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Impact of Foereign Debt on the Cameroon Economy

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The Impact of Foreign Debt on GDP growth (Cameroon) A Thesis in partial fulfillment of an MBA in Comparative Institution Design for Transition Economy and Business Management Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University By AKUM Gawum Joseph 52109602 Supervised by Professor Suzuki Yasushi Dedication This is dedicated to my family i Declaration This is to declare that I, AKUM Gawum Joseph, am submitting this piece of work, under the supervision of Professor Suzuki Yasushi, to the Graduate School of Management of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Masters degree in Business Administration.

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I hereby declare that this research paper has not been earlier on submitted, and that all data from other sources has been duly acknowledged. AKUM Gawum Joseph Signature 15th July 2011 ii Certification This is to certify that this research was performed by AKUM Gawum Joseph under the supervision of Professor Suzuki Yasushi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Masters of Business Administration, specializing in Comparative Institution Design for Transition Economy and Business Management.

This work has not until now been submitted or published. Signature iii Acknowledgement

At the end of this research, I feel the deep need to express my heartfelt gratitude to my Sensei, Professor Suzuki Yasushi whose guidance and correction served as a source of direction and motivation. Also, to the interim review committee: Professor Kayhan Tajeddini and Professor Ken Suzuki, I am ever so grateful for their constructive criticism. I would like to thank the members of the CID seminar for their inputs which contributed to my point of focus. I would like to thank Doctor Nair, and all the other lecturers in APU who, through their insight contributed to the ideas which made this work possible.

It would be unfair to go without expressing my gratitude to the APU administration and management who do not cease to provide the student community with a wide range of facilities to guide and support research. Finally, I would like to thank the Japanese Government for the support provided through the MEXT scholarship program, without which this study, as well as the last two years of study would not have been possible. I am deeply grateful to all the members of the MBA Fall 2011 graduating class for the growth enhancing atmosphere they created as we all engaged in this exchange through which we learnt from each other. v Abstract The important role of institutions is hereby evoked by studying the relationship between Cameroon’s foreign debt and its GDP growth. This study observes that it could be misleading to set foreign debt management targets on a strictly quantitative basis, considering the diversity of debtors and their needs. A conceptual framework using the circular flow of resources within the economy is used to qualitatively analyze the areas where the flow is subjected to frictions due to institutional inefficiency. The country’s eadiness to convert its foreign debts to gross capital formation, thus stimulating consumption, and earning fiscal revenues is studied. Through this, the depth of changes initiated by foreign debt management programs is assessed. The changes resulting from these programs, especially the latest one, (HIPC initiative) are observed to evaluate how these programs have affected decision making within the economy. It examines the degree to which the country’s long term immunity to a future foreign debt has been enhanced, and also, the chances that the economy can internally stimulate its future GDP growth without tuning to foreign debt.

It concludes that the efficiency of domestic institutions as well as its major creditors has a significant impact on debt sustainability. Therefore, the HIPC’ initiative’s failure to adequately address institutional weaknesses in the economy, only paves the way for a future debt crisis. v Table of Contents Dedication ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… i Declaration …………………………………………………………………………………………………… i Certification …………………………………………………………………………………………………. iii Acknowledgement ………………………………………………………………………………………… iv Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. v Table of Contents………………………………………………………………………………………….. vi List of Abbreviations …………………………………………………………………………………….. x CHAPTER 1…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 1. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 1. 1 Background ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 2 1. 1. 1 Cameroon’s economic structure in relation to its foreign debt ………………… 3 1. 1. 2 The structure of Cameroon’s Public debt ……………………………………………….. 1. 1. 3 Evolution of Cameroon’s stock of foreign debt and GDP growth ………………… 9 1. 2 Problem statement………………………………………………………………………………….. 14 1. 3 Research Objectives ……………………………………………………………………………….. 16 1. 3. 1 General objectives: ……………………………………………………………………………. 16 1. 3. 2 1. 4 Specific objectives:………………………………………………………………………. 7 Significance of study ………………………………………………………………………….. 18 1. 4. 1 Significance to developing economies …………………………………………………… 18 1. 4. 2 Significance to research and academic bodies………………………………………… 19 CHAPTER 2…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21 2. 0 Literature Review …………………………………………………………………………………… 1 CHAPTER 3…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 28 3. 0 Research Method …………………………………………………………………………………….. 28 3. 1 Hypotheses ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 28 3. 2 Conceptual and Theoretical Framework ……………………………………………………. 28 3. 2. 1 Debt sustainability ……………………………………………………………………………. 8 3. 2. 2 Keynesian Concept of Government Spending ……………………………………….. 30 3. 3 Research Approach ………………………………………………………………………………… 32 3. 3. 1 Data types and Sources ……………………………………………………………………… 32 3. 4 Methods of analysis ………………………………………………………………………………… 39 3. 5 Other Concepts ……………………………………………………………………………………… 42 3. 5. Moral Hazard problem: …………………………………………………………………….. 42 3. 5. 2 Transaction Cost ………………………………………………………………………………. 43 vi 3. 5. 3 Export Diversification ……………………………………………………………………….. 45 3. 5. 1 Agency Cost …………………………………………………………………………………….. 45 CHAPTER 4…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 4. 0 Results …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47 Discussion of findings…………………………………………………………………………………… 47 4. 1. What relationship exists between the country’s foreign debt and the contributors to its repayment, and Why? ………………………………………………………………………….. 47 4. 1. 1 Pre Crisis Period (Petroleum revenue Boom) 1976-1984………………………….. 7 4. 1. 2 Crisis Period 1985-1994 …………………………………………………………………….. 49 4. 1. 3 Post Crisis Period 1994-2010 ………………………………………………………………. 50 4. 2 How does a rise in the country’s foreign debt level affect the percentage of its GDP spent on Capital investments and why?…………………………………………………………… 55 4. 2. 1 Pre Crisis Period ………………………………………………………………………………. 5 4. 2. 2 Crisis Period ……………………………………………………………………………………. 57 4. 2. 3 Post Crisis Period ……………………………………………………………………….. 58 4. 3 To what extent did the rise in Cameroon’s foreign debt level improve the GDP percentage of the country’s fiscal revenues in the long run? ……………………………….. 60 4. 3. 1 Pre Crisis Period ………………………………………………………………………………. 60 4. . 2 Crisis Period ……………………………………………………………………………………. 61 4. 3. 3 Post Crisis Period……………………………………………………………………………… 64 4. 4 How have the country’s foreign debt management institutions and its major creditors affected the foreign debt to GDP growth relationship? …………………………. 67 4. 4. 1 Pre Crisis Period ………………………………………………………………………………. 67 4. 4. Crisis Period ……………………………………………………………………………………. 68 4. 4. 3 Post Crisis Period……………………………………………………………………………… 71 4. 5 Limitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 76 CHAPTER 5…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 78 Conclusion and Recommendations ………………………………………………………………… 8 5. 1 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78 5. 1. 1 “Foreign debt down the rat hole” ………………………………………………………… 78 5. 1. 2 “Poverty trap” …………………………………………………………………………………. 78 5. 2 Cameroon’s position in the existing debate…………………………………………….. 79 5. 2. 1 Debt and aid are so easy to get ……………………………………………………………. 79 5. 2. Receivers of debt relief are often wasteful and corrupt……………………………. 80 5. 2. 3 Debt relief covers immediate needs, hence the persistence of bad policy …….. 80 vii 5. 3 Recommendations ………………………………………………………………………………….. 81 5. 3. 1 General Recommendations ………………………………………………………………… 81 5. 3. 2 Recommendations under the existing debate …………………………………………. 83 Recommendations on Cameroon’s argued position ……………………………………….. 83 5. 3. Recommendations under the ………………………………………………………………. 83 5. 3. 4 Recommendations arising from the Conceptual framework …………………….. 83 ANNEXES …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 85 Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 90 List of Figures Fig 1 Sectors’ Percentage Contributions to GDP 1966-1976 ……………………….. 4 Fig 2 Sectors’ Contributions to Cameroon’s GDP 1977-1985 ………………………. Fig 3 Sectors’ Contributions to Cameroon’s GDP 2009……………………………….. 6 Fig 4 The Structure of Cameroon’s Public Debt …………………………………………. 8 Fig 5 Mass of Cameroon’s Foreign debt Stock ……………………………………………. 9 Fig 6 Evolution of Cameroon’s GDP growth …………………………………………….. 10 Fig 7 Composition of Cameroon’s GDP per sector …………………………………….. 13 Fig 8 Cameroon’s Labor Force by Sector ………………………………………………….. 3 Fig 9 Conceptual Framework………………………………………………………………….. 30 Fig 10 Periodic Partition of Foreign Debt Stock……………………………………….. 41 Fig 11 Periodic Partition of Cameroon’s GDP growth ……………………………….. 41 Fig 12 Periodic partition of Cameroon’s GDP percentage of Gross Capital Formation ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 55 Fig 13 Periodic Partition of GDP percentage of fiscal revenue ………………….. 4 Fig 14 World Governance indicators’ value for Government effectiveness …. 71 List of Tables Table 1 HIPC Debt Sustainability Thresholds …………………………………………. 29 viii List of Abbreviations GDP: Gross Domestic Product IMF: International Monetary Fund IFI: International Financial Institutions VAT: Value Added Tax MTEF: Medium Term Expenditure Framework CFA: African Financial Community HIPC: Highly Indebted Poor Country OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development SONARA: National Refineries’ Corporation SNH: National Hydrocarbons Commission ix

