Insecurity along Cameroon’s borders is responsible for the huge losses suffered by the country’s economy, according to a new report from the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Territorial Development (MINEPAT).
The report said Boko Haram activities along the country’s eastern border with the Central African Republic (CAR), and its northern frontier regions straddling Nigeria are causing extensive damages to the economic fabric of Cameroon.
A copy of the report to APA detailed a decline in tourism in the Far
North to the tune of 16 percent as most foreign diplomatic missions accredited to the country formally advise their nationals to stay away from areas regularly rocked by atrocities committed by the Islamic sect Boko Haram now called the West African Province of the Organization of the Islamic State.
Accommodations in Cameroon’s eastern region have been overwhelmed
by applications due to the twin influx of CAR refugees and international aid workers.
Thus, where the same area witnessed an increase in its transport activities by 1.7 percent in relation to humanitarian logistics, the far northern region has recorded a 45 percent decline due to the closure of the land borders with bigger neighbour Nigeria.
Together, these phenomena lead to a significant decline in trade of
which Nigeria is both the largest market, the outlet for manufactured
goods and the inevitable importer.
The agricultural sector is also reeling from the insecurity, a situation worsened in the north by the escalation of the conflicts between farmers and cattle herders on the one hand and amongst herders themselves on the other.
Besides, there are frequent incursions by Central African Republic armed gangs in the east, which have forced farmers to abandon their farms, aside from the difficulty of supplying inputs, which portends a sharp drop in production.
In the same regions, according the Ministry, several public markets
are threatened or already being shut after they were abandoned by the
entrepreneurs and the retrenchment of workers.
In general, the ministry also chronicles the rise in smuggling, the expansion (+35%) in the consumption of adulterated fuel called â€˜zoua zoua,’ in the far north, a region that also saw a 25 percent cutback in the number of hotel staff, according to estimates from the Employers’ Association of Hotel and Tourism Industries.