Cameroon
In-depth country-focused analysis on Cameroon's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Our comprehensive assessment of Cameroon's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Cameroon, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Cameroon's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Cameroon before your competitors.

Country Risk

Cameroon Country Risk

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Core Views

  • Economic expansion in Cameroon is accelerating, and we predict that real GDP grow will be 4.6% in 2014. The country's economy will outperform its Central African peers, averaging 4.8% growth between 2014 and 2018.

  • Faltering oil production and high import demand will cause Cameroon's current account deficit to widen to 6.0% in 2014. We expect the shortfall to remain relatively stable over the coming years.

  • High spending on capital projects will keep the country's fiscal deficit wide. The shortfall could expand rapidly if the government is unable to control spending on costly fuel subsidies.

  • The Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale cut its core interest rate by 250 basis points to 3.25%. While we do not expect that the cut will have a significant impact on the regional economy, further loosening is likely in...

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Cameroon Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Cameroon Operational Risk

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Businesses in Cameroon face a number of operational challenges as a result of the crime and security environment. Notable risks include high crime, a corrupt and unreliable police force and the prevalence of criminal gangs, with translates into high foreign worker vulnerability due to criminal preferences for targeting expatriates. Firms pay considerable sums for private security in order to reduce the likelihood of damaged or stolen goods and property, attacks on workers and other crimes. There are also some terrorist threats, particularly in the north of the country, which have affected cross-border trade and created operational challenges for companies in insecure areas. Although there is a low risk for interstate conflict, instability along its borders has hurt firms by increasing the likelihood of violence or theft and by interrupting trade. These factors mean we have given Cameroon a Crime and Security Risk score of 34.3 out of 100, placing it 26 th...

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Cameroon Crime & Security

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Businesses operating in Cameroon face a number of operational challenges due to the country's crime and security environment. Notable risks include high crime, a corrupt and unreliable police force, and a prevalence of criminal gangs, translating into high foreign worker vulnerability due to criminal preferences for targeting expatriates. Firms therefore pay considerable sums of money for private security in order to diminish the likelihood of damaged or stolen goods and property, attacks on workers, and other types of crime. Businesses also face a variety of terrorist threats, particularly in the northern part of the country, which has adversely affected cross-border trade and created operational challenges for companies in insecure areas. Although Cameroon has a low risk for interstate conflict, instability along its borders has also hurt firms by increasing the likelihood of violence or theft and by interrupting trade. These factors merited Cameroon a Crime and...

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Cameroon Labour Market

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There is a low level of risk for businesses in Cameroon's labour market. The country offers advantages such as a high literacy and numeracy rate compared with regional averages and an increasingly successful secondary and tertiary education system that produces more sophisticated and well-qualified workers. However, sources of risk persist in the form of low life expectancy - which limits worker productivity - and moderate costs of labour, with limited access to foreign workers. As a result, we award Cameroon a score of 41.7 out of 100 for Labour Market Risk, placing it eigth regionally, higher than Nigeria (10 th), Gabon (21 st), and the Republic of the Congo (28 th).

Arguably Cameroon's largest labour asset is its educational attainment, which has enabled the country to enjoy sustained improvements in both male and female literacy rates and acquire more sophisticated skills for local firms. Although Cameroon...

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Cameroon Logistics

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Cameroon's location at the meeting of three trans-African highways, and its relatively good port sector, means the country has the potential to play a major regional logistics role. At the moment, however, supply chain efficiency is limited by the quality of the internal transport network, with unpaved roads and a lack of regional rail connections. The utilities infrastructure reflects Cameroon's status as a developing state, and investors should expect to encounter problems including low internet penetration rates and frequent power outages that inhibit business operations and slow trade flows. Long and difficult bureaucratic and customs procedures further limit speed of trading and increase import and export costs. We give Cameroon an overall score of 33.6 out of 100 for its Logistics Risk in our Logistics Risk Index, ranking it 26 th out of 44 states in the region.

A forecast GDP growth rate of 5.2% in the medium term (2014-2018...

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Cameroon Trade & Investment

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Cameroon has one of the worst track records in the region for trade and investment risk. Corruption poses a major obstacle to foreign investment and participation in the economy by lowering the accountability and impartiality of the judicial system, incurring adverse consequences for important procedures such as the filing and paying of taxes, the resolution of investment and property disputes, and the registration of property. Intellectual property rights and ICT laws are poorly enforced, increasing the likelihood of financial losses due to copyright violations and piracy, while high trade barriers and inadequate regulatory frameworks slow growth in both the trade and financial sectors. Cameroon therefore receives a score of 23.3 out of 100, placing it 39 th regionally.

As an oil producer, Cameroon has been able to utilise its oil revenues to encourage the expansion of the country's financial and trade markets, creating a...

