Due mainly to the decrease in oil revenues, which represent often up to 25% of government revenues in Cameroon, the country’s budget deficit peaked at 6.9% of GDP at year end 2016, the American rating agency Standard & Poor’s reveals in a report on Cameroon.
But, according to the same source, this government deficit “should decline to 4.3% of GDP on average” over the period 2017-2020. This view, according to S&P, is based on the “anticipated increases in revenues thanks to the introduction of new taxes” in Cameroon, and “the increase in crude oil prices” on the international market.
Indeed, in the Finance law 2017, the Cameroonian government introduced some twenty new tax and customs measures, to tackle the decrease in oil revenues and the coming into force of economic partnership agreements with the European Union, which aim, with time, to establish a free trade zone between the two partners. It should be noted, in spite of the announced improvement in oil and tax and customs revenues, S&P project an increase in government debt in Cameroon, caused mainly by equipment expenditure linked to major investment projects and the organisation of elections scheduled, in principle, for the year 2018.