Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Revelations on the network that blocks phase 2 of Biya's Vision 2035

After a mixed assessment of the DSCE, Cameroon was to start implementing this second Development Plan since last January. Except that the document adopted by the Cabinet Council on November 22, 2019 and transmitted to the President of the Republic for final validation. Pending the main lines of this Development Plan unveiled by Minepat.

GDP growth: Mortgages to be lifted 

For the 2020-2030 period, the government intends to "put in place the conditions favorable to the accumulation of national wealth and ensure that the structural changes essential for the industrialization of the country are obtained", said Alamine Ousmane Mey at the annual conference. from the central and decentralized services of the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (Minepat), on January 22. "It will be a question," he said on this point, "of bringing the GDP growth rate around 7 to 8% on average over the period 2020-2030; bring the growth rate of the non-oil secondary sector to around 8% on average over the period; reduce the trade balance deficit from 8.8% in 2018 to around 3% of GDP in 2030 ”. 

Over the past decade, Cameroon's performance in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) growth has almost always been below the annual targets prescribed by the Strategy Document for Growth and Jobs (DSCE), and considered necessary for the emergence of the country by 2035. According to official statistics, the growth achieved by Cameroon has been higher than the target retained by the DSCE only once, in 2010, where it was 3 , 4%, while the DSCE targeted 3%. With a rate of 4.5% in 2016 and 3.7% in 2017, the GDP growth achieved did not even reach half of the objectives (10.1% for 2016 and 3.7% for 2017) of the DSCE . The government must therefore ensure that the same constraining factors do not hinder the achievement of its objectives for the coming decade. 

The DSCE itself already warned of these constraining factors in 2009. “Despite the implementation of the first generation DSRP (Strategy Paper for Poverty Reduction, editor's note) for a period of five and a half years, the Cameroonian economy has not experienced any significant structural change and continues to face a certain number of challenges which could prevent the achievement of the expected results) ", warned the document which added that" thus the Cameroonian economy remains fragile and hampered by serious structural shortcomings, notably relating to the low competitiveness of the productive sector and the deficiencies of the key factors of production that constitute infrastructure and energy ”. Certainly, on these last two points, Cameroon has acquired new equipment during the decade that ended. But with population growth helping, this physical capital has been "diluted", reducing at the same time the productivity gains it induces. These “serious structural shortcomings” had already hindered the achievement of the objectives of the PRSP, they prevented the achievement of those of the DSCE. They seriously jeopardize the achievement of those of the next Development Plan and must be lifted to raise the national productive fabric to the level of international competition. they prevented those of the DSCE from being reached. They seriously jeopardize the achievement of those of the next Development Plan and must be lifted to raise the national productive fabric to the level of international competition. they prevented those of the DSCE from being reached. They seriously jeopardize the achievement of those of the next Development Plan and must be lifted to raise the national productive fabric to the level of international competition. 

Poverty: From 37.5% in 2014 to less than 25% in 2030

Still according to Minepat, the government will also work to "improve the living conditions of the populations and their access to basic social services by ensuring a significant reduction in poverty and underemployment". “Thus, continues Alamine Ousmane Mey, the aim will be to reduce the poverty rate from 37.5% in 2014 to less than 25% in 2030; reduce underemployment from 77% in 2014 to less than 50% in 2030; bring the Human Capital Index from 0.36 in 2018 to 0.55 and the Human Development Index from 0.52 in 2016 to 0.70 in 2030 ”. This, too, was already one of the objectives of the Growth and Jobs Strategy Document, in particular through its employment strategy, and in particular decent employment, which the government intended to use as a key factor in equitable redistribution of growth. 

In 2009, the employment situation in Cameroon was already worrying. “Employment in Cameroon is characterized by a low unemployment rate9 (4.4%) in the strict sense of the term, while the broader unemployment rate which better reflects the Cameroonian context is around 13%. This level of unemployment, however, masks underemployment, the rate of which is 75.8%, ”recognized the government. In addition, still according to the government, this situation had developed "concomitantly with a significant increase in the informal sector which employs around 90% of the employed active population".

“The latter is estimated in Cameroon to be around eight million people, of which less than two hundred thousand are employed in the public sector, about eight hundred thousand in the formal private sector and the rest in the informal sector, including the rural world. Analysis of the situation of underemployment in Cameroon shows that invisible underemployment, which includes employed workers whose income is lower than the SMIG11, represents 64.8% of the active population, while visible underemployment ( 11%) concerns people involuntarily working less than the legal weekly working time (40 hours per week), "the government said. The objective of the DSCE was therefore to "completely absorb visible underemployment and to keep the unemployment rate widened to less than 7%" by 2020, 

The government also predicted that the rate of monetary poverty would drop from 39.9% in 2007 to 28.7 in 2020. “Under the assumptions of the vision scenario, the MDG target (25%) would be reached in 2017. On the Based on the rural sector development hypotheses in the reference scenario, the percentage of underweight children under five years of age may decrease over the horizon of the strategy to 13.3% in 2015 and 10 , 2% in 2020, "said the DSCE, which also announced that this percentage" could approach the MDG target (8%) by 2020 ". Performance, after 10 years of implementing the DSCE, falls short of these objectives. On January 16, 

A lucid document on the state of poverty, inequalities and exclusions in Cameroon. According to this report, 38,072 jobs were created per year over the period 2009-2016, with an informal sector which, in 2014 for example, provided up to 83% of jobs. In terms of poverty, or better yet extreme poverty, and still according to this report, the regions of Extrêmenord, Nord, Nord-Ouest and Adamawa are distinguished by “fairly high” poverty rates . "In the far North, for example, the poverty rate rose from 56% in 2001, to almost 66% in 2007 and 74% in 2014," notes the 2019 report on the development index in Cameroon.

Climate change: the additional constraint 

According to Alamine Ousmane Mey, for the second phase of its march towards emergence in 2035, the government intends to "reinforce measures to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental management to guarantee economic growth and sustainable and inclusive social development ”, with“ very special ”attention to recurrent floods in the northern regions of the country and the country's major cities, especially Yaoundé and Douala. In fact, nature is becoming less and less accommodating towards Cameroon. 

The assessment, for the year 2019 alone, is very heavy. On the night of August 12 to 13, 2019, the populations of the district of Vélé, in the Far North region, were surprised by a sudden rise in water: floods, displacements, resettlement followed. Overall, and according to figures from the NGO “Solidarités international”, 40,000 people were directly affected by the floods, including only 20,000 in the Logone and Chari department. Our colleague “Towns and Communes” assured that he had counted 100,000 victims following these floods in the areas of Zina, Maga and Kaï-Kaï. In Ngouache, in the Western region, a landslide that occurred during the night of October 28 to 29, 2019 killed 42 people. Beyond the very strong emotion that these natural disasters provoke in public opinion, it is their human and material balance with its consequences for the economy that worries: loss of human lives and therefore reduction of the active population; destruction of property, furniture and real estate, destruction of agricultural holdings, etc. 

“With mainly rain-fed agriculture, more than 50% of the working population is vulnerable to the effects of climate change (drought, floods). 

The northern part is recognized as being an area with a very harsh climate with a rainfall below 500 mm, erratic and poorly distributed in time and space, "explains the 2019 report on HDI in Cameroon. "In such a context, agricultural production and pastoral production are negatively affected with a decrease in productivity linked to frequent floods", continues the report which also notes that "in the West of Cameroon, the drying up of many points of water, the problem of access to water in many regions is becoming more and more unbearable ", and that" in the South, there is a drop in productivity ". Taking the economic consequences of climate change into account in the government's growth strategy for the coming decade is in itself a big step forward.

This constraining factor had not been taken into account in terms of the risks linked to the implementation of the GESP. We now know that this risk analysis was not optimal. Moreover, Cameroon's approach in this matter is consistent with the analyzes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) which included, in their recent respective documents on the prospects for the world economy and particularly in African economies, climate change is one of the major threats to production and therefore to growth. It remains to be seen what the government's sectoral strategy will be in this area, and how it intends to finance it. The development strategy for the period 2020-2030 is also expected for this. 

Governance: a Herculean challenge… 

“Improving governance to strengthen the performance of public action with a view to achieving development objectives. This will include pursuing the reforms necessary to improve the functioning of the institutions, and accelerating the implementation of decentralization ”. When on January 22nd he stated this objective under the strategic axes of the development of Cameroon between 2020 and 2030, Alamine Ousmane Mey, who before going to Minepat had already directed the Ministry of Finance whose underground realities are probably the best - and this despite the incessant fight of the successive Top and Middle Management of this ministry - the problems of governance of Cameroon, knows, as few, including in the government, the real weight of each word thus pronounced. 

And he also knows how dizzying and suffocating these problems are for the national economy. In 2009, the issue of state governance had already been identified as one of the essential pillars of the Government's Strategy for Growth and Jobs: economic, political, administrative governance… the state, its administration and his government, were scheduled to undergo a real surgical operation in 10 years: strengthening the rule of law and the security of people and property; improving the business environment; strengthening the fight against corruption and embezzlement; improving information and citizen control over the management of public affairs… In 10 years, commendable efforts have produced significant results, like accelerating the implementation of decentralization. But what remains to be done to tie this State to the demands of the modern world and economy is a Herculean effort. 

The Center for Analysis and Research on Economic and Social Policies (Camercap-parc) recently released the results of the study it conducted on "(in) efficiency of budget programming in Cameroon", the first volume of which concerns the public investment budget. This report indicates that “in 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, Cameroon has programmed in public investment (BIP), about 11 trillion FCfa, or about half of all the wealth produced (Gross Domestic Product) in Cameroon "And that" from 2013, the psychological bar of the 1000 billion FCFA of budgetary allocation intended for the investment was exceeded ". But, has this proactive fiscal policy had a significant economic and social impact? "The fatal fact is that at the end of a fiscal year, BIP is not visible in its concept of Gross Fixed Capital Formation. For a budgetary year which has devoted 1000 billion FCfa of BIP, we should be able to point the finger at a strong achievement; thus over 5 years, even 10 years, the stock built up should be significant and not to be looked for in the accounting entries, ”answers Camercap-parc.

The Think Tank associated with the ministry in charge of the Economy points firstly to the "dusting". “It is a voluntary loss of resources and a promotion of inefficiency under the guise of a geographical distribution. Not only is this investment nil, even negative, but it maintains the logic of the diversion of public resources in the open with a crumbling of small managers ”. The Camercap-parc also accuses the procurement commissions deemed "budgeting", corruption which "plays the resistance", but above all the inefficiency of the breakdown of the BIP, of which up to 8.48% of resources are allocated to the “miscellaneous and unforeseen” section, instead of the 2% to 3% devoted by budgetary standards, and especially before production and trade expenses, which receive 8.

Source: ecomatin.net