CHAPTER 1 1. Introduction Following the oil shocks in the 70’s, until the 2000’s many African economies, including Cameroon, have suffered huge balance of payment deficits. This phenomenon made foreign debts necessary. Within this period, Cameroon’s economy has faced difficulties in the repayment of its foreign debt while promoting growth of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product). This situation has been met with numerous programs through which international financial institutions sought to improve the situation either by awarding loans, changing the terms of existing loans, or cancelling loans.

This has led to diverse reactions of the economy in the periods within which each of the programs was carried out. This problem therefore created the motivation to study the reasons why the economy reacted as observed, following the actions initiated through its relations with creditors. This is an internally focused study which is more interested in the internal actions or reactions to stimuli which could influence the country’s foreign debt to GDP relationship over a period which ranges from the 1970 until 2006.

The theories of institutional economics are applied to explain the results of government action. This is done by using the Keynesian concept of government spending. By linking this theory to Minsky’s theory of financial fragility, determinants of government financing are analyzed. This is done by a qualitative 1 analysis of the flow of foreign debt to capital formation, and the government’s ability to trap its spending through fiscal revenues, as the country went through economic changes to enhance the efficiency of foreign debt management.

In general, the country’s long run financial fragility is evaluated by analyzing the degree to which its foreign debt dependency has evolved within each era of the country’s GDP growth, as it responds to actions of international financial institutions regarding the degree of institutional efficiency. 1. 1Background Cameroon falls among the many African economies which fell into a debt trap after the Oil shocks in the mid 1970’s. The world wide rise in fuel prices led to the accumulation of cash reserves in western Banks.

In the face of recession in developed countries, there arose excess supplies over demand of credits, and thus a fall in the cost of loans. The low cost of loans, at the time, represented an opportunity for African economies which later on became a threat. This happened as the western economies emerged from recession and began to compete in the demand for credits. This growth in the demand for credits led to a rise in interest rates which affected the price to be paid by the Cameroonian economy in reimbursement of their foreign loans.

The country’s independence in 1960 came with a lot of optimism, as the average real economic growth of 6% was achieved between 1965 and 1986. The country’s petroleum resources played a key role in the boom experienced in the 70’s, as 2 foreign reserves were positive, in the face of growing domestic investments which rose from 21% of GDP in 1977 to greater than 30% in 1986. This boom was characterized by high inefficiency in the management of state enterprises in charge of non-petroleum products, and thus enhancing the country’s dependence on its oil revenues (Nkama, 2005).

Heightened public sector mismanagement combined with the sudden fall of the prices of Cameroon agricultural and petroleum revenues. This trapped the economy in a crisis which was recognized by the state in 1987. As a consequence, between 1985 and 1992, terms of trade declined by about 55%, while the average GDP growth fell to a yearly of 3. 8% from 1986 to 1994. At the same time, external debt rose from 39% of GDP in 1986 to 65% of GDP in 65% of GDP in 1992. Then the national currency (CFA franc) underwent a 105% in 1994 (Nkama, 2005) . 1. 1. Cameroon’s economic structure in relation to its foreign debt Among the goals of the HIPC initiative was the achievement of a 150% ratio of net present value of foreign debt to GDP. But this ought to have gotten beyond this single quantitative dimension. It ought to have taken account of other aspects of the economy, such as its structure, the structure of its foreign debt, and the strength of institutions which can make for economic stability in spite of high debt to GDP ratios. 3 Contributors to Cameroon’s GDP (1966-1976) Agric 30% Service 50% Manufacturing 20%

Fig 1 Sectors’ Percentage Contributions to GDP 1966-1976 Source: Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, & Roubaud, 2000 The heart of Cameroon’s economic boom came in the early half of the 70’s, an era within which the service sector supplied half of the country’s GDP. Given that the majority of this service sector belonged to the civil service, an important component of government revenue could be earned from fiscal sources. The large civil service served, not only as a source of fiscal revenue through income taxes, but also, as a huge source of current government expenditure. At the time, the ountry’s agric sector contributed 30% of the country’s GDP, while the manufacturing sector contributed 20% of the economy’s GDP as shown in fig 1. 4 Contributors to Cameroon’s GDP (1977-1985) Agric 20% Service 45% Manufacturing 35% Fig 2 Sectors’ Contributions to Cameroon’s GDP 1977-1985 Source: Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, & Roubaud, 2000 The discovery of petroleum in the country’s South West Coast line in 1970 influenced the contribution of each sector to the country’s GDP as shown in the figure above. The effect of this discovery was perceptible between the late 70’s and the first half of the 80’s.

The agric sector and the service sector both lost 10% and 5% respectively to the manufacturing sector whose contribution to GDP had grown to from 20% to 35%, as demonstrated in figure 2. This growth arose from the annual 32% rise in petroleum earnings realized between 1980 and 1985. After the petroleum discovery, until the economic crisis, only the service sector faced a relatively stable growth rate, as the manufacturing and agricultural sectors experienced significant growth rate drops. (Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, & Roubaud, 2000, p. 18). 5

With this GDP contribution structure, the economy fell into a structural crisis (1985-1994) as it depended on unstable oil revenues to finance its growing recurrent expenses. This called for the country’s subjection to the structural adjustment program. Contributors to Cameroon’s GDP (2009) Agric 25% Service 44% Manufacturing 31% Fig 3 Sectors’ Contributions to Cameroon’s GDP 2009 Source: IMF Country Repot No. 10/259 July 2010 After the Structural Adjustment programme, the sectors which contribute to Cameroon’s GDP are classified as shown in figure 3 with resperct to their percentage contribution to GDP.

The largest component is the service sector which earns 44% of the country’s GDP. This sector and the construction sector do not yield direct income for the state by which its foreign debt can be serviced. This is 6 because the state only earns taxes from income earned by individuals rendering services and executing construction contracts. Thus the state’s ability to raise income from this sector tends to depend on how efficiently its institutions can spread its tax base to trap revenue from these sectors.

The state is therefore left with the remaining 56% (Manunufacturing, Oil and mining, Agriculture, Forestry and livestock) from which it expects to earn substancial amounts of foreign income, considering its participation in these sectors, such as its 66% shares in the National Refinaries Company, SONARA (US Department of the interior, 2009). According to AfDB and OECD (2008), the forestry sector realizes income through environmental regulation. Given that this sector’s products are not locally processed, it could earn a deeper component of its potential by adding the value of its products before they get exported.

