On 30 August 2016 in Yaounde, during a ceremony to table and adopt texts governing the operation of the National Public Debt Committee, the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, disclosed that the Cameroonian public debt is at FCfa 4754 billion at the end of July 2016. This represents only 27.3% of the country’s GDP and is thus well below the accepted norm of 70% in the CEMAC area.
In spite of these figures which seem to comfort local public authorities, Cameroon has been facing criticism for several months from Bretton Woods institutions. If in its different reports the IMF denounces a rapid indebtedness of the country (after the 2006 HIPC initiative), especially at non concessional interest rates; the World Bank has, in a report dated April 2016, already classed Cameroon among the Sub-Saharan African countries considered a high risk of debt distress.
Last August 30, the Minister Ousmane Mey pleaded for greater caution in the matter of public indebtedness and efficient and effective management of borrowed funds, taking into account the numerous infrastructure projects currently in progress or planned in the country, which always require significant funding.
As a reminder, the National Public Debt Committee was created by Prime Ministerial decree of 4 August 2008. Chaired by the Minister of Finance, the mission of this body is to co-ordinate, monitor the implementation of the national policy of public indebtedness and management of the public debt, ensure its coherence with development objectives and the capacity of the State.