Business, Finance & Economics

Cameroon: $62m in funds lost, report says


Cameroon's President Paul Biya addresses the media after casting his vote for president at the Bastos bilingual school, one of Yaounde's voting stations, on Oct. 9, 2011. Biya was sworn in for his sixth term as president in November.



A corruption watchdog in Cameroon found that 45 million euros ($62 million) have either been lost or embezzled after an investigation into government funds in the country, according to AFP.

The report was obtained by the news agency Friday from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Conac), an anti-graft body created by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya in 2006.

The report is based on Conac’s probes into the government in 2009, and it revealed great sums of money lost from the public works ministry, the general treasury and the maize industry.

"The budgetary resources the state invests in road building would be enough to build three times as many roads" if corruption were eradicated, the report said, according to AFP.

Biya, who started an anti-corruption campaign called Operation Sparrowhawk in 2006, was sworn in last week for a sixth term as president. Both the US and France said the elections were marred by widespread irregularities, BBC reported.  Biya had won the election with 78 percent of the vote.

Biya’s rule in Cameroon has been heavily criticized by opponents as corrupt and authoritarian, though Biya denies the charges.

International corruption watchdogs, like Transparency International, name Cameroon as one of the world’s most corrupt states. The watchdog ranked the country as the 32nd most corrupt country in 2010.  Somalia took the No. 1 spot in the same report.