Between the 2nd quarter of 2015 and 2016, the budget deficit for all six member-States of the CEMAC (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, CAR, Chad and Equatorial Guinea), increased, since it went from 3.5% to 7.9% of the community’s GDP; therefore doubling within the course of a year.
The Monetary Policy Committee (CPM) of the BEAC, the central bank of these States, moreover revealed on 12th July in Yaounde, during its 2nd ordinary session for 2016, that the deficit in the external current account also increased over the same period. However, at a lower rate, as it peaked at 14.8% of GDP as at end June 2016, against 14.4% the previous year.
At the roots of this deterioration of this public Treasury in the CEMAC area, CPM points out “the persistence of the effects of the drop in the world prices for oil”, with five countries out of six producing the commodity. As a reminder, oil revenues represent, officially, between 20 and 80% of the budgets of the countries in the CEMAC.
Moreover, explained the governor of the BEAC, Lucas Abaga Nchama, who was pleased with the adjustments made by the States to date, particularly the drop in investment expenditure in several countries; some structuring projects for which the public authorities have made commitments to their populations continue to engulf important amounts of public funding. All this, while the trend for new revenue collection is going downward.
Therefore, to cope with this situation, Lucas Abaga Nchama again invited the member-States of CEMAC to work toward the improvement of the business climate, the regional integration and above all, the diversification of their economies; to reduce their dependency on oil revenues and massive imports of manufactured products from the West.