Cameroon: COVID-19 May Cause 40% Drop In 2020 Exports

Cameroon’s economy is currently facing five shocks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic which could cause a 40 per cent drop in the country’s exports for fiscal year 2020.

According to a study by Francis Ghislain Ngomba Bodi, a senior official in the Directorate of Studies, Research and Statistics in the Bank of Central African States popularly known by its French acronym BEAC, the five shocks are an epidemiological shock, a shock in offers, a shock in internal demand, a petroleum shock and shock in external demand.

“These shocks are going to cost the country a 6 per cent drop in gross domestic product, with a fall in consumption of about 12 per cent and a drop in exports which could attain 40 per cent. 

“The budget deficit plunge risks doubling and private investment may not attain its pre-crisis level before the end of 2021”, the research indicates.

In order to attenuate the effects of this recession, the Central Bank official suggests that “…it is important for the government to support the revenue of industrial enterprises so that they can maintain a certain level of employment, and enlarge their shares in the domestic market so as to favour a rebound of the economy in 2021. 

“This direct support to enterprises and indirect support to households would enable the maintenance of demand.  

“This would necessitate a strong increase in public indebtedness, the volume of which would be attenuated by a massive buying of public security bonds by the Central Bank. 

“This would be the prerequisite for a strong rebound of the economy in the 2021-2022 fiscal year”, the Central Bank economist recommended.

“This opinion of an official of the Bank of Central African States falls in line with their usual voodoo economics. 

“But as is always the case, they would rather listen to such opinions than consult some of us of the private sector who may have contrary opinions but which may work better for the revitalization of the regional economy strongly hit by the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic”, opines Epanya Gregoire, an economist in the economic capital of Douala.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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