Cameroon is the 6th largest heavy arms importer in Africa according Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) latest report for the period between 2012 and 2016. The countries of South Africa and Egypt were not included in the ranking.
Despite the data for 2016 has not be released, in a separate report by SIPRI retains that the expenditure of the Cameroon military in 2015 was FCfa 209 billion compared with FCfa 199 billion for 2014 and FCfa 194 billion for 2013.
This increase in arms outlay over the recent years can be made clear by the war that the country’s army has been undertaking since 2014 against the notorious Boko Haram, a Nigerian Islamic Sect. The said Islamic Sect has already claimed over 1,500 victims based on an official toll.
Nonetheless, Cameroonian military purchases have been steady escalating since 1988 highlights SIPRI statistics. Beginning with FCfa 45.5 billion in 1988, it went over the ceiling of FCfa 100 billion for the first time in 2003. In 2008 the ballpark figure was FCfa 155 billion and these weapons expenditures hit the highest level in 2015 with FCfa 200 billion.
Despite of this continuous increase, Cameroon is still a small player in connection with heavy arms imports compared with Algeria, which is the leading African importer between 2012 and 2016; reported by SIPRI. Algeria is in the 5th position among the largest arms importers worldwide and the largest North African country with 46 % of Africa’s total imports. Next is Morocco with 15%, Nigeria with 4.5%, Sudan, Ethiopia, Cameroon and then Tanzania.