The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the economy of top cocoa producer Ivory Coast, now in the midst of a post-war revival, will grow by 8.4 percent this year and next while inflation is expected to remain moderate.
IMF also raised its 2015 forecast for GDP growth in Cameroon to 6 percent but said it could achieve higher growth still were it not for a drop in the global oil price and the cost of a fight against Islamist militants.
Achieving the strong growth figures in Ivory Coast would depend on a sustained growth of private sector investment and the external environment remaining favourable, Michel Lazare, Assistant Director in the IMF’s African Department, said in a statement.
In Cameroon, the forecast, up from 5 percent in April, is based on “good performance in certain sectors, such as construction, public works and finance, and increased oil output,” said Mario de Zamaroczy, head of an IMF mission to Cameroon on Wednesday.
“It (the economy) was slowed down because of the impact of the oil slump during the whole year, as well as the fight against terrorism,” Zamaroczy said.
Inflation would remain below the regional limit of 3 percent, while the budget deficit would be reduced to 5.4 percent of GDP because of revenues from taxes and mobile telephone licenses, he said.
Cameroon’s army is fighting Boko Haram in the north of the country and is contributing troops to an 8,700-member regional force to combat the Nigerian Islamist militant group, which has launched a string of incursions into Cameroon’s territory.