A delegation from the CARFO is currently in Yaounde to learn about
Cameroon’s experience as far as financial investment are concerned.
The first workshop related to the cooperation took place on the 10th of August 2021 in the meeting room of the NSIF. This delegation from Burkina Faso which shall stay in Yaounde up to the next 14th of August 2021, was made up of five Senior Officials among which Rasmane Ouedraogo, the President of the Board of Directors of CARFO, and David Belemnaba, a Board Member, Laure Zongo Hien, the Director General, Yacouba Kabore, the Director of Finance and Accounting, and Ismaël Ibrahim Zoungrana, the Management Controller.
Concerning the team from the NSIF, it was made up of the Top Manager, jointly with Roger Epoh, the Technical Advisor in charge of the Governance, Hortense Asim Abisone, the Director of Finance and Accounting, Bagoura Souaïbou, the Technical Director, as well as the Cooperation Unit.
After the usual formalities, the meeting started. It should be noted that this is not the first visit of CARFO in Cameroon. Following the successful setting up of the "Bureau total" in Burkina Faso, pioneered by the NSIF of Cameroon, Mrs Laure Zongo Hien did not hesitate to come back in order to: "See how we can learn again from the NSIF to implement our investment policy that has already taken too much time to become operational in our country" she said. And pursued, "In order to diversify our financial investments, we wanted to launch ourselves into real estate and even diversify our financial investments, only based on term deposits (DAT) for the most part".
Noël Alain Olivier Mekulu Mvondo Akame gave good advice to his counterpart. In fact, the Director General of the NSIF said, "social security funds should no longer be financed only by social security contributions, because we note that the more democracy advances, the more demanding the citizen, and consequently the insured, is, not only in terms of deadlines and quality of service, but also in terms of the amount of benefit. Our pay-as-you-go systems cannot afford this, otherwise the level of contributions must be increased, unfortunately the social contribution rate cannot be increased permanently. Consequently, the DG of the NSIF added that, "we shall invest a lot and invest well, and in different ways, so that the money from the financial assets shall help to finance social security and social benefits".
Then, "we shall have a very elaborate financial investment policy, very developed, fine-tuned and increasingly oriented towards sectors that yield a return", hence the choice of real estate in Cameroon to better secure and make profitable the funds entrusted by the social insured managed by the NSIF; in addition to the term deposits (DAT) in various banks in the area and sovereign loans.
In addition to these recommendations, the DG of the NSIF, who is also President of the Steering Committee and President of the Board of Directors of the African Investment Fund (AIF), urged the CARFO to regularise its situation within this financial institution, which is a salutary path to more profitable joint actions for the social insurance institutions that are members. The President of the Board of Directors says that through the AIF, "we will be able to go towards infrastructures that require significant financing, since they are the one that bring in the most money. And if the fund is well rated, it can easily borrow from the international financial markets at very low rates for much higher returns".
As one uses to say, "alone we go faster, together we go further". In the meantime, a work programme has been drawn up to enable CARFO to discuss about its concerns with the heads of the relevant structures.