National Times (New York) – Jamaicans are bidding farewell to Cameroonian born Economist Constant Lonkeng Ngouana who they credit with inspiring new life into their economy.
Dr Constant studied at the Sub-Regional Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics in Cameroon. He has two masters degrees, one in International Development Economics and the other in Econometric and Finance. He got his PhD in Economics from the University of Montreal in 2010.
Dr Constant has experienced a meteoric rise in his career since graduation. Less than six years after joining the IMF he was appointed IMF Resident Representative to Jamaica in July 2016.
He told Jamaican Paper, the Gleaner, that when he arrived in Jamaica, “I felt some sort of cultural similarity with what I would have been used to in my own country, Cameroon. Some similarity in terms of food, spice, the same type of taste. Similarity in how warm the people of Jamaica are. I really felt the connection,”.
While in Jamaica, he ushered one of the best structural reforms in the economy. Partly due to his contribution to the reviving the Jamaican economy and his intimate contact with the people and culture of Jamaica, he has become a household name across the country, an impressive feat for manager of an institution widely despised in the developing world.
He will be returning to the IMF as Senior Economists. His expertise and education will be particularly critical to the body as it manages a possible global recession.
Dr Constant would be remembered for his dedication to the economy, but some Jamaicans would be concerned that he did not help reduce the double digits unemployment rate pounding the country, especially among youths.