The National Economic and Financial Committee (CNEF) of the Congo met in ordinary session, in face-to-face mode and by videoconference, on Wednesday 14 July 2021, at the National Directorate of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), in Brazzaville. The meeting was chaired by Rigobert Roger Andely, Minister of Finance, Budget and Public Portfolio.
Participants at the meeting followed presentations on, among other things, the national economic, monetary and financial situation; the financing of the Congolese economy; projects monitored by the CNEF's General Secretariat; and the presentation of the Committee's annual report.
They were also briefed on monetary programming and national macroeconomic forecasts; monetary policy and the evolution of monetary aggregates; the situation of the regional financial market; the banking system; the report of the diagnostic study on leasing; etc
At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Public Portfolio gave an interview to the press in which he mentioned two points.
First, the improvement of the growth rate from 2020 to 2021
"In 2021, compared to 2020, we cannot talk about a growth breakdown. In 2020, yes, we were in a very strong recession. National production was down by -6%, for well-known reasons. In particular, the outbreak of Covid-19; the drop in the price of a barrel of oil and the containment. The economic actors had therefore not had the necessary environment to be able to deploy their activities.
On the contrary, in 2021, there is the beginning of a return to normalcy. Because the Government has taken very courageous preventive measures. Moreover, voices from outside the Congo recognise that our country, faced with Covid-19, has resisted relatively well. It is not the Congolese Government that says so, nor the Minister of Finance. But these are external voices.
Among them, I would mention, for example, the World Health Organisation (WHO). So, in the face of this effort made by the Congolese Government to be relatively resilient, there is a beginning of improvement. Admittedly, we are still in recession, since we are going to do, more or less, between -0.5 and -1%, instead of -6% in 2020. This is therefore a strong improvement in the difficult context of the Covid-19!
At the end of this CNEF meeting, we focused a lot on the Covid-19, in the sense that it is a factor that is having a great influence on the economy at the moment. I would even say that it is the most important factor. And from this point of view, we were pleased that, once again, the country is doing well, thanks to the barrier measures that the government has had to take.
Then, the call to the Congolese to get vaccinated
According to the Minister of Finance, the CNEF was keen to stress that it supports the government in its policy of intensifying vaccination. There are new variants (Delta, Indian, Brazilian and others) which are very dangerous and deadly, and against which it is necessary to prevent. "I invite all Congolese to be vaccinated, so that Congo returns to normalcy. The recovery of the Congolese economy depends on that normalcy. Vaccination is offered free of charge," he urged.
The meeting was attended by the Congolese Ministers of the Economy, Planning and Regional Integration, Ingrid Olga Ghislaine Ebouka-Babackas, and of Hydrocarbons, Bruno Jean Richard Itoua.
The Press Office of the Ministry of Finance.