In the agriculrutal sector, the potential is not exploited, due to inadequacy of financing, road networks, and fertilizers. The non-petroleum manufacturing sector holds 19. 2% of the economy’s GDP. The country’s technological base is relatively weak, as is the case with low income less economically developed countries. The trade liberalization which followed the Structural Adjusment programme opened the country’s markets to competition from foreign manufactured products. It is therefore difficult to perceive this sector as a source of foreign income, considering the recent declining terms of trade in the economy. It is therefore important to understand how an economy whose GDP arises predominantly from the service sector will react to the growing mass of foreign debt, considering the need for externally earned income to finance maturing foreign loans. Also, considering the relative instability of the externally earned income due to export price fluctuations (See Annex) , it is important to assess the means by which such a small economy can generate GDP growth from internal sources, thus reducing its dependence on foreign debt. 1. 1. 2 The structure of Cameroon’s Public debt Fig 4. The Structure of Cameroon’s Public Debt

Source: IMF Country Repot No. 10/259 2010 Cameroon’s economy owes 50. 7% of its debts to foreign creditors. Figure 4 shows its foreign debt structure with a vast majority of its creditors being multilateral. This leaves the country with a limited percentage of bilateral foreign loans to worry about. In this case, the country’s commitments to commercial bank loans 8 (which have tighter conditionality than multilateral loans) are quite negligible, given that they are not visible in the debt structure. Thus, the bulk of the country’s external debt is highly concessional, leading to more preferential interest rates and longer grace periods.

This inspires the worry on whether the absence of tight loan agreements (such as high interest rates and short maturity terms) lures the economy into the substitution of fiscal revenues with these external debts, thus being permanently dependent on foreign loans and thus getting caught in a debt trap. 1. 1. 3 Evolution of Cameroon’s stock of foreign debt and GDP growth Mass of Cameroon’s foreign debt 25 20 Foreign debt in US$ 15 10 Series1 5 0 -5 -10 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 Fig 5 Mass of Cameroon’s Foreign debt Stock

Source: World Bank Database 9 Cameroon’s GDP growth 25 20 15 GDP growth (%) 10 5 0 1984 2004 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2006 -5 -10 Fig 6 Evolution of Cameroon’s GDP growth, Source: World Bank Database The relative instability in the country’s GDP growth rate between 1970 and 1980 arose from the discovery of petroleum resources in the country’s coast line in the early 70’s; and eventually the production which began in 1978. The price hikes in petroleum products during the 80’s “oil boom”, as well as the availability of these resources are temporary.

This had a strong impact on the economy, as it led to investment choices which prioritized petroleum, as well as other non-tradable resource sectors over the agriculture and other tradable resources whose prices were relatively unstable at the time. This investment policy failed to consider the fact that the agricultural sector held a high percentage of the country’s labor force. This instability resulted from the need to return to the country’s initial GDP contributor mix, focusing on agriculture, after the drop in fuel prices (Benjamin & 2008 10

Devarajan, 1985) According to Benjamin & Devarajan (1985), by injecting oil revenues into the economy, inflation levels rose. This increased the prices of locally manufactured agricultural products, making them less competitive on local and foreign market, following exchange rate appreciation. This was a challenge to the economy’s quest to use import substitution policy as a driver of growth in the late 70’s. Therefore, allowing the contraction of the country’s agric sector in the face of oil discovery was not a proper orientation of the state’s economic policy.

This was responsible for the unstable growth of the economy after the “Oil boom”. In the 80’s the economy faced the effects of the concentration of state investments in the petroleum sector. This can be observed from the sharp fall in GDP growth in 1982 and 1988, following the fall of the prices of the country’s main export commodities: Cocoa, coffee, cotton and petroleum. This led to a rise in the country’s current account and fiscal deficits, as the economy fell into an economic crisis in the late 80’s. These deficits were financed by arrears from civil servants nd local suppliers which escalated into a crisis in the banking sector within which the country saw the peak of recession (Gauthier, Soloage, & Tybout, 2000). This led to the need to comply with World Bank conditionality, which was characterized by the Structural Adjustment program in 1989, which sought to restructure the economy. This program’s objectives constituted reducing the gap between state revenues and expenses, in order to enhance GDP growth. 11 Within the economic crisis which plagued Cameroon’s economy between 1985 and 1995, the country’s external debt to Gross National Income (GNI) ratio rose to 133% in 1995.

Thus, the programs lunched with the help of the major International Financial Institutions (IFI), seeking to enhance economic rigor went on until the 90’s. These programs had painful effects on those who contributed to the “more costly” part of the economy, as they sought to minimize state spending and increase state revenues. Among these was the more than 50% reduction of civil servants’ salaries in 1993 as a measure to reduce cost. Then in January 1994 came the 105% devaluation of the national currency (CFA Franc). This was a major turning point for the economy following the “oil boom” which led to an overvaluation of the CFA Franc.

Hence, the country’s main commodities got relatively cheaper and more competitive on foreign markets. In 1997, the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility focused on methods of maintaining the country’s GDP growth at a 5% level by strengthening non-oil sources of revenue, raising savings by the initiation of privatization procedures, reducing the country’s external debt burden, and improving the quality and management of state spending by allocating more resources to education, health, the judiciary, infrastructure and the rural sector. International Monetary Fund, 2001) 12 Fig 7 Composition of Cameroon’s GDP per sector , Source: economywatch. com (2009 statistics) Fig 8 Cameroon’s Labor Force by Sector Source: economywatch. com (2009 statistics) Following the quest to revitalize the rural sector, agriculture which plays a key role in the economy, as it employs 70% of the country’s population, would be expected to be a high contributor to the country’s GDP. This emphasizes the need to redirect investment in agriculture after the end of the “oil shocks”. A higher 13 ercentage of the country’s labor force is devoted to this sector, yet it supplies the lowest contribution to the country’s GDP. It could thus be argued that country’s fast growing foreign debt was not invested in the mechanization of the agricultural sector. This process could revolutionize this sector and make it capital intensive, by the provision of infrastructure, improved access to markets, and educational facilities for improved research in this sector; and therefore have a greater impact on the sector’s contribution of the country’s GDP.

GDP growth dropped only slightly from 3. 5% in 2007 to 3. 4 in 2008 despite the global financial crisis due to positive performance of the petroleum sector, as well as an increase in the supply of infrastructure and energy. This relative stability was also boosted by programs to improve on the agriculture, livestock, and fisheries sectors. But in 2009, the global financial crisis caught up with the country’s GDP growth. It dropped to 2. 4%, as the global recession pushed down prices and demand for the country’s major export commodities: Oil, wood, cotton and rubber.

For many years, the country has faced the huge challenge of stabilizing its GDP. This goal could be achieved by improving on export diversification in order to reduce its dependence on oil revenues, as well as fighting against falling commodity prices through sufficient processing of raw material exports. (OECD, 2009) 1. 2 Problem statement The economic crisis in Cameroon in the 80’s led the country to experience the least growth ever recorded in its history. To reverse the situation, it was necessary 14 o seek external support in the form of loans from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as other multilateral or bilateral creditors. Thus, between the mid 80’s and the mid 90’s the mass of the country’s foreign debt grew rapidly. Considering the fact that these loans were granted to stimulate growth, an issue arises when one considers the fact that the period within which the country’s debt grew fastest was the period within which it recorded the lowest GDP growth. This in mind, the high positive impact of foreign debt on GDP growth has not yet been experienced in spite of the country’s huge debt cancellation.

It is worth noting that after the cancellation of the country’s foreign debt, following the achievement point of the HIPC initiative in 2006, the country’s GDP growth rate has not improved remarkably. The observed impact of the country’s foreign debt on its GDP growth portrays a gap which needs to be filled to achieve foreign debt sustainability through improved efficiency of institutions. It is therefore important to understand why the long term effect of the country’s foreign debt on its GDP growth is still awaited, and to understand the likelihood that the expected growth results would be achieved.

In earlier research works, causes of the observed relationship between the country’s foreign debt and GDP growth, the debt to export ratio has been observed, as well as the debt service to export ratio, to evaluate whether the country spends more of its export revenue on debt repayment. It is therefore important to integrate the percentage of the country’s GDP spent on capital investments, as well as the 15 efficiency of institutions. This will measure the country’s commitment to the use of local institutions in its quest to internally stimulate GDP growth and thus reduce the likelihood of a future debt crisis. . 3 Research Objectives 1. 3. 1 General objectives: 1. 3. 1. 1 To study the relationship between foreign debt and GDP growth This is an effort to test the significance of the relationship between foreign debt and GDP growth. Here, a number of economic variables are analyzed. By so doing, the changes in the sectors of the economy are assessed. These constitute measures of the country’s debt repayment ability and the efficiency of its foreign debt management in the past. This will be used to make recommendations on how the economy can better manage its foreign debt in the face of an anticipated debt crisis. . 3. 1. 2 To establish arguments on why this relationship exists. To argue reasons for the observed relationship between foreign debt and GDP growth, institutional variables1 will be observed to measure the country’s degree of commitment towards the sustainable monitoring and management of its most valuable sources of income, its ability to effectively utilize its foreign debt, and its ability to recollect the resources spent as fiscal revenues, and the impact of all these on the growth of the country’s foreign debt.

