The anglophone crisis dragged growth down by 0.8 and 0.3 points of GDP respectively in 2019 and 2020 in Cameroon. This represents a cumulated loss in GDP estimated at XAF421.3 billion between 2017 and 2020.
The figures were presented on November 23, 2021, by Paul Tasong, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy Planning and Regional Development, while presenting the presidential plan for the reconstruction of the anglophone regions.
For Paul Tasong, the poor performance was due to decline in business in several sectors, the most affected being the agricultural sector.
For instance, the paddy rice segment recorded an average of 14.5% drop in activities yearly between 2017 and 2019 before rising by about 10% in 2020. Meanwhile, crude palm oil production dropped by about 90% over the period, going from 37,400 tons in 2016 to about 4 300 tons in 2019. “In 2020, however, there was a reverse in the downtrend with a 131% rise in the production of palm oil to reach 9 900 tons,” Paul Tasong explained.
Regarding the banana sector, production dropped from 125,019 tons in 2016 to 16,897 tons in 2019 in the South West because state firm Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) stopped operations in 2018.
"However, production recovered in 2020 to 21,132 tons. In the first half of 2021, the company produced nearly 16,272 tons of bananas," the delegated Minister added.
As far as consumer products are concerned, fish supplies dipped significantly in the regions in 2019 before stabilizing in 2020 that saw a 14.6% rise in the Northwest and 25.3% in the Southwest, we learn.
The poor performance of manufacturing industries in the anglophone regions caused a decline in medium-voltage energy consumption in the order of 19.5%, 6%, and 25%, respectively in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The resumption in activities recorded in the manufacturing industries 2020 resulted in a 7% rise in the consumption of that type of energy, Paul Tasong continued.
He further explained that the cocoa and tourism sectors were impacted as well. Also, due to the crisis, a significant number of public projects worth XAF16.4 billion were not executed during the 2017-2019 period despite the increase in budgets allocated. In that context, the public investment budget implementation rate remained relatively low in the North-West and South-West regions (the estimated average is 64.4% and 68.2 respectively) between 2017 and 2019. In 2020, that rate improved notably to 83.7% in the North-west and 89.9% in the South-west.
According to the GICAM, the largest employers’ grouping in Cameroon, from 2016 to date, companies have lost an estimated XAF800 billion.