Veneer production in Douala, Cameroon

Economic situation Urgent need for jobs

In order to improve the living conditions of the people, the Cameroonian government wants to focus on boosting economic growth and creating jobs. An industrialisation master plan provides for the development of, in particular, the food, energy and digital industries, with support from public and private players.

The level of industrialisation in Cameroon has been low so far. A cumbersome administrative system, the lack of legal certainty, prevalent corruption, inadequate infrastructure, a lack of skilled workers and the crisis regions in the northern and western parts of the countries act as disincentives for potential investors.

Not enough economic growth

In 2019, economic growth in Cameroon was 3.7 per cent. In 2022, growth dropped to 0.7 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic (as a result of factors such as disrupted supply chains for coffee and cocoa) and lower world market prices for oil.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting economic growth of 4.6 per cent for 2022. In view of the very high rate of population growth, this will not be enough to reduce poverty on a sustained basis, close the development divide between different regions of the country, and give young people better opportunities. More than 40 per cent of the people are under the age of 15.

EU Partnership Agreement

In 2014, an Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) entered into force between the European Union and Cameroon. On the basis of that Agreement, the EU grants Cameroon free market access. The Agreement lays down that Cameroon should open its market for European exports by 2029. The bilateral Agreement is viewed as a step towards a regional agreement between the Central African region and the EU.