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COVID-19 Will Stagnate Central African Economies In Second Quarter Of 2021

Economies of six Central African countries are expected to experience stagnation in the second quarter of 2021 due to the negative impacts of COVID-19.

Economic activities within the second quarter of 2021 (from April to June), are expected to face stagnation due to the negative effects of the COVID-19 on the economies of the six-member countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Commission (CEMAC), a report has revealed.

The six countries are Cameroon, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Chad, the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea.

According to a report issued by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) after quizzing leaders of businesses within the context of the “provisional test of speculations in the CEMAC during the second quarter of 2021,” economic activities in the zone would be more vigorous, indicating a fragile economic rebound but in comparison with the ripples experienced during the first quarter following the 2020 recession, this would rather be a stagnation.

The provisional test is “a quarterly document of a prospective nature based on investigations realised within business owners, administrative leaders and other key actors in the different sectors of activities of CEMAC.”

It presents the anticipations of the actors based on the projected evolution of economic activities for the next quarter as well as the principal explanatory factors, according to BEAC.

The test results released on Wednesday, March 31, explained the expected stagnation in economic activities due to the degradation of the health situation caused by COVID-19 during the first quarter, a situation that could lead to the reinforcement of economic restrictions resulting in “the morosity of activities” during the next three months.

The BEAC document gives a sector-by-sector breakdown of projections, revealing that within the primary sector, between April and June, there would be stability in petroleum, fisheries and animal breeding activities in contrast with a progression in activities in the domains of agriculture, silviculture and gas exploitation.

“The secondary sector will equally be stable with a sensible amelioration in building and public works,” the document reveals.

“Finally, in the tertiary sector, activities are expected to remain stable, with the commercial branch being vigorous while the air transport, hotel and restaurant sectors would be negatively affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 which is more virulent than the first one.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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