Cameroon and the World Bank Group have concluded the first ever budget support agreement to the tune of FCFA 112.83 billion (200 million US dollar) for the development policy operations, budgetary consolidation and inclusive growth. The documents of the agreement were signed in Yaounde on December 22, 2017 between the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) Louis Paul Motaze on behalf of the government of the Republic of Cameroon and Gina Bowen, representing the Operations Director of the World Bank.
According to Minister Motaze, the budget support accord which adds to those earlier contracted with the European Union, African Development Bank and the French Development Agency, is intended to improve on the public finance situation. Cameroon, he noted, met the conditions sin- quo-non for the budget support agreement with the World Bank by carrying out some structural reforms. The reforms include amongst others; reducing fiscal expenditure linked to direct tax, adoption of new public contracts code, putting in place SIGIPES II in the public administration, implementation of OHADA uniform acts on the management of public corporations and establishments, putting in place a robust mechanism for the payment of electricity bills by government, improvement in the functioning of road fund, increase budget of primary and secondary health structures as well as extending the number of social security beneficiaries.
While expressing government’s gratitude to the World Bank for the first instalment of the global amount of 400 million US dollars (FCFA 220 billion) expected from the financial institution, MINEPAT boss assured that the government will respect its engagement by pursuing various reforms contained in the development policy document sent to the World Bank.
The representative of the Director of World Bank Operations, Gina Bowen, hailed Cameroon for what she termed solid and courageous reforms in critical domains such as energy and school textbook policy. Friday’s budget support agreement was the first the World Bank was concluding with Cameroon and it adds to the bank’s investment operations over the years. The objectives, Mrs Bowen stressed, are to reinforce fiscal sustainability and public sector management, financial viability and efficiency of key infrastructures in order to increase the competitiveness of the economy, improving social protection and social services as well as extend its coverage. All of these are geared towards alleviating poverty, she added.