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Cameroon

Cameroon

Political and Economic Situation

Cameroon’s ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), dominates the country’s political landscape. Incumbent President Paul Biya has been in power since 1982, securing re-election in 2011 with 78% of the vote. The current renewable 7 years mandate is reaching its conclusion with next elections due in 2018, a constitutional amendment in 2008 removed presidential term limits.

Through its Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (2010-20 GESP), Cameroon targets an average of 6% GDP growth per annum between 2010-20, and to become an emerging economy by 2035. Over the previous years the economy, the driving force of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CAEMC), has remained resilient despite stagnation in the global and regional market: an overall stagnation in OECD member countries, a slowdown of growth in several emerging economies, and a fall in oil prices affecting the country’s export earnings. Growth though not quite hitting the set target has been hovering around an average of over 5% with 2015 being estimated at 5.7%. This growth could be attributed to the diversification policy that aims to develop the value chains in agriculture, as well as the construction sector and a reliable energy supply. The growth of the secondary sector, especially in the construction sector (7.3%), was a driving force for country’s growth in 2015, followed by the tertiary sector (telecommunications, transport, and financial services). Oil production that makes Cameroon a net oil exporter rose by an exceptional 28.3% as new fields began production.

Economic prospects in Cameroon have been redefined in early March 2017 as the IMF announced that it had started to discuss a three-year economic and financial program that would run through until 2019. These efforts are underpinned by the challenges the country faces with regards to a lack of good quality critical infrastructure (e.g. for the transport and energy sectors) and regional disparities in economic growth. With regards to the latter point in particular, overall, poverty decreased from 40% in 2001 to 37.5% in 2014, with urban poverty declining from 18% in 2001 to an estimated 9% in 2014 whilst rural poverty has increased from 52% in 2001 to 56.8% in 2014. Geographically the Northern region is adversely impacted with estimates being that 56% of the country’s poor living there, a situation further exacerbated by the insecurity. The announced goals of the aforementioned IMF program are to strengthen economic outcomes, enhance the business environment to boost private sector investment and economic diversification, and to achieve a more inclusive growth.

 

Key figures

Available statistics:
Capital
Yaounde
Official languages
French, English
Population (2016 est.)24.36m
24.36m
Population growth (2016 est.), %
2.58
Median age (2016 est.), years
18.5
Urbanization rate (2010 - 2015), % p.a.
3.6
Urban population (2015), % of total
54.4
Rural population (2015), % of total
46
Population density (2015), per km2
49
HDI (2014)
153 of 188
National Currency
Central African CFA Franc (XAF)
Exchange rate (March 2017), USD
1 USD = 618.101 XAF
GDP (2015), USD million current
28,416
GDP growth (2015), %
5.8
GDP annual growth rate forecast (2020), %
5.5
GNI per capita (2015), PPP current int’l USD
3,070
Inflation (2016), %
0.55
Inflation Rate Forecast (2020), %
1.2
Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (2015), BOP current USD millions
620
Net official development assistance (2014), current USD millions
852
Budget deficit (2016), % of GDP
5.6
Ease of Doing Business (2017), rank of 190
166
TI Corruption Index (2016), rank of 176
145
Installed Generation Capacity (2014), MW
2327.45
Installed Fossil Fuel Capacity (2014), % of total installed capacity
40%
Hydro Capacity (2014), % of total installed capacity
60%
Other RE Capacity (2014), % of total installed capacity
<1
Renewable electricity output as % of total electricity output excl. hydro (2014)
1
Avg. distribution and transmission losses as % of output (2013)
10
Net electricity imports (2013, est.), %
0
Electrification rate, total (2014) %
62
Electrification rate, urban (2014) %
96
Electrification rate, rural (2014) %
23
Peak demand (2015, est), MW
1,000
Per capita electricity consumption (2015), kWh
317
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