Cameroon Guarantees $1.6 Billion To Help Businesses Affected By COVID-19

The Cameroon government envisages making available the sum of 800 billion FCFA (about US$1.6 billion) by way of guarantee to local businesses hard hit by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Making the announcement during the Cameroon Business Forum which took place in Yaounde last week, the Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze revealed that “…the raising of the ceiling of guarantee envisaged in the 2020 Finance Law from 40 billion to 200 billion FCFA. 

“To permit the state to grant a guarantee of at most 25 per cent of the amount of loan accorded by the banks to negatively affected businesses would open the way to over 800 billion FCFA” that would be made available to affected businesses.

The Finance Minister cited the putting in place of lines of financing by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) for the financing of enterprises; the resort to innovative sources of financing such as relay-credits; the securitization of internal debt in order to animate the secondary market and ameliorate the income of enterprises. 

He also mentioned the putting in place of credit lines in a pool of financial establishments at a subsidized rate to the profit of businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as additional measures aimed at softening the effects of the coronavirus on businesses.

“Some banking establishments such as the BGFI Bank have already manifested their interest to accompany the government in this regard”, declared Mr. Motaze adding that a partnership between the Ministry of Finance and insurance companies such as Atlantique Assurances is already in place intended to accompany the private sector in the coverage of guarantees and cautions.

According to the Cameroon Inter-Patronal Group popularly known by its French acronym GICAM, 69 per cent of industrial enterprises in the country have confirmed that their production had been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as against only 26 per cent of service businesses.

The much bigger businesses including foreign conglomerates have revealed that 50 per cent of their production has been directly affected as against 36 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises.

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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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