News / Africa

Central Africa Growth Hindered by Vast Corruption

FILE -  Children are seen posing in Blaram in northern Cameroon on March 1, 2013.FILE - Children are seen posing in Blaram in northern Cameroon on March 1, 2013.
x
FILE -  Children are seen posing in Blaram in northern Cameroon on March 1, 2013.
FILE - Children are seen posing in Blaram in northern Cameroon on March 1, 2013.
A visiting joint International Monetary Fund/World Bank delegation says high levels of corruption have left the populations of Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon out of the benefits of their nations’ huge petroleum resources.

Economic growth in the six-nation Central African Economic and  monetary community, CEMAC, has stagnated at 2.2 percent this year, 50 percent less than the 4.4 percent forecast made by the regional Bank of Central African States.  
 
A joint IMF/World Bank inspection mission left Cameroon during the weekend.  Its leader, Mario De Zamaroczy, said such a mediocre economic performance has made the CEMAC zone one of the poorest in the world.
 
“It is not sufficient to reduce poverty. The revenue was below expectations and we do hope that revenue will be as planned by the end of the year,” said De Zamaroczy.
 
Among the issues that reduced the economic performance of the six-nation economic block, made up of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Congo-Brazaville and Gabon, are prolonged drops in oil and commodity prices and a slowdown in global growth due to the world financial crunch.
 
De Zamaroczy added that five CEMAC countries produce oil that accounts for 40 percent of the regions Gross Domestic Product and close to 90 percent of total exports, but huge debts and amounts paid as subsidies to local consumers have been having negative impacts on the economy.
 
“We think that the generalized subsidies in gasoline (petroleum) prices is not an optimal way in our view to use scarce resources and we recommend a possible reform in that area.  And, finally, we fully support the major projects that are being implemented, but we need to accelerate the implementation of these projects," said De Zamaroczy.
 
Chaos in the Central African Republic since Seleka rebels ousted Francois Bozize from power and heightened security risks with pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea also weakened the economy.
 
The IMF and World Bank are projecting that with a probable increase in oil revenues in Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Chad, there will be a 5.3 percent growth rate in the region next year.
 
Experts skeptical
 
But economists like Professor Fondo Sikot, a lecturer at the University of Yaounde, think that such a growth rate will not improve living conditions in the CEMAC Zone.
 
“NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African Development) had some years back tried to say that African economies need to grow at seven percent and above continuously over a five year period before they will begin to cut down on poverty...,” said Sikot.
 
Sikot added that Cameroon projected a 6.2 percent growth rate this year, but the Country's 2013 growth rate is ending up at 4.6 percent.
 
“The economy is not yet showing signs of an economy with a potential to emerge because the growth rate is still very low and poverty and unemployment are still extremely high, which means that something has to be done.  At the rate of 4.6 it will take maybe close to 30 years or so before Cameroonians begin to feel that the economy is growing,” said Sikot.
 
The Word Bank and IMF mission says high levels of corruption and arms imports are preventing the economies from having sustained growth.
 
Cameroon Prime Minister Philemon Yang has promised his country's parliament that Cameroon will place emphasis on infrastructure in 2014, such as completing construction of hydro-electric dams and fixing major roads.
 
All the CEMAC countries have plans to become emerging economies between 2020 and 2035.  Economists say such dreams can only be realized if the countries attain a double digit growth rate by 2015.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid