The growth rate of agriculture in Cameroon was estimated at 3.3 percent in 2006, compared with 2.7 percent in 2005. This is owing to increased activity in the food agriculture sector (4.3 percent) and in forestry and logging (4.0 percent). Livestock farming and fisheries, on the one hand, grew by 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Industrial and commercial agriculture, on the other hand, experienced a slowdown, on the one hand, with a growth rate of –2.3 percent in 2006 compared with 1.7 percent in 2005.


The growth rate of agriculture in Cameroon was estimated at 3.3 percent in 2006, compared with 2.7 percent in 2005. This is owing to increased activity in the food agriculture sector (4.3 percent) and in forestry and logging (4.0 percent). Livestock farming and fisheries, on the one hand, grew by 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Industrial and commercial agriculture, on the other hand, experienced a slowdown, on the one hand, with a growth rate of –2.3 percent in 2006 compared with 1.7 percent in 2005.


1.1 Introduction

1. The Cameroonian government has been implementing the Poverty Reduction Strategy contained in the first edition of the PRSP since April 2003. Through implementation of the PRSP the Cameroonian authorities are seeking to bring about a real and lasting improvement in people’s living conditions, using the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as an essential benchmark.

2. The government prepares regular quarterly, half-yearly, and annual reports on the implementation of the PRSP; the most recent annual report was published in February 2006 and covers the 2005 calendar year. It was included in the dossier that the government presented for attainment of the completion point. Since then, progress has been made and a mid-term report for 2006 has been produced. The present report serves as a progress report and covers the year 2006. It analyzes the developments and main constraints.

3. This report is in preparation at a time when the process for reviewing the strategy has been launched. It will provide material for the discussions on the pre-completion point policies assessment, which constitutes the first stage of the PRSP review. It is based on the participatory evaluation reviews held in all provinces of the Republic during August 2006 and on all the sectoral data produced centrally. It complies with the plan adopted by the government with the agreement of all the development partners and takes account of the various observations and recommendations made during the first meetings of the CTSE-PRSP.

4. This document comprises fives sections, of which the first is an introduction presenting the objectives of the strategy and its monitoring/evaluation mechanism; the second takes stock of the macroeconomic and budget execution situations; the third section sets out the main developments noted during the period under review, linking them as far as possible to the strategic areas of the PRSP; the fourth presents an outline poverty assessment; and the fifth section highlights the constraints and sets out the solutions envisaged.


5. The strategic area that the Cameroonian authorities are promoting through the PRSP seeks to reconcile the demands for economic performance with the need to ensure social development in a context of poverty reduction. The Millennium Development Goals constitute the initial target principles of the PRSP in the run-up to 2015. The aim is to cut poverty by half between 2001 and 2015.

6. The choice of strategic areas and the priority actions adopted justifies the both the government’s ambition and its realism. The authorities are in fact aware that achievement of the MDGs requires increased economic diversification with a view to raising substantially the average real growth rate and implementing a set of targeted measures and actions to maximize the positive effects of growth on poverty reduction.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

  • 1. Eliminate extreme poverty and hunger by cutting in half the number of Cameroonians living below the poverty line and suffering from hunger.

  • 2. Ensure primary education for all by giving every child the means to complete primary education.

  • 3. Promote equality of the sexes and independence of women by eliminating differences between the sexes in primary and secondary education, and if possible at all levels of education.

  • 4. Reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate of and strategies to allow young people to find children under 5 years of age.

  • 5. Improve maternal health but cutting maternal mortality by three-quarters.

  • 6. Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

  • 7. Ensure a sustainable environment by reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water; achieve a significant improvement in housing by integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and reverse the current loss of environmental resources.

  • 8. Create a partnership for the development of information and communication technologies and strategies to allow young people to find decent and productive work.

7. The growth and poverty reduction strategy contained in the PRSP is based on the seven strategic areas presented below, each of which comprises clear guidelines and an action plan that government adjusts periodically in the light of environmental developments, the available resources, and the progress made in implementing the actions.

  • Area No. 1: Promotion of a stable macroeconomic framework;

  • Area No. 2: Consolidation of growth through economic diversification;

  • Area No. 3: Promotion of the private sector as the engine of growth and partner in the provision of social services;

  • Area No. 4: Development of basic infrastructure, natural resources, and environmental protection;

  • Area No. 5: Acceleration of regional integration through the CAEMC;

  • Area No. 6: Strengthening human resources, the social sector and the integration of disadvantaged groups into the economy;

  • Area No. 7: Improvement of the institutional framework, administrative management, and governance.


8. In implementing the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and monitoring the progress towards Millennium Goals (MDGs), the government has introduced a steering and control system to provide timely information and indicators allowing progress to be measured for the purposes of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the PRSP and hence achievement of the MDGs.

9. The mechanism for monitoring and evaluating implementation of the poverty reduction strategy is based on three main instruments, namely: (i) the institutional steering framework, (ii) the statistical tool, and (iii) the participatory monitoring tool.

10. The implementation of those instruments is supported by capacity building activities in line with the priority needs identified. The capacity building involves the coordinating agencies as well as the sectoral ministries.

1.3.1 Institutional Mechanism

11. The coordination and technical support agencies that have been set up reinforce the existing agencies, namely the Technical Committee for the Monitoring of Economic Programs (CTS) and the Advisory Committee on the Management of HIPC Resources.

12. To improve the coordination and effectiveness of its action, the government set up an interministerial committee on supervision of PRSP implementation. The committee is chaired by the Secretary-General of the Prime Minister’s Office and supervises the implementation of the PRSP as well as the proper performance of the commitments entered into by the government under the three-year medium-term economic and financial program.

13. It is assisted by a Technical Committee for the Monitoring and Evaluation of PRSP Implementation under the aegis of the Ministry of Economic Planning, Development Planning, and Regional Planning. The technical committee, which is chaired by the Secretary-General of the ministry, has the task of assisting the interministerial committee with the technical coordination of the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the PRSP. The technical committee is composed of, on the one hand, representatives of the public authorities and certain public bodies (PNG and INS) and, on the other hand, of representatives of chambers [of trade, industry, etc.], the private sector, local government, religious organizations, NGOs and associations, and donors and lenders. The technical committee has already produced a number of quarterly internal monitoring reports and three annual reports. The CTSE-PRSP has also produced a methodology on participatory monitoring of implementation of the PRSP. Moreover, in 2007 the CTSE will conduct the review of the PRSP.

14. The technical committee has a technical secretariat, which comprises a central coordination unit and five thematic groups with the task of monitoring the governance, infrastructures, social, production, indicators, and macroeconomic guidelines, respectively.

15. The provincial commissions on the participatory monitoring of the PRSP monitor implementation of the PRSP at provincial level. They are chaired by the provincial Governors and their members include the provincial agents of MINPLAPDAT, rapporteur, the provincial financial controller, a representative of civil society (vice-chair), the INS, the private sector, NGOs, religious groups, and associations. The commissions also have sectoral groups and produce quarterly reports which provide input for the national reports.

1.3.2. Statistical monitoring/evaluation tool

16. The main objective of this tool is to boost the capacity of the national statistics system to generate structured and coherent data capable of producing pertinent indicators for the monitoring/evaluation of policies and programs. More specifically, the indicators allow the government and all the partners involved: (i) to monitor the raising and use of resources; (ii) to assess the progress of the physical implementation of projects and programs; (iii) to measure the results obtained and the impact on improving living conditions and reducing poverty.

17. In the course of 2006, completion of the management structure of the National Statistics Institute (Executive Board, Directorate-General, Financial Control, and Accounts Department) helped to provide fresh impetus to the activities of the national statistical information system.

18. Furthermore, to allow the national statistics system to play to the full its role as a support tool for decision-making in the monitoring/evaluation of policies, programs, and projects, the government initiated a process designed to transform the present system into a genuine National Strategy for Developing the Statistics System (SNDS), including the medium-term expenditure frameworks (MTEFs).

19. The SNDS aspires to provide a comprehensive answer to the problem of the availability and quality of statistical information to contribute to the preparation and monitoring/evaluation of policy implementation. It therefore necessarily requires an overarching approach that has to support both the sectoral strategies and the overall strategies (PRSP, PND, PNG, etc.).

20. The chief characteristics of the SNDS in progress are as follows:

  • It is designed to supplement and perpetuate the current system for monitoring and evaluation the PRSP and MDGs;

  • It adopts a priority-based management-by-results approach;

  • It seeks to be the framework of reference for the development of statistical activity;

  • It aims at strengthening the programming of activities and coordinating the search for financing using a medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF).

21. On the operational front, during 2006 statistics production under the above-mentioned system was marked by: (i) the processing of the third General Population and Housing Census (3rd GPHC), in particular the post-censual survey (PCS in December 2006); (ii) the publication of the results of the national survey of employment and the informal sector (EESI), which allowed the government to launch more initiatives to promote employment, in particular for young people, and to improve the targeting of measures in the informal sector, among others; (iii) the carrying out of the third multiple indicator survey on the situation of women and children (MICS 2006); (iv) the production of reports on progress towards attaining the MDGs in the 10 provinces and a national report; (v) publication of the results of the follow-up survey on young children in Adamaoua (ESA), a UNICEF activity convergence zone; (iv) the establishment of a new tool for monitoring economic conditions, namely an index of construction costs, which will appear quarterly from 2007 on.

22. Other support activities, in particular for sectoral agencies, included: the carrying out of a national survey on the level of penetration of ICTs in Cameroon (SCAN-ICT) on behalf of Minpostel, support for the Ministries of Basic Education and Secondary Education with the 2005 school-zone map, and support for Minsanté with the mid-term review of the sectoral strategy (2001-2010) and the immunization coverage survey, phase 2.

23. Furthermore, the new series of the annual national accounts produced under current system of national accounts (SCN 93) were officially taken into account and integrated into economic models and programs. Statistics on household final consumption expenditure to assess the inflation trend, trade, another other current statistics, are being produced on a regular basis and in a timely manner. Work is continuing on the International Comparison Program (ICP) to provide purchasing power parities (PPPs). Finally, the regular updating of the website of the National Statistics Institute ( in its new format has helped to improve the dissemination of statistical information.

24. With regard to the use and exploitation of the results of the studies, publication and dissemination of the results of the survey on the monitoring of public expenditure and the satisfaction of beneficiaries in the education and health sectors (public expenditures tracking survey) allowed the government to start implementing some of the recommendations contained in the table of priority actions adopted by the various parties involved and forwarded to the government. They include in particular:

  • - the creation of local committees to monitor implementation of the BIP in the 58 départements;

  • - publication of the projects log book in the press and posting it in public services,

  • - the requirement for budget appropriation managers to provide the recipients with information on the investments to be made and to produce a budget execution report at least at the end of each year.

  • - Similarly, work has begun on archiving information on the management of public funds with the aim of being able to constitute financial and accounting documentation for the work of the Court of Auditors.

1.3.3 Participatory Monitoring System

25. The main objectives of participatory monitoring are to foster ownership of the poverty reduction strategy process, improve transparency and the accountability of the various players, to improve quality and the relevance of services (especially public services), and to ensure control of the PRSP process and, ultimately, of the National Development Plan.

26. In 2004, 2005, and more recently, in August 2006, the monitoring/evaluation system was implemented using participatory evaluation reviews. They were initiated by a directive of the Ministry of Planning, Development planning, and Regional Planning dating from March 2004 and updated in July 2005.

27. These reviews, which take place in the ten provinces within a broad consultation framework, make it possible to take stock of the implementation of the actions included in the poverty reduction program, with special emphasis on assessment of performance quality by the beneficiaries.

28. The review work is based on the preliminary report prepared by the provincial commissions. It consists essentially in presenting this working document to a more representative assembly of the locality to ensure that all poverty reduction projects are evaluated, to confirm the rates of execution given in the preliminary report, to assess the quality of performance and its relevance to the poverty reduction objectives, and to highlight the assessments of beneficiaries and proposals for remedial measures. The work is carried out by four commissions corresponding to the sectoral groups set up within the provincial commission, namely the manufacturing sector commission, the infrastructure sector commission, the social sector commission, and the governance sector commission.

29. The participatory monitoring methodology prepared in 2006 will be tried out in a number of pilot communes. For this purpose a working group has been set up comprising representatives of the ST/CTSE-PRSP, the INS, the PADDL, the SNV, the UNDP, and the PNDP. Its mandate will include definition of the information exchange and gathering tools and of the criteria for the choice of the pilot communes, and preparation of the budget for this pilot project.


30. According to the most recent estimates, the real growth rate will be nearly 3.9 percent in 2006, compared with 2 percent in 2005. The oil sector posted a real growth rate of 8.7 percent. Inflation measured by the change in consumer prices was 5.1 percent in 2006 compared with 2 percent in 2005; the increase was due mainly to the increase in the price per barrel of oil, which subsequently affected the cost of transporting goods, leading in particular to higher prices for foodstuffs, which were already subject to subregional demand pressures.

Table 1:

Growth Estimates (%)

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31. With coverage of sight liabilities by external assets at nearly 80 percent, Cameroon has rarely been in such a brilliant position as far as the accumulation of net external assets is concerned, owing mainly to the favorable performance of oil revenues. While net foreign assets were CFAF 499.7 billion in December 2005, they increased by CFAF 534.3 billion in one year to reach CFAF 1,034 billion in December 2006, which represents an increase of 106.9 percent.

32. However, that particularly positive trend in net foreign assets coincided with a 26.5 percent reduction in net foreign credits from CFAF 1,174.3 billion in December 2005 to CFAF 869.3 billion in December 2006. While it is true that this reduction in domestic credit was due mainly to the reduction in credit to the public sector (CFAF 337.8 billion in December 2005 and CFAF -2.0 billion in December 2006, it should be noted that the credit extended to the private sector stood at CFAF 859 billion in December 2006 compared with CFAF 832.3 billion in December 2005, representing an increase of only 3.2 percent, whereas private sector deposits with banks were CFAF 1,296 billion in December 2006 compared with CFAF 1,162 billion in December 2005, which is an increase of 11.5 percent.

33. Analysis of the structure of credits extended by the secondary banks by term reveals that only 3 percent of the credits extended are long-term, for financing investment.

34. So since the credits extended were essentially short-term credits, it is necessary to seek the underlying reasons for the uneven performance of the money supply counterparts. However, the general state of the business environment does not appear to favor giving the two counterparts of the money supply comparable growth trends.

35. With regard to government finance, revenues and grants amounted to CFAF 2089.5 in 2006, which was CFAF 324.5 billion higher than the projections in the Budget Law presented to the National Assembly at the start of the fiscal year. The overshoot is due to grants of CFAF 248.2 billion (compared with projections of CFAF 39 billion in the Budget Law) and oil revenues of CFAF 618.1 billion (compared with projections of CFAF 515 billion in the Budget Law). Nonoil revenues increased to CFAF 1,223.2 billion (i.e. CFAF 12.2 billion higher than the Budget Law projections).

36. It should be noted, however, that with actual expenditure of CFAF 1,704.8 billion in 2006, as against the Budget Law projections of CFAF 1,790 billion, performance was below expectations. In particular, actual investment expenditure was CFAF 282.5 billion or CFAF 155.5 billion less than forecast in the Budget law for 2006, despite high oil revenues and grants. It should also be pointed out that externally financed capital expenditure was CFAF 61.5 billion, compared with the Budget Law projections of CFAF 110 billion, despite attainment of the completion point in April 2006.

37. By making actual investment expenditure of CFAF 522.3 billion, for total revenues and grants of CFAF 2,089 billion, the government made a remarkable contribution to sustaining growth through a consistent fiscal policy, in the absence of a monetary policy working in the same direction. But to reduce poverty effectively, the government should devote at least 25 percent of its revenues to investment. In other words, there is still room for improvement in the poverty reduction process in terms of the level of capital expenditure execution.

38. The year 2006 posted a nonoil trade balance of CFAF 225.36 billion compared with a deficit of CFAF 251.98 billion in 2005. However, the overall trade balance posted a surplus of CFAF 220.34 billion owing to the high price per barrel of oil. In 2005, the overall trade balance posted a deficit of CFAF 15.2 billion. Over recent fiscal years, it appears that oil and oil products are coming to representing an increasingly large proportion of export revenues, to the point where they account for 61.76 percent of export revenues, followed by timber and wooden constructions, 14.77 percent of revenues, and cocoa beans, 0.18 percent. If we include primary aluminum, cotton, coffee, and bananas, Cameroonian exports are made up of around 10 products, the volumes of which remain low, reflecting the continued use of production methods that are for the most part outdated.

39. With regard to expenditure on imports, 32 percent was attributable to oil and oil products (CFAF 526.5 billion), 7.33 percent to cereals, 11.22 percent to chemical industry products, and 5.8 percent to vehicles. It should be mentioned that in 2006 Cameroon earned 19.1 percent of its export revenues from Spain (CFAF 357.6 billion), 13.2 percent from Italy (CFAF 246.3 billion), 9.8 percent from France (CFAF 183 billion), and 6.02 percent from the Netherlands (CFAF 112.5 billion). Moreover, 24.1 percent of Cameroonian imports came from Nigeria in 2006 (CFAF 396.7 billion) and 16.4 percent from France (CFAF 269.6 billion).

