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Emergence By 2035: Rekindled Hope!

The recent state-of-the nation address by the President of the Republic re-echoed government resolute commitment to transform Cameroon into an emergent economy by 2035.

Cameroon’s economic growth rate in 2019 stood at 4.1 per cent and with this score, President Paul Biya says is fairly satisfactory. “Regarding our economic growth, I think I can safely say that it is fairly satisfactory, albeit constrained by an uncertain global context, amongst other things,” he opined during his traditional end-of-year state-of-the nation address on December 31, 2019. In view of attaining Vision 2035 (an emergent economy) as is contained in the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper that oriented development policies till 2019, several measures were put in place amongst which is the Economic and Financial Programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which heralded several reforms. Thanks to these efforts, economic growth picked up from 3.5 per cent in 2017, 3.8 in 2018 to 4.1 in 2019. “Our growth has picked up again, inflation is under control, budget and external deficits are contained and our public debt remains sustainable,” President Biya summarised the country’s economic performance for the just ended year. With growth forecast to be consistent at 4 per cent trend as was presented in the Government’s 2020 Economic, Financial and Cultural Programme at the National Assembly, President Paul Biya holds that the assumption is expected to keep the country on the path to emergence by 2035. Apart from this, the draft National Development Strategy 2020-2030 which is the recent policy orientation blueprint also rekindles hope for the attainment of emergence by 2035. The National Development Strategy like the President of the Republic said is an ambitious document which seeks to achieve economic growth. In fact, the strategy in its real sense sets out to structurally transform the economy from the primary stage to an industrially-driven stage. The drawing up of the Industrialisation Master Plan, investment incentives reforms, dematerialisation of business creation procedures amongst others, are some of the actions already taken by the government to attract investors that will create wealth and add value to the dominant primary sector. The recent government policy to limit importation and encourage local processing of raw materials, job creation through new activities are also ingredients to boost the economy and consequently the march towards emergence. The President of the Republic did not lose sight of the contribution of international partners like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, African Development Bank and the French Development Agency, amongst others to budget support and structural reforms that are rendering the economy more robust and resilient. “Our goal remains to become an emerging economy by 2035. However, with the unstable global context and tension that are jeopardizing trade, we may need to redouble our efforts to maintain our country on the path of sustainable economic recovery,” he urged.

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