroon