AfDB president backs Cameroon’s economic ambitions

20 Jul 17

Cameroon can become an emerging economy by 2035, African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina has said.

Speaking during a visit to Cameroon at the invitation of President Paul Biya, he said: “There is a sense of excitement about the country and about the economy which, during a difficult regional and global economic phase, has also been demonstrating considerable resilience.”

The bank endorsed the Cameroonian government’s intention to develop an economy of ‘emerging’ status by 2035 “and it will continue to support your efforts to achieve the economic growth necessary for this to happen”.

Adesina said Cameroon last year saw growth at 4.7%, more than double the continental average of 2.2%.

“With its abundant potential and its copious spirit of enterprise, Cameroon can attract some great investment; but it is critical to continue to have peace, stability, inclusiveness, and national cohesion, all reinforced by strong macroeconomic governance.”

He described Cameroon as “the locomotive of the sub-region, driving and stimulating growth, enterprise and markets” with new road corridors being opened to Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic.

“The African Development Bank applauds the significant progress made by your country in the establishment of a coherent legislative and regulatory framework for public private partnerships,” Adesina said.

“On the basis of actions like this, the Bank is ready to increase its portfolio in the private sector in Cameroon.”

The bank’s active portfolio in Cameroon comprised 22 projects collectively worth some $1.4bn and concentrated in transport, energy and information and communications technology.

“What better way is there to improve trade than by building a robust transport network within and between countries and to connect their markets,” Adesina said.

“The new corridors of power are the commercial corridors of trade, in which businesses can grow and prosper together within an environment of enterprise.”

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