25, October 2023
Cameroon’s power company Eneo just released its 2022 annual report, outlining the damages it has suffered in 5 years in the North-West and South-West regions where the Anglophone crisis rages.
According to the report, “Eneo has maintained its operations in the North-West and South-West, despite the particularly deteriorated security conditions, which have jeopardized its agents, equipment, deployment and finances. A commitment to continue providing electrical service, while recording losses of around CFA15 billion per year, or over CFA75 billion in unbilled distributed energy and unpaid billed energy over the last 5 years”.
Continuity of service in the face of insecurity has been maintained, thanks to the good condition of distribution lines and transformers. As of the end of 2022, the availability rate stood at 84% in the South-West region and 80% in the North-West.
However, as the company points out, the above-mentioned condition of the distribution network and transformers during the period under review contrasts with the deterioration of other electrical equipment installed in this part of Cameroon.
Many out-of-service facilities are primarily concentrated in what are termed “red zones,” where approximately 50% of infrastructure in the South-West and 80% in the North-West are affected. These facilities have fallen victim to vandalism or natural deterioration. Efforts to rehabilitate these structures are underway, taking into consideration safety measures.
Eneo is working with both willing residents and the authorities. The risk to field teams is permanent. “It is in this context that network extension work (some twenty kilometers more in the Fako region) and the reconstruction of destroyed networks have been carried out”, the company said.
The Anglophone crisis has been a burden on businesses operating in the affected regions. Many of them have experienced vandalism of their equipment and have had their employees abducted, subjected to violence, and even killed. Faced with this climate of insecurity, numerous economic operators have had to relocate their activities. Others, like the CDC, a state-owned agro-industrial unit and the second-largest employer in the country after the central administration, had to temporarily suspend their operations. However, they have gradually resumed activities following an observed period of calm on the ground.
According to government estimates, the crisis led to a national loss of 0.8 percentage points of GDP growth in 2019 and 0.3 percentage points in 2020. “These growth point losses correspond to a cumulative real loss in national GDP of CFA421.3 billion between 2017 and 2020,” said the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Paul Tasong, while addressing the members of parliament on November 23, 2021. He was presenting the Reconstruction Plan for the North-West, South-West, and Far North regions. Similarly, due to this crisis, the value of trade between Cameroon and Nigeria between 2015 and 2019 decreased from CFA15.6 billion to CFA2.9 billion, representing an 81% decline. “These declines are observed in both exports (-68.9%) and imports (-85%),” Paul Tasong explained.
Source: Business in Cameroon