Date & Time: July 22nd, 2021
Venue: Solomon Tandeng Muna Foundation – Yaoundé (Register)
According to the Doing Business report published by the World Bank Group (WBG), which ranks 190 world’s economies with respect to the ease of doing business score, Cameroon dropped by one place in 2020 from 166th to 167th. It scored 46.1 out of 100 available points, 0.1 point higher than in 2019. For the WBG, this Cameroon’s performance is due to the fact that the country has improved one out of ten indicators: access to credit information. It currently ranks 80th in the “Getting Credit” score, with a score of 60 over 100 with respect to getting credit and 6 in the depth of credit information. Conversely, the score for credit coverage bureaus is zero. Consequently, its economic transformation is undermined by a less favourable credit environment. This problem seems to stem from inadequate policies that amplify the difficulties faced by potential investors at various levels in seeking credit to finance their economic projects.
In addition to the burdensome conditions to be met by credit seekers, there is equally the problem of information asymmetry between lenders and borrowers which negatively affects the process of obtaining credit for both domestic and foreign investors. For many credit specialists, this could be explained by the absence of credit bureaus. They argue that, a large number of accredited microfinance institutions in Cameroon are located in areas with poor internet connectivity, making it difficult to identify and lend to micro-entrepreneurs. Despite the creation of the Risk Prevention Office (CREMF) in 2018 which helps these institutions to track and disseminate correct data on all their clients, the challenge is still huge.
Women’s access to credit in Cameroon is still very large due to the lack of guarantees, discriminatory regulations, insecure employment even though women represent 76% of total borrowers from microfinance institutions in the world (World Bank). Credit bureaus that collect and share microfinance data are more likely to benefit female entrepreneurship by building credit histories for women. Nevertheless, based on the 2020 World Bank’s DBI report, Cameroon’s position in the DBI report is due to the fact that the country has improved one out of ten indicators: access to credit information. Indeed, Cameroonian state has established a framework, in relation with the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, for the licensing and operation of credit bureaus.
In the light of this actuality, the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation is organizing its third public debate on the theme ‘‘Obtaining credit in Cameroon: Credit bureaus are essential to facilitate the process’’.
Objectives and key issues
The main objective of this Nkafu Public Debate is to provide a platform for Cameroonian and African high-level experts the opportunity to objectively resolve the barriers of credit accession in Cameroon for both national and foreign investors. This debate will investigate the benefits of introducing credit bureaus as a facilitator of credit accession in Cameroon. The main question to be answered is, “Obtaining credit in Cameroon: Credit bureaus are essential to facilitate the process’’
Indeed, some experts are of the opinion that credit bureaus are a solution to the hindrances to credit access while other experts support the view that the existing credit system remains efficient in as much as the procedures put in place to obtain credit are strictly followed by investors Specifically, this Nkafu Public Debates will provide an opportunity to:
- · Examine Cameroon’s past performance in the Doing Business Index;
- · Critically assess the current legislation as regards access to credit;
- · Assess the role of the actual reporting credit system and institutions responsible for the implementation of credit policies;
- · Understand the benefits and challenges of introducing credit bureaus in the country;
- · Understand the importance of providing equitable access to credit for women;
- · Identify and propose policy recommendations to ease access to credit for local and foreign investors in the country.
Venue and date
The first edition of the Nkafu Public Debates is scheduled for July 22nd 2021 at the Solomon Tandeng Muna Foundation, Yaoundé-Cameroon .
This debate will provide a forum for at least 50 participants from various fields of expertise and allow them to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Participants include government officials, speakers, entrepreneurs, humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations, academics and researchers, students, the general public, and civil society actors to name a few. It is a unique occasion to better inform on the reforms needed for Cameroon to achieve its emerging status by 2035. Also, this event will create a platform for professional development and career advice.
Panelists and Moderator
- Mr. Henri Kouam, Economic Policy Analyst at Nkafu Policy Institute.