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Alba Iulia
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Central Africa. Coronavirus: Here is the CEMAC economic response plan

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#Other countries : The Bank of Central African States has chosen to increase the injections of liquidity from 240 billion to 500 billion CFA francs, while the sub-region is fast approaching the 200 positive cases of Covid-19 identified.

Central Africa is seeking solutions to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) on the economies of countries in the subregion. It is in this context in particular that the third extraordinary session of the steering committee of the Economic and Monetary Community Economic Reform Program was held on Saturday March 28 in Brazzaville, Congo. ‘Central Africa (Pref-CEMAC).

A meeting convened by Denis Sassou Nguesso, Congolese head of state and current president-in-office of CEMAC, in which the ministers in charge of the economy and finance of the countries of the subregion took part.


>>> READ ALSO: CEMAC: roaming fees will disappear on January 1, 2021


For the president of the CEMAC Commission, Daniel Ona Ondo, “beyond the public health dimension, the coronavirus pandemic represents for Central Africa a severe and unexpected test of economic and financial resistance”. Especially since this health crisis and its economic consequences are taking place in a context also marked by the collapse of the interest rate on US sovereign securities and the sharp fall in oil prices. This gives rise to fears in particular of a fall in budgetary revenues, the deterioration of macroeconomic accounts, the fall in external funding, etc.

This situation should necessitate the adoption of amending 2020 finance laws “to align public financial management with up-to-date and realistic forecasts of budget revenue and to strengthen the means of combating the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, while guaranteeing the debt service ”.


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Among the recommendations to deal with this crisis, tax breaks and moratoria for the payment of taxes and certain social charges; subsidies to companies, the postponement until 2021 of new fiscal measures affecting the most affected sectors, the mobilization of national banks to finance SMEs, etc.

On the other hand, on Friday March 27, 2020, the Bank of Central African States (Beac) held, by videoconference, the work of its Monetary Policy Committee.

During this session, flexibility measures were taken. Among other things, this involves revising the interest rate on tenders downward; bring the injections of liquidity from 240 billion to 500 billion CFA francs, revise downward the levels of the haircuts applicable to public and private bills admitted as collateral for refinancing operations at the BEAC, etc.

The use of financial support from the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to benefit from support from support programs for developing countries exposed to Covid-19 is also envisaged. Note that all the countries of the sub-region are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 180 positive cases recorded in the sub-region, including 142 in Cameroon as of March 30, 2020.

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