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Cameroon Industry Coverage (8)

Agribusiness

Cameroon Agribusiness

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BMI View: The news that a large-scale investment project in Cameroon's sugar industry has foundered in obscure circumstances is a reminder of the challenging business climate in the country. We now take a less o ptimistic view of the sugar segment as this situation is likely to make future foreign direct investors think twice before committing to similar projects. Once again we have revised down our forecasts for cocoa as latest reports suggest exports may have fallen by as much as around 20% year-on-year. Nevertheless, we maintain our positive outlook for the future of the industry providing the government maintains its efforts to improve infrastructure and inputs. The prospects for the 2014/15 corn harvest are good , although we expect that consumption will soon begin to outpace increases in output.  

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Autos

Cameroon Autos

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Cameroon's new vehicle market is a fraction of the size of some of its larger regional neighbours, but its growth rate has picked up significantly in 2013. Car ownership is still low by regional standards and is only just expected to pass 20 cars per 1,000 people during our five-year forecast period to 2018, which suggests there is not the same level of middle class development as in some of the bigger Sub-Saharan African markets. Several economic episodes have reduced demand for new cars in favour of cheaper second-hand alternatives. These include the economic crisis of the 1980s, the franc's devaluation and the reduction in civil servant salaries in the 1990s.

Auto sales in Cameroon for 2013 came in at 4,039 units, which was an increase of 30.5%. While we maintain a positive outlook on the vehicle market in 2014, we acknowledge that sales growth will not be as strong as 2013.

According to Renault Group, vehicle sales...

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Food & Drink

Cameroon Food & Drink

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Increasing oil output and rising consumer spending   will contribute to accelerating Cameroonian economic growth in 201 4 and beyond. This bodes well for Cameroon's food and drink industry, which will benefit from rising private consumption levels as well as a favourable demographic situation. Coming from a relatively low base, a number of segments in the food and drink industry will experience strong growth rates to 2018 thus offering attractive investment opportunities.

As per capita incomes rise, we expect per capita food consumption to increase, resulting in large multinational corporations investing heavily in Cameroon in order to tap into this growing market. We believe that joint ventures between domestic and foreign firms will boost domestic production of certain consumer goods, as highlighted...

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Infrastructure

Cameroon Infrastructure

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BMI View:   Cameroon's construction sector will record strong growth over the next five years, supported by progress on major power and transport infrastructure projects. We anticipate annual average construction sector growth of 10.2% between 2014 and 2018. Progress is also being made in the business environment, with the successful implementation and expansion of the country's PPP programme.

We expect progress on a number of large projects to drive strong growth in Cameroon's construction sector.

  • In July, French major EDF signed an agreement with the Cameroon government to develop a 360MW hydropower plant located at Nachtigal Falls on the Sanaga River. Construction is expected to start in early 2015 and cost USD814mn. EDF is providing 40% of the funds, with the remainder coming from the International Finance Corporation (with 34%) and...

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Mining

Cameroon Mining

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Central Africa's mining sector is set to follow much of the continent by developing its substantial mineral wealth. The region is still far from achieving its full potential, but these recent developments could indicate a changing tide for these three countries and indicate that the mining sector is set for sustained lift-off. However, many of the issues that have held back the region from achieving its potential for much of its history remain. Political risk and a lack of adequate infrastructure are the most pressing concerns, and while there are some efforts to address these problems, a lot more needs to be done if the region is not going to be considered 'frontier' for many years to come.

Significant Growth Ahead
DRC - Gold And Copper Output
...

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Oil & Gas

Cameroon Oil & Gas

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BMI View : Cameroon is a small producer of oil and a nascent gas producer. Oil production should slightly increase, after years of decline, with several small projects coming online. However, new exploration and discoveries will be necessary if Cameroon is to stabilise or grow output and conserve its net export potential in the longer term. While Cameroon's gas production will remain modest, the size of GDF Suez' proposed LNG terminal highlights production potential of over 5bcm by the end of our forecast period.

Headline Forecasts (Cameroon 2012-2018)
  2012e 2013e ...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Cameroon Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View:   A combination of the adoption of different mobile health innovations, health-targeted foreign aid inflows and sustained infrastructure investment will continue to create opportunities for health sector improvement in Cameroon over the medium term. These include mobile health technologies implementation in the fields of cardiology, HIV testing and personalised medical information across the country, as well as hospitals construction, foreign aid projects and different healthcare financing mechanisms. The country 's economic growth outlook, upon which the pharmaceutical sector expansion greatly depends, will maintain a moderately favourable trajectory, despite much potential being...

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Telecommunications

Cameroon Telecommunications

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BMI View: Our Q414 West and Central Africa report analyses latest industry, regulatory and macroeconomic developments in the telecoms markets of seven countries: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The greatest growth area in these markets is the broadband sector, which should benefit from improved international connectivity, investment in wireless data networks and cheaper devices. The mobile operators in the region will also seek to expand their non-voice services portfolios to create new revenue streams that will offset the sluggish revenue growth from traditional services.  

Key Data

  • The average mobile market growth for the seven countries in our...

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