Street scene in Douala, Cameroon

Cameroon Difficult environment for development

For a long time, Cameroon was considered a pillar of stability in an unstable region. However, since 2016, this Central African country, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Lake Chad, has been faced with growing conflict and increasing political, social and ethnic tensions.

Straight to
City view of Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon

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.

In addition, the BMZ provided 8.4 million euros under its special 'ONE WORLD – No Hunger' initiative and 4.7 million euros under its Special Initiative on Displacement.

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).

COVID-19 pandemic

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.

Rainforest in Mount Cameroon National Park

Core area "Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth" Conservation of tropical forests Internal link

Germany supports Cameroon in the protection of tropical forests and thus in the preservation of natural livelihoods. The cooperation contributes to more legal certainty for the people who live in and from the forests, it improves the sustainability of forest management, serves climate protection and helps to reduce poverty.

Market woman in Cameroon

Core area "Peaceful and inclusive societies" Improving administration at national and local levels Internal link

Germany supports the Cameroonian government in administration and in the development and restructuring of decentralised structures. Focal areas of work are transparency and proximity to citizens, municipal development planning, infrastructure, economic development, tax revenues and tax administration.

Harvesting yams in a local farm in Bafia, Cameroon

Core area "Transformation of agri-food systems" Modernising the agricultural sector Internal link

At the request of the Cameroonian government, Germany has been supporting rural development in the country since 2015. Activities in the core area "Transformation of agri-food systems" concentrate on the less developed regions in northern Cameroon.

Other areas of cooperation

Health

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.

One Health

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.

Digital technology

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.

Current situation

Political situation
Background
View of Yaounde, capital of Cameroon
Social situation
Economic situation
Veneer production in Douala, Cameroon