40. In 2006, Cameroon posted a total trade deficit of CFAF 388.3 billion with Nigeria, CFAF 86.6 billion with France, a trade surplus of CFAF 338.2 billion with Spain, CFAF 205.1 billion with Italy, and CFAF 87.9 billion with the Netherlands. Cameroonian exports to the CAEMC increased to CFAF 55.4 billion in 2006, i.e. 2.96 percent of total exports, and imports increased to CFAF 47.6 billion, or 2.88 percent of total imports.



3.1.1. Implementation of the three-year economic and financial program

41. Cameroon reached the HIPC completion point in April 2006 and is proceeding with the economic and financial program negotiated under the PRGF with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the period July 2005-June 2008. A joint IMF-World Bank Mission visited Cameroon in the second half of the year to review progress at the midpoint of fiscal year 2006. A further mission has just completed its work of assessing progress to the end of that fiscal year. It found that the main fiscal and financial objectives have been achieved, but that some off-budget expenditures have reappeared. Progress has been recorded in the structural reforms:

  • Public finances. (i) The work of preparing data for better monitoring of budget execution continued, with the regular production of statements tracking the expenditure chain. (ii) Steps were taken to strengthen the control system for execution and physical/financial monitoring of government expenditure. (iii) As well, the authorities adjusted retail prices for oil products, as planned, and transfers were made to SONARA.

    Other concrete measures have been taken to foster budgetary transparency and reinforce fiscal management. In particular, an inventory of civil servants and government workers has been compiled in order to delete fictitious bonuses and allowances in processing payroll.

  • CAMAIR. A provisional partner for privatizing the company was recruited, together with the liquidator, on the basis of the strategy adopted in December 2005. There has been significant progress with privatization of CAMAIR, and a new company, CAMAIR CO, has been created by presidential decree. It will not have to assume CAMAIR’s liabilities, but will give priority in hiring to the personnel employed by the former enterprise.

42. There has been some slippage against the benchmarks for the privatization of CAMTEL, implementation of a corporate plan for CAMTEL, publication of court decisions and penalties for corruption at the web site, recruiting a management team for CAMPOST, finalizing preparations to establish a subsidiary for CAMPOST, and negotiating a public-private management partnership contract for the SNEC.

3.1.2. Resource allocation and use of appropriations

43. The government budget for fiscal year 2006 amounted to CFAF 1,861 billion, of which 110 billion was externally financed. Ministerial portfolios were allocated CFAF 993,261,000 (excluding external financing, FINEX). The education sector received CFAF 284.7 billion (or 28.7 percent); 84.1 billion (8.5 percent) went to health, 61.6 billion to productive sectors, and 167.1 billion to productive infrastructure.

Table 2:

Sectoral breakdown of the 2006 budget 2006 (excl FINEX)

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Source: 2006 Budget Law, central MTEF

44. Proceeds from debt relief. Budget allocations of HIPC funds amounted to CFAF 102 billion. This envelope was devoted primarily to public works (25 billion), health, and basic education, each of which received more than 10 percent. Water and energy, agriculture and rural development also received significant allocations, at 8 and 12.5 billion respectively. Three billion was earmarked for government subsidies, primarily to civil society organizations.

Chart 1.
Chart 1.

Sectoral breakdown of HIPC resources, 2006

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 001; 10.5089/9781451808247.002.A001

3.1.3. Reinforcement of planning and programming capacities

45. With the support of its development partners, the government is in the process of generalizing the sectoral Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF). With support from a World Bank trust fund, several ministries (including MINEDUB, MINESEC, MINESUP, MINSANTE, MINTP, MINADER, MINFOF and MINEP) have prepared or revised their MTEF. Similar work is underway in the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, and MINPOSTEL.

46. At the same time, the central MTEF has been constructed and bridges have been built to the sectoral MTEFs. The SIPAE macroeconomic model has been reinforced to make growth more endogenous. The macroeconomic model and the central MTEF have been interfaced. The ministerial budget envelope projections derived from the central MTEF have been communicated to the sector ministries, which have adjusted their expenditure frameworks accordingly. Thus, when the basic 2007 envelopes were communicated, slight adjustments were made for the budget conferences. To give greater force to this process of anchoring the budget to the MTEFs, a draft circular was prepared jointly by the ministries of planning and finance (MINPLAPDAT and MINEFI) and submitted for ministerial signature.

PRSP and central MTEF

Since the PRSP was adopted, real growth rates have been consistently lower than those