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Cameroon Difficult environment for development
Cameroon's development is hampered by a severe lack of progress on much-needed reforms and investments. Corruption is prevalent in politics, administrative bodies, the police and judicial system, and in education.
In the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest Regions, separatist groups are fighting for the areas to gain greater autonomy or to break away from Cameroon altogether. In the country's northern parts, the Boko Haram Islamist group has repeatedly committed terrorist attacks, causing numerous civilian casualties. The security situation along the border with the Central African Republic, which is itself engulfed in crisis, is also tense.
German development cooperation with Cameroon
Germany is one of Cameroon's top three bilateral donors. Due to the crisis in the two English-speaking provinces, the measures undertaken by the government against the opposition, and the general deterioration of the human rights situation in Cameroon, Germany is currently organising its development cooperation in such a way that it involves minimum contact with the government. In 2019, Germany temporarily suspended the two countries' government negotiations on development cooperation in response to the domestic situation.
Together with civil society organisations, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is working towards improving the living conditions of needy population groups and ensuring that successful development activities will continue. In the English-speaking regions, project implementation can only continue on a limited basis because of the tense security situation.
The most recent government negotiations with Cameroon took place in Yaoundé in November 2021. Germany committed 47.99 million euros in new funding for 2021 and 2022, of which 20 million euros was for Financial Cooperation and 27.99 million euros for Technical Cooperation. An additional 4.5 million euros had been approved in March 2021.
Core areas of cooperation
Germany's development cooperation with Cameroon focuses on the following core areas:
- Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth
- Peaceful and inclusive societies
- Transformation of agri-food systems
In addition, Germany is assisting its partner country in the areas of health, pandemic response and One Health, population development and family planning, and digital technology.
Cameroon is also benefiting from various regional programmes under German development cooperation. For example, the BMZ supports the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and works together with the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).
Within the various areas covered by German development cooperation with Cameroon, the BMZ has responded to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It supports efforts to prevent infections, especially among women refugees and internally displaced persons. In the regions in northern Cameroon that are particularly affected by COVID-19, advice is provided to families on pandemic prevention and hygiene.
Other areas of cooperation
In the short term, Germany wants to pursue efforts in the fields of population development and family planning in order to ensure that basic health services can be provided, especially for mothers and children and for refugees and internally displaced persons.
Under Technical Cooperation, Germany assists Cameroon in the field of One Health, that is, the combination of activities on human and animal health and environmental health.
As part of its development cooperation, Germany supports the introduction of digital technology in Cameroon across all thematic areas and fields of intervention. Germany also supports two specific projects: for the introduction of an online investment platform and for the application of new digital tools in order to reduce financial bottlenecks faced by rural people. A BMZ Center for Digital Transformation brings these initiatives together and captures synergies, including with the EU and other partners.