Using these variables it is expected to advance the argument that the “qualitative” strength or efficiency of Institutional Variables are data sets summarized to represent perception-based indicators of governance. These are split into six interdependent dimensions: Accountability, Political Stability, Government effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. (Kaufmann, Kraay, & Mastruzzi, 2010) 1 16 institutions is as important as the “quantitative” debt to export ratios. These quantitative measures, as suggested by the HIPC initiative, seek to ttain a 150% debt-to-export ratio, which should serve as a debt sustainability benchmark, in spite of the other characteristics of the economy. 1. 3. 2 Specific objectives: 1. 3. 2. 1To study the changes in the main contributors to the country’s GDP as a measure of the country’s credit worthiness. This will present the evolution, over time, of the sectors through which the economy earns income, or the major GDP contributors. A decline in any GDP contributor demonstrates deterioration in the economy’s debt sustainability situation.

By observing economic happenings which lead to the major variations in the GDP contributors (agric exports, service sector, and the manufacturing sector), arguments will be raised on the impact of foreign debt on GDP growth, as well as foreign debt management mechanisms within the economy. 1. 3. 2. 2 To assess whether an increasing foreign debt stock implies rising government spending on Gross Capital Formation By comparing the evolution of foreign debt with Gross Capital Formation, it is expected to observe whether the accumulated foreign debt is spent on the acquisition of infrastructure and technology.

A higher rate of spending on capital expenditures, following the accumulation of foreign debt hypothetically demonstrates growth sustainability for the future. This is expected to pave the way for debt sustainability and eventually, result in high GDP growth. 17 1. 3. 2. 3 To observe how the country’s foreign debt and debt relief affect the percentage contribution of fiscal revenues to its GDP. This seeks to analyze whether debt and debt relief have served as compliments or substitutes to fiscal revenue.

A complimentary or positive relationship between foreign debt and fiscal revenues suggests that the growth in foreign debt and debt relief has a positive impact on the fiscal policy performance. Conversely, a substitutive or negative relationship between the stock of foreign debt and the percentage contribution of fiscal revenues to GDP leads to the claim that foreign debt has a dampening effect on the efficiency of the country’s fiscal policy. 1. 3. 2. To identify and explain the factors of institutional efficiency which could be responsible for the observed relationship between foreign debt and GDP growth relationship. Factors of institutional efficiency include: Government effectiveness, voice and accountability, Political stability, Regulatory quality, Rule of Law, and Control of corruption. These variables will be considered within a circular flow framework to explain efficiency problems which act as a friction or leakage of resources, thus affecting the economy’s ability to generate GDP growth by the use of its foreign debt and debt relief. . 4 Significance of study 1. 4. 1 Significance to developing economies The debt relief programs, especially the HIPC initiative, mark an important phase in the history of low income developing countries’ indebtedness. It is therefore important to monitor the changes they initiated in debt related macroeconomic and institutional variables. By so doing, the possibility of recurrence of a debt 18 crisis is tested. And the means by which this may be avoided are suggested. 1. 4. Significance to research and academic bodies This is an effort to demonstrate the shift of interests in the execution of economic programs through the past, and to guide priorities for the future. It seeks to demonstrate the importance of a given economic school of thought with due consideration of the environment within which the problem which seeks to be solved exists. By this, it is attempted to demonstrate the need to evolve from the Classical school of thought that suggests a free market mechanism.

It also seeks to demonstrate the need for strong institutions in an economy, as a prerequisite for the smooth circular flow of resources in the economy as suggested in the Keynesian school of thought. It thus seeks to enhance the importance the Neo-classical school of thought, especially in low income economies where institutions are relatively inefficient. This is sought by paying more attention to the role of institutions in the use of foreign debt to generate GDP growth. There have been arguments on the exogenous reasons why foreign debt fails to generate GDP growth.

These arguments take into account export barriers on products, high fluctuation of commodity prices, interest rates, loan conditions, scarcity of concessional financing, and natural disaster in low income economies to explain the relationship between foreign debt and GDP growth. Hence the need to analyze the same issue from an internal perspective, considering how the internal factors have influenced low income countries’ potential to simultaneously repay foreign debt and trigger GDP growth. 9 The HIPC initiative turned a new page in the country’s foreign debt history. This was characterized by a fall in the country’s stock of foreign debt at the completion point from US$ 6 billion in 2005 to US$ 2 billion since 2006 (World Bank database, 2011). This has not been met by corresponding changes in the country’s credit rating, which has fluctuated from B- in 2006 (Daly & Cavanuagh, 2007) to B in 2009 (Beers, 2010) .

Thus by understanding the channels through which foreign debt is expected to influence GDP growth positively, and gathering facts on how this happens in the country’s economy, a relevant amount of contribution will be made. This will either support or contest the negligible change in the country’s credit rating after the HIPC debt cancellation. 20 CHAPTER 2 2. 0 Literature Review Birdsall & Williamson (2002) used ratios to analyze the impact of debt burden on GDP growth in countries that benefited from debt cancellation through the HIPC initiative.

They criticized debtor governments for wrong economic policies and poor governance. At the same time, creditors were criticized for cancelling debt to achieve their own commercial and political aims, rather than cancelling enough debt to save these developing economies from the debt trap (Pp 33). Their method is strictly quantitative. It pays little attention to the reasons to the reasons for, or the degree to which the debtor countries’ institutions influence the performance of foreign debt management policy.

Therefore, this study comes to disagree with the need for increased debt cancellation, to suggest that an increase in the magnitude of debt cancellation in the absence of improvement in the countries’ institutions and policy efficiency will not have a durable or significant impact on the country’s debt sustainability. Moss, Standley, & Birdsall, (2005) suggest, in the case of Nigeria, that the cost of external debt to a low income economy, or the debt burden could be so heavy that it crowds out the effects of the government’s debt-sustainability policy.

External debt can therefore be considered as a major impediment, which limits the government’s ability to convince the public and parliament toward the adoption of economic reforms. This falls in line with the Cameroon economy’s case, as it faced the economic crisis in the mid 1990’s within which, due to large mass of 21 foreign debt, the devaluation of the country’s currency could not lead to continuously growing GDP growth rates. But after the year 2000, when the country’s debt burden had substantially fallen, the country’s falling GDP ratio cannot be justified by high foreign debt burden.

Dijkstra (2006), claims that the World Bank has contributed to the debt overhang 2 in developing countries. She argues that this institution, by monopolizing the dual role of Creditor and Controller in the International Finance framework, faces an obligation to finance failing economies. In Niall Ferguson’s forward in Dead Aid, (Moyo, 2009) he supports this notion as he condemns concessional loans. He claims that they are awarded under relatively easy terms, which reduce the distinction between these loans and aid.

This distinction problem makes government control difficult, and suppresses the government’s motivation to save and invest. He further suggests that aid provided in kind kills the motivation of developing countries to persist in the learning process which eventually enforces GDP growth(Pp x). Moyo (2009) argues that the unclear distinction between debts and grants in developing countries has a negative effect on the commitment of institutions in charge of external debt management, and these go a long way to reduce GDP growth.

This creates the problems of Moral Hazard and adverse selection. This argument is supported in this study, but here, the focus is on the domestic economy, and to a Debt overhang: As defined by Krugman (1988), this happens when a country’s expected debt repayment is less than the value stipulated in the debt contract. In this situation, the country’s output is used to pay off existing foreign loans at the expense of investment towards economic growth [Clements, Bhattacharya, Nguyen, 2003] 2 22 lesser extent, on the actions of the international financial institutions.

Cobbe (1990), suggests that the IMF and World Bank are greatly liable to be blamed for the failure of their credit allocation programs to generate GDP growth in developing countries. Considering the fact that the servicing of foreign debt leads to a leakage of resources which would otherwise have been allocated to domestic investment, he claims that foreign debt has a negative impact on GDP growth. He goes further to question the degree of commitment of the World Bank and the IMF, as well as African governments to the search for future solutions to the lasting debt crisis in Africa.

The African governments are hereby blamed for their vague objectives and economic performance standards, which serves as a first step in the failure to achieve long term results. This point of view is supported, given that in the absence of very high debt burden, the Cameroon economy’s failure to enjoy increasingly high GDP growth comes as a result of inefficient institutions, both local and foreign. Todaro and Smith, (2009) consider foreign debt to be a threat to GDP growth when the payments exceed revenues, due to mismanagement.

They claim that as long as these piled up debts are being productively invested in projects whose domestic rates of return exceed the market interest rate, these debts could yield growth. This idea is countered by this study in the sense that the economy could experience high domestic rates of return, yet if the government’s institutions in charge of fiscal revenue are not efficient enough to trap a share in this domestic rate of return, the high returns on local markets will have no impact on the 3 government’s ability to raise funds, and thus no effect on the country’s high dependence on foreign debt. Yang and Nyberg (2009), argue that the majority of countries that attained the completion point of the HIPC initiative still depend to a great extent on a single export product for a large percentage of their export revenue. Thus the degree of exposure to external shocks, which could arise in these economies, following changes in the prices of these products has not been mitigated.

Also, it is noticed,using the revenue to GDP ratio, that an average of less than 20% of the HIPCs’ GDP is earned from the countries’ fiscal revenues. Thus suggesting that their degree of dependence on foreign revenues was not improved after the cancellation of their foreign loans. Considering the strength of institutions, they used the CPIA and KKM governance indices to suggest that despite the relative improvements in institutional frameworks, HIPCs’ initiative did not initiate changes strong enough to achievement of external debt sustainability.

This point of view is strongly supported, considering the fact that the HIPC initiative focused on making resources available, and cancelling foreign debt, without taking into account the means by which these countries’ institutions can be designed to raise their own revenues and run efficiently in the absence of debt. Cohen and Vellutini (2004) argued that the HIPC initiative was not the final solution to the debt crisis in low income economies for two reasons: The first being very weak practices in the monitoring and management of debt; and the second, poor performance and diversification of exports.

Hence the HIPCs’ degree 24 of suceptibility to exogenous shocks (e. g. changes in the prices of countries’ main exports) has not changed following the completion point of the HIPC initiative. They questioned the criteria of the allocation of resources to countries in the HIPC initiative by seeking to understand the relationship between debt relief and policy performance. This resulted from the fact that larger amounts of resources from the initiative were allocated to countries with worse policy performance. Logically, therefore, this could lead to moral hazard.

Here, economies with relatively better policy performance tend to make decisions which negatively affect their debt burden, as a means to attract debt relief assistance. Following such conditions, external debts have a negative impact on GDP growth. This suggestion does not quite fall in line with the arguments of this research on one condition. If the International Financial Institutions and the economies are both efficient, then through the pre-completion point surveillance by the IMF and the World Bank, there is no means by which the economies may manipulate policy to attract debt relief.

But, if the supervisory institution is inefficient, there are chances of the HIPC’s to inappropriately manage its economic policy in order to attract debt relief. Cohen & Vellutini (2004), suggest that the HIPC initiative achieved the reform of policy which brought about policy dialogue, strengthened institutions, and the reduced the burden of external debts. They claim that it improved cross donor surveillance through which debtor information may be centralized for better monitoring of foreign debts in low income countries.

Also, that apart from 25 quantitative variables like debt to export or debt to GDP ratios, more consideration should be given to variables like the quality of external debt monitoring and management. This is said to be achievable through the enhanced governance to fine-tune ex-ante management of state spending and the establishment of loan contracts. They claim that such management will generate the information which will increase the selectivity of foreign donors, and thus keep the mass of foreign debt under control.

This argument is more focused on the external part of the foreign debt contract, and covers the information interests of the creditors more. This study goes in the opposite direction to study the reasons why the debtors fail to maximize the use of these debts. Kraay & Nehru, (2006) focus on “debt distress” in their study on external debt. They refer to debt distress as a period within which countries resort to external debt arrears, Paris club debt rescheduling, and non-concessional IMF loans. They argue that debt distress is caused by: Debt burden, policy and institutional inefficiency, and external shocks which affect GDP growth.

They suggest that policy improvements have the same impact as the reduction of debt burden, but improved institutional efficiency is more important in the fight against debt distress in low income economies. This argument is hereby supported, given that the financial support supplied by the HIPC initiative was relatively high, but the institutional changes were relatively inadequate. This implies that, in the absence of relevant changes in the levels of corruption and government efficiency, the HIPCs are not far from the next debt crisis. 26

Gunter (2002) argues that the enhanced HIPC initative’s failure to achieve debt sustainability results from the inadequecy of resources allocated to this programme, as well as the political instability such as wars going on in these poor countries. This study comes to argue that political instability has a stronger impact on debt sustainability than the adequacy of resources. It can therefore be suggested that corruption and government inefficiency have similarly destructive impacts on the HIPC initiative’s ability to generate debt sustainability.

Hence, they claim that the use of a single (quantitative) debt sustainability indicator: Present value of debt to export ratio is not enough for the measurement of debt sustainability in a group of countries which portray diverse institutional characteristics, such as diverse governance mechanisms. So, a country’s debt sustainability should be measured with more attention to the quality of its policies and institutions. This is supported by a strong relationship between the policy performance and debt distress.

They therefore state that the appropriate debt burden of an economy should reflect the quality of its policies and institutions. They conclude that the prioritization of aid and concessional loans to low income economies could creates an implicit reward to countries that portray poor policy performance, therefore weakening their policy performance in the long run. This position is supported, considering the fact that HIPC economies do not gain any foreign debt management or institutional experience through debt relief programs.

In this regard, the debt relief programs are a very temporal solution to the debt crisis in developing countries. 27 CHAPTER 3 3. 0 Research Method 3. 1 Hypotheses 3. 1. 1 Foreign debt has a positive impact on GDP growth. 3. 1. 2 Foreign debt leads to a rise in Gross Capital Formation. 3. 1. 3 Foreign debt has a positive impact on GDP percentage contribution of fiscal revenues. 3. 1. 4 The institutional efficiency of local and foreign institutions has improved the foreign debt to GDP growth relationship. 3. 2 Conceptual and Theoretical Framework 3. 2. Debt sustainability Cohen & Vellutini (2004) made allusion to debt sustainability, as one of the goals of the HIPC initiative. Debt sustainability is defined as the economic stabilization goal sought by keeping the mass of NPV of debt at a targeted level; such as one where the ratio of debt to export is less than 150%, as was the case in the HIPC initiative. But this study seeks to argue against the arbitrary 150% debt level, and attribute debt sustainability to the efficiency of the country’s institutions. Considering the foreign debt to GDP growth relationship, institutions exert strong influence on the 8 channel through which foreign debts are used to acquire technological advancement in the form of Gross Capital Formation. They influence the amount of consumption stimulated by government spending, as well as the government’s ability to raise fiscal revenue earned from domestic consumption to finance the government’s new spending needs and reduce their dependence on foreign debt. According to the IMF Fact Sheet( 2011), the degree of indebtedness that can be tolerated by a given low income economy needs to be set with regards to the strength of policies or institutions within the country in question.

It was therefore suggested that the countries with stronger institutions and better policy performance would be able to manage higher ratios of debt-ot-export and debt-to-GDP, as illustrated by the following table: Table 3. 1 HIPC Debt Sustainability Thresholds Debt-to-Export ratio Weak policy efficiency Medium policy efficiency Strong policy efficiency 100% 150% 200% Debt-to-GDP ratio 30% 40% 50% Table 1 HIPC Debt Sustainability Thresholds (Source: IMF Fact Sheet , 2011) 29 3. 2. 2 Keynesian Concept of Government Spending Fig 9 Conceptual Framework Source: Developed by the in the course of this research; inspired by H.

P. Minsky. The figure above was inspired by the following quote from Hyman P Minsky, “Investment must be financed, and how it is financed makes a difference. As the proportion that is externally financed grows, fragility increases…” [Minsky, 2008, p: xv] This quote finds its origins in the Keynesian General Theory of government spending: Y= (C + I + G + X) / (s + t + m) , where Y: income, C: Consumption, I: investment, G: government spending, X: net exports, s: propensity to save, t: propensity to tax, m: propensity to inport.

It was motivated by the suggestion that Keynes General Theory is not very precise on the constituents of Y. Therefore, 30 Minsky sought to fill up this gap by considering local and external sorces of public finance. This constitutes the conceptual framework which guides the assessment of the impact of foreign debt notonly on GDP growth, but also on the sustainability of GDP growth. The cycle assumes that economic activity needs to be financed from various sources which include: Fiscal revenue, Export revenue, Domestic debt, and foreign debt.

The economy commits itself to foreign debt contracts with the sole aim of orientating government spending to trigger GDP growth. The amount of growth generated would depend on how the foreign deb was spent. And the sustainability of this growth would depend on the economy’s potential to finance itself from internal sources (such as fiscal revenue), and hence reduce the need of foreign debt financing, as well as financing from unstable export revenues which increases the fragility in the economy. For the economy to be able to efficiently manage its foreign debt and invest t in infrastructure that will stimulate consumption and hence fiscal revenue, the public sector, through which the foreign debt flows needs to be characterized by efficient institutions. These efficient institutions are expected to have a mastery of the best interests of the economy, and therefore are expected to be able to negotiate with, guide international financial institutions as they award these loans, towards the best interests of the economy, as well as decide on how these loans can be spent in order to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign debt financing to the barest minimum. 1 3. 3 Research Approach 3. 3. 1 Data types and Sources This paper will apply a Qualitative Case Study approach, and will use secondary data. This approach will be used to answer the questions and test the research hypotheses. It will consider the economy of Cameroon as a single unit or institution with various attributes. Analyses and arguments will be raised based on the suitability of policies which arose in this unit to stimulate positive impacts or to mitigate the negative impacts of foreign debt on GDP growth over the period in consideration.

The time frame is further split into four GDP growth regimes: Oil Boom, Crisis, Recovery, Post HIPC initiative. An uninterrupted flow of foreign debt to gross capital formation or infrastructural development is expected to stimulate consumption. Through this consumption, the government’s ability to earn taxes would determine the degree to which the country stays dependent on other sources of income, especially foreign debt for GDP growth to be stable. It is therefore worth studying how the system works by using the conceptual framework (Page 25), to identify and raise arguments on the reasons for the frictions and other failures.

These failures keep resources from being spent on Gross Capital Formation and stimulating consumption. The same failures prevent the government from earning fiscal revenues from consumption as expected. These frictions, defined by the inefficiency of institutions, are expected to inherently have an impact on the country’s ability to stabilize GDP growth using domestic sources, thus the increasing need for financing from external sources. 32 The variables to be considered include in the study: 3. 3. 1. 1 Economic Indicators (1970-2008) ?

External Debt Stock (Public and Publicly Guaranteed, in USD). External debt stock is the value of long term obligations owed to foreign creditors by debtors within an economy. These creditors should include other governments, foreign commercial banks, and International Organizations. The debtors on the other hand should include the government, independent public institutions, and private entities. The obligations resulting from public or private loan contracts are guaranteed for repayment by a public entity. World Bank, Global Development Finance, 2010) This variable will be compared with the fluctuations in the country’s GDP contributors, in order to assess the country’s ability to generate GDP growth while financing its foreign debt. ? Gross Domestic Product (GDP, in current USD value). This is the value of all goods and services produced within an economy over a period of time. It includes the total value added by producers within the territory, as well as taxes levied on products, less the subsidies rendered for their production.

This variable is observed in terms of contributors to the economy’s output, such as agricultural products, manufactured products, and services. Changes in the magnitude of these contributors will be observed to evaluate changes in the country’s ability to repay its foreign debt in the presence of economic stability. 33 ? GDP growth (Annual Percentage). This is the annual change, positive or negative observed in the total value of goods and services produced within an economy including taxes less subsidies, and it is expressed in percentages which represent each year.

By observing changes in this variable, compared with the growth in the country’s foreign debt, growth enhancing nature of the country’s foreign debt will be analyzed. ? Exports of goods and services (Current USD value). This represents the value of goods supplied and services rendered by the country’s economy to the rest of the world. These goods include petroleum, cocoa, coffee, cotton, bananas, etc. The country’s export services include transportation, insurance and information technology services rendered by resident companies to non-residents.

Considering the fact that the petroleum boom led to a rise in the country’s export prices, this variable will be observed to demonstrate impact of the devaluation of the country’s currency on its export performance, and therefore, on debt sustainability in the long run. ? Gross Fixed Capital Formation (Percentage of GDP). These are additions to fixed assets, including the net changes on the value of existing assets such as land improvements and the acquisition of materials and machinery, the construction of roads, railways, schools, hospitals, private accommodation facilities, etc.

By observing the changes in this variable in comparison with the growth of the country’s foreign debt, this study seeks to identify the degree to which the country’s budgetary deficits and its growing 34 foreign debt affected its acquisition of infrastructure. By this means, the economy’s attitude towards long run GDP growth in the face of budgetary deficits and rising foreign debt are assessed. All of the above variables are obtained through internet downloads from the Data base of National Accounts held at the World Bank website.

The World Bank collects this data through the governments of its member states. Standards and guidelines for data collection are set by this International financial institution. After data collection by the governments, the World Bank tests the data for consistency before its compilation and eventual publication. 3. 3. 1. 2 Review of Publications ? Article IV Consultations on Cameroon. Through these documents, the IMF seeks to assess the economic health of the economy and develop policies which seek to improve economic performance on a regular basis.

Results of these consultations, published within the years within each of the stages of the economic growth regimes will be analyzed. These analyses will supply arguments to support or reject each hypothesis. From this, information will be obtained on the sources of friction which impede the flow of resources from foreign debt to Gross Capital formation, and from government spending to fiscal revenue, thus influencing the country’s ability to generate GDP growth from its foreign debt. 35 ? Cameroon Economic Outlook Publications and Other Publications related to the Cameroon Economy from non-Bretton woods publishers.

The Breton woods institutions played a central role in the provision of solutions to the structural problems experienced within the country’s economic history. To enhance neutrality of results, it is therefore important to use non-Bretton woods sources in the provision of answers to the issues raised in the research questions. For this reason, critical analyses of independent authors on foreign debt management in the economy will be useful in the comparison of the existing debt related data and the observed GDP growth.

By this, the origin and early evolution of the country’s foreign debt will be captured to suggest historical root causes for the country’s observed foreign debt to GDP growth relationship. 3. 3. 1. 3 World Governance Indicators in six dimensions (1996-2009) (Kaufmann, Kraay, & Mastruzzi, 2010) ? Voice and Accountability This measures the degree to which the country’s people are allowed to participate in the choice of the bodies which govern them. It also takes into account the people’s freedom to express themselves, to associate, and the freedom the held by the media. Political Stability and no violence This estimates the likelihood of a violent change of government, such as violence arising due to political reasons or terrorist action. 36 ? Government effectiveness This estimates the value of services rendered by the public sector or the civil service. It takes into consideration this sector’s independence to political influence. It also takes into account the degree of quality of policy conception and implementation, as well as the government’s degree of commitment to these policies. Regulatory Quality This measures the government’s ability to conceive and implement policies and regulations which make the economic environment more suitable for private sector development. This also measures the degree to which citizens respect the laws which govern social transaction. ? Rule of Law This measures the extent to which citizens trust and abide by social rules, including the quality of social enforcement of contracts, property rights, and the frequency of violence. ? Control of Corruption

This considers the degree to which public powers are exercised to yield private gains. These variables are interdependent, and therefore, cannot be considered in isolation. But the most interesting for this study are the country’s control over 37 corruption, as well as its government efficiency. The government efficiency figures are justified by the attitude of the country’s economic decision makers towards the country’s long term debt sustainability, export diversification, and the monitoring of major sources of state revenue.

These will guide the choice of a position in the current debate on whether the observed debt to GDP growth relationship results from excessive debt burden with tight conditionality, or from mismanagement. This data is obtained from the World Governance indicators’ data base coordinated by Daniel Kaufmann, Aart Kraay, and Massimo Mastruzzi, working under the World Bank development research group, in the Macroeconomics and growth team. These variables are obtained using an Unobserved Component Model (UCM).

The authors gathered the results via country surveys from individuals, domestic firms, multilateral development agencies, as well as Public Sector Data providers. It is suggested that these indicators expected to be strongly interdependent on one another, considering, for example, the fact that a country’s accountability mechanism is expected to exert significant influence on the country’s degree of corruption. [Kaufmann, Kraay, Mastruzzi, 2010, p: 5] Conditional means were used to bundle up data.

These averages gave more weight to sources providing more information. The measurements demonstrate a 90% degree of confidence that the stated indicators fall within the given range. Values of these indicators range from +2. 5 for countries with more efficient institutional environment, and -2. 5 for countries with relatively inefficient institutional 38 environment. [Kaufmann, Kraay, Mastruzzi, 2010, pp 12] 3. 3. 1. 3. 1 Why the KKM World Governance Indicators? These indicators were developed within the World Bank research development unit.

The World Bank, in partnership with the IMF are the country’s important partners in its debt sustainability framework. This results from the fact that they are involved in macroeconomic supervision, and offer the economy 37. 1% of its foreign debt (IMF Country Repot No. 10/259 2010). The development of this data by the World Bank in 1996 came after the structural adjustment program had failed to produce sustainable results due to inadequate consideration of institutional efficiency. Considering the World Bank group’s trong involvement in the management of the country’s macroeconomic stability and foreign debt management, this data is expected play an important role in the choice of policy recommendations to the developing countries, especially in cases where macroeconomic aggregates fail to portray the expected relationship, such as that of foreign debt or debt relief failing to positively influence GDP growth. 3. 4 Methods of analysis The country’s economy has been through three main growth regimes. Of these, the third can be further divided into two periods, considering the economic happenings within the country.

This begins from the reunification of the Eastern and Southern Cameroons in 1972: 39 Period I ? The crude oil boom began after 1972 when the economy experienced a wave of eratic growth until the end of 1982 when groth stabilized, in the face of a smooth growth in the country’s foreign debt which stayed stable between 1980 and 1984. Period II ? The Economic Crisis which ran from 1985 to 1994 when the country experienced a transtition from steady GDP growth at 8% to negative GDP growth. Within this period the country’s stock of foreign debt more than quadrupled. Period III ?

The Economic Recovery between 1995 and 2005 within which the economy regained positive growth and a relative restabilization of the country’s mass of foreign debt. ? The Post-HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) Initiative within which the economy’s GDP growth rate remained stable despite the fact that the stock of the country’s foreign debt had fallen to close to one fifth of the level at which it was four years earlier. Considering the split of the country’s economic history using the observed levels of debt and GDP growth, it is observable that the debt to GDP growth relationship is distinct within each of these periods.

Thus the findings to answer the resarch questions and test the reserch hypotheses will be split with respect to these periods. (See figure below) 40 Cameroon’s stock of foreign debt 12,000,000,000. 00 10,000,000,000. 00 8,000,000,000. 00 US$ 6,000,000,000. 00 4,000,000,000. 00 2,000,000,000. 00 0. 00 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 Petroleum Economic Crisis Economic recovery After Debt Cancellation Fig 10 Periodic Partition of Foreign Debt Stock Source: World Bank Database 2010. Cameroon’s GDP growth 25 20 GDP growth (%) 15 10 5 0 5 -10 Petroleum Boom Economic Crisis Economic recovery After Debt Cancellation Fig 11 Periodic Partition of Cameroon’s GDP growth Source: World Bank database 2010 41 In this light, arguments will be raised based on each hypothesis assessing the institutional efficiency of the economy, as government officials serve as agents in the implementation of policies recommended by Multilateral or International Financial Institutions who stand as the principal. These will be guided by data form the World Bank Database, World Governance indicators, as well as publications from corporate and academic bodies.

Current and expected behaviours of local and international financial institutions will be examined using comcept such as: 3. 5 Other Concepts 3. 5. 1 Moral Hazard problem: This is the situation whereby debtors or beneficiaries of investment projects fail to keep the profitability promise earlier made to stakeholders, either due to incompetence or laziness of managers (in this case: Government authorities), considering the fact that the causes of these failures can hardly be identified (Suzuki, 2011, p. 22).

This therefore depends on the investor or the creditor’s ability to bridge the information gap which exists with his debtor through monitoring and the establishment of appropriate incentives for the keep the debtor’s actions under control, in order to avoid mismanagement and laziness of managers. Conversely, by setting inappropriate incentives, such as easy availabiloty of credit, creditors only help to increase mismanagement and thus the moral hazard problem 42 (Suzuki, 2011, p. 67). Also, a regulatory structure which emphasizes on the regulation of the regulators will have a strong reduce moral hazard (Suzuki, 2011, p. 73).

By ensuring that both parties in a debt contract do not abuse their rights to their own advantage, debtor behaviour can be properly managed, as opposed to systems where the role of creditor and regulator is monopolized. This concept is used by assessing the economy’s reaction to the availability of World Bank financing, such as the reaction of the GDP percentage contribution of Fiscal revenue to the provision of funds by the IFI’s. A fall in the GDP percentage contribution of fiscal revenue in the face of increased allocation of funds to the country will indicate Moral hazard and thus increased dependency on external financing.

Also, considering the fact that the IFI’s play both the roles of creditor and supervisor, their behaviour cannot be controlled. The efficiency of IFI’s in their regulatory process is observed, as well as the reaction of the debtor economy to failures of these IFI’s. In the case of over-stated targets by the World Bank (such as the effect of raising interest rates above the optimal level), a loose economic policy reaction by the Cameroon economy will be interpreted as Moral Hazard. 3. 5. Transaction Cost High Transaction Cost is defined as the economic dimension of friction as perceived within a physical system, or the cost of information needed to keep an 43 economic system operational. It could result from the existing intitutional structure or arrangement. This phenomenon could be the root cause of government or market failures, and may be avoided by migrating to an institutional arrangement which allows a lower transaction cost. (Suzuki, 2011, p. 44) It may take two forms: Ex-ante and Ex-post high transaction cost. Ex-ante high transaction cost includes the cost of: ? ? Determining appropriate trading partners, Deciding prices with trading partners, Setting up written terms which govern trading deals, And Ex-post high transaction cost include the cost of: ? ? Controling trading partners, Ensuring compliance with trading terms, Transaction cost generally rises due to the spread of bagraining power, and cultural similarities or differences which exist between business partners. These in turn could influence the degree of trust. It is relatively difficult to quantify, and can be measured in a comparative institutional manner.

But it is worth noting that institutional designs which are efficient in one case might not produce the same results in another. (Suzuki, 2011, p. 44) 44 By observing what percentage of the allocated funds is effectively invested in the years following the decision point of the HIPC initiative, the degree of frition between allocation of funds and their investment will be observed. A low percentage of investment of allocated funds will be interpreted as high friction in the economy. This will indicate a low level of trust and the absence of projects ready to be financed, and therefore high transaction cost. . 5. 3 Export Diversification Yang and Nyberg (2009) use the concept of export diversification to measure a country’s vulnerability to external shocks. This is measured by taking into account a country’s export commodities, and evaluating the percentage contribution of its best performing exports to its total export revenue. In my opinion, therefore, economies whose best performing exports account for less than 30% of their their total export revenue would suffer less devastating effects in the event of external shocks which come to reduce the prices of these leading export commodities.

According to Yang and Nyberg, export diversification is an issue which has not been efficiently dealt with in most HIPC’s, therefore leaving them as exposed to external shocks as was the case before the debt crisis. 3. 5. 1 Agency Cost Davis (1995; p 6), defines agency cost using its origin. He states that under normal circumstances, it comes up as a result of differences between the incentives of borrowers (agent) and lenders (principal) involved in a debt contract. This could result from the information gap which exists between 45 borrowers and lenders due to limited monitoring.

In this case, in the absence of full information on the financing needs of the economies (debtors) involved in the structural adjustment programme, the funds made available to cover the budgetary deficites would be likely to fail to take account of additional information, thus increasing the probability that the structural adjustment debt will lead to stabilized GDP growth. This concept will be used to justify the argument that the loans awarded in the Structural Adjustment Programme were used to cover the balance of payment deficits, rather than investment on capital as expected by the creditors.

This generated an information gap between the dabtors and creditors and therefore reduced the expected positive impact of foreign debt on GDP growth. 46 CHAPTER 4 4. 0 Results Discussion of findings 4. 1. What relationship exists between the country’s foreign debt and the contributors to its repayment, and Why? 4. 1. 1 Pre Crisis Period (Petroleum revenue Boom) 1976-1984 In the mid 70’s, Cameroon experienced a new growth regime with the discovery of petroleum resources. The realization of these revenues gave room for euphoria within the economy, in the face of uncertainty on how long the petroleum prices were going to remain stable.

This led the economy to an unhealthy level of dependence on fuel revenues which were needed to finance current expenses such as state personnel remuneration. This constituted a structural problem in the economy, as it depended on relatively volatile revenues for the financing of less flexible spending. (Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, & Roubaud, 2000) In the face of high expectation of sustained growth in the size of fuel exports and price stability, there was high dependence on expected cash inflows from petroleum exports, which were relatively unstable, to finance permanent government expenses.

The economy experienced more than proportionate growth in the contribution of petroleum to the country’s GDP. Between 1976 and 85, there was uncontrolled growth in the petroleum sector. This sector led the manufacturing segment of the economy which contributed 35% of the country’s GDP. It can therefore be argued that this unfavorable export diversification of the manufacturing portfolio was dangerous for the economy, as the West Texas 47 Intermediate Crude oil price per barrel fell to less than half, from US $ 28. 2 in April 1985 to US$ 12. 85 (indexmundi. com, 2011). The rapid fall in the price of petroleum was accompanied by minimal unfavorable variations in the prices of other exports such as banana, cotton, coffee, and cocoa within the same time frame. It can therefore be argued that for economies which play the role of price takers rather than price takers in global markets, heavy dependence on export revenue, with a relatively undiversified export portfolio can be detrimental to the economy.

Aerts et al (2000, p 31) consider the issue from a micro perspective. They suggest that the economic crisis results from the fall in the petroleum prices as well as the fall in the exchange rate of the US Dollar with respect to the local currency. Rather, from a macro perspective, Cameroon’s petroleum intensive export portfolio, which accounted for 60% of export revenue [Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, Roubaud, 2000], can be sited as a source of the vulnerability to Balance of Payment deficits experienced by the state in the mid 80’s.

A more diversified export portfolio would have eased the absorption of rapidly falling petroleum prices in the mist of more stable prices of the country’s alternative exports in 1985. This period thus represented an apparently stable era. The economy witnessed erratic growth and a relatively stable mass of foreign debt. The future vulnerability arose from the lack of control of export revenues, and high expectation of sustained growth in production and export price stability which led to increased dependence on these export revenues as the economy experienced an 8 upturn. Between 1965 and 1985, the driver of Cameroon’s economy shifted from domestic consumption to exports, having experienced a period of intensive capital investment. After developing strong export potentials, following the discovery of petroleum resources, foreign markets got targeted at the expense of local consumers, thus shifting the drivers of GDP growth abroad [Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, Roubaud, 2000, p 20] and therefore exposing contributors to the country’s payment ability to external shocks.

Given that Cameroon does not hold major market shares in any of the products it exports, it has no control over the prices of its exports. Its relatively low export diversification makes the export driven growth (at the expense of consumption driven growth) a very risky choice for the economy, thus making it more difficult predict the country’s GDP contributors’ performance and therefore rise up to future foreign debt commitments.

Rather, by stimulating domestic consumption, and earning taxes from them, the domestic contributors to GDP growth are expected to earn stability and improve the country’s ability to pay off its growing foreign debt. 4. 1. 2 Crisis Period 1985-1994 Foreign debts were contracted within this period to cover the state’s budgetary deficits. In the absence of these deficits, debts would effectively generate GDP growth.

This era, which represents the economic crisis, was characterized by a high accumulation of the country’s foreign debt in the absence of accumulation of tradable commodities which could be sold to finance the repayment of foreign 49 debt (Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, & Roubaud, 2000, p. 8) The vulnerability triggered in the economy during the petroleum boom created the need for structural adjustment within this period. The country’s economic crisis was characterized by the failure of the economy to immediately respond to the structural reforms launched in the late 80’s.

This is seen in the fact that GDP growth is negative from 1986 to 1994, thus erasing the impact of earnings realized from the petroleum boom (Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, & Roubaud, 2000, p. 9), and rapidly increasing the mass of the country’s foreign debt to more than three times it value at the start of this economic crisis. The absence and the very late request for external debt financing after the fall in government revenues, led to an aggravation of the balance of payment deficit and a rapid growth of the country’s foreign debt [Aerts, Cogneau, Herrera, de Monchy, Roubaud, 2000, P: 50] . 1. 3 Post Crisis Period 1994-2010 This period is further divided into two parts: The economic recovery, which followed the ’94 currency devaluation. The post HIPC completion, which followed the ’06 debt cancellation. 4. 1. 3. 1 Economic recovery The devaluation of the country’s currency can be perceived as an effort to re-launch the economy which had earlier on been trapped in a quasi Dutch disease 50 by the rapid growing petroleum earnings from the oil boom which occurred in the 70’s.

This re-launch followed an over-valuation of the local currency which made the country’s non-petroleum exports less attractive on the global markets. After the devaluation, hypothetically, the country’s non-petroleum exports performed better on global markets. This helped in the absorption of the economic crisis, and the eventual emergence positive GDP growth. In the long term, it can be argued that the devaluation had a by-product of curing the Dutch disease through the empowerment of non-petroleum sectors which seemed less competitive earlier on.

The post-devaluation recovery program constituted the Enhances Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) under the supervision of the World Bank and related multilateral organizations. It sought to stabilize the newly earned positive GDP growth, and not only achieve, but strengthen the positive relationship between foreign debts to GDP growth; contrary to the negative foreign debt to GDP growth relationship witnessed within the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) during the economic crisis (1985-1994). The ESAF sought to achieve its results by increasing the investment level, mphasizing on institutional reforms, enforcing the economy’s domestic revenue generating potential, improving expenditure management, and enhancing external competitiveness via a modern civil service and reinforced infrastructure (Cameroon Authorities, IMF, and World Bank Staff, 1999). It can therefore be argued that the effective implementation of these polices would achieve tightened monitoring, poverty alleviation, and a relative efficiency in the 51 establishment of sustainable GDP growth. Related polices included: ?

The development of an action plan aimed at improving the management and control of public expenditure. ? Fiscal sustainability program which aimed at increasing the domestic government revenues from non-oil producing sectors in the face of a falling trend in petroleum revenues due to falling fuel revenues. Within this period, the government achieved significant progress in its privatization program. This led to a reduction of government spending through the cancellation of subsidies as formerly state owned companies got privatized.

This was characterized by the privatization of the Cameroon Sugar Corporation (CAMSUCO) at the end of 1998, as well as improvements in the process of privatization of the National Palm Oil Company (SOCAPALM), the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), the Cameroon Mobile Telephone company (CAMTEL), the national electricity corporation (SONEL) and the national water corporation (SNEC). By cancelling subsidies expenditure, the state sought to allocate more resources to the refund of its foreign debt.

It can be argued that the absence of state ownership of these companies which provide basic necessities would reduce state control over the costs of services rendered within these sectors. This therefore will have adverse effects on the alignment of policies within these sectors with government’s aim of enhancing growth through poverty alleviation, and achieving its Millennium Development Goals of making these basic necessities available to 52 its entire population. By prioritizing profit maximization through private

Cite this Impact of Foereign Debt on the Cameroon Economy

Impact of Foereign Debt on the Cameroon Economy. (2016, Sep 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/impact-of-foereign-debt-on-the-cameroon-economy/

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