Street scene in Douala, Cameroon

Cameroon Partnership in a difficult setting

For a long time, Cameroon was considered a pillar of stability in an unstable region. However, the Central African country's development is hampered by a severe lack of progress on much-needed reforms and investments. Since 2016, Cameroon has been experiencing increasing internal conflicts and growing political and social tension.

In the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest Regions, separatist groups are fighting for the areas to break away from Cameroon and form the "Republic of Ambazonia". In the country's northern parts, the Islamist terrorist organisation Boko Haram has repeatedly been committing suicide 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.

Development cooperation

For more than 50 years now, Germany has been involved in development activities in Cameroon. Currently, the programme of cooperation focuses on the protection and sustainable use of natural resources, good governance, and rural development. Germany is also providing support to the country with regard to assistance for displaced persons and in the area of health.

Current situation

City view of Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon

No strong focus on sustainable development Internal link

Cameroon's government is not demonstrating a strong focus on development. While its Vision 2035 lays down the ambitious goal of becoming an emerging economy by 2035, there is no evidence of a holistic policy approach that would address global development goals such as sustainability, environmental protection and social protection.

View of Yaounde, capital of Cameroon

Deepening conflicts Internal link

At present, Cameroon is going through a deep domestic crisis. Conflicts in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest Regions and in the Far North Region are posing a threat to the country's stability, and also to development cooperation projects.

Veneer production in Douala, Cameroon

Jobs urgently needed Internal link

In order to improve the living conditions of the people, the Cameroonian government wants to focus on boosting economic growth and creating jobs. At present, more than one third of the people are living below the national poverty line.

German development cooperation with Cameroon

Germany is one of Cameroon's most important donors in development cooperation. At the government negotiations in June 2016 and through subsequent commitments, Germany made available 125.5 million euros in new funding.

In 2017, an interim commitment for 13.6 million euros was made, followed by a commitment for 10.04 million euros in 2018. 

Development cooperation focuses on the following priority areas:

  • Protection and sustainable use of natural resources
  • Good governance
  • Rural development

Cameroon is also benefiting from various regional programmes under German development cooperation. For example, Germany supports the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and provides funding for joint projects with the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).

Rainforest in Mount Cameroon National Park

Protecting threatened tropical forests Internal link

Cameroon's vast and species-rich rainforests are of global importance for biodiversity and the climate. They are also an important source of food and income for local people.

Market woman in Cameroon

Improving administration at national and local levels Internal link

At the national level, Germany is assisting the Government of Cameroon in the field of public financial management. The focus is on tax revenue and tax administration.

Harvesting yams in a local farm in Bafia, Cameroon

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 focus on the three less developed regions in northern Cameroon.

Other areas of cooperation

In addition to the priority areas that have been agreed, Germany supports Cameroon's efforts to provide services for refugees, and it provides assistance in the health sector.

Meeting the needs of refugees and reducing the root causes of displacement

Refugee women from the Central African Republic in a camp in eastern Cameroon

Refugee women from the Central African Republic in a camp in eastern Cameroon

Refugee women from the Central African Republic in a camp in eastern Cameroon

The political crises around Lake Chad and in the Central African Republic are presenting Cameroon with great challenges. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Cameroon is hosting almost 440,000 refugees and asylum seekers (as at December 2020). The BMZ is supporting a project that seeks to improve the situation of refugees from the Central African Republic.

In Cameroon's poor northern regions, many young people lack social and job opportunities, which provides them with more incentive to join extremist groups. In order to prevent fresh violence and, thus, fresh displacement, the BMZ is helping to improve young people's living conditions. Together with international and local organisations, it is providing jobs and training programmes for them and helping them to set up their own businesses. This project is co-financed by the European Union.

Support for maternal health

Many women in Cameroon have no access to medical care before, during and after birth. As a result, maternal mortality is high. Germany therefore supports Cameroon in training midwives and undertaking further actions to improve maternal health. Among other things, health posts are being renovated and provided with medical equipment across the country. Pregnant women receive vouchers that enable them to get specialised care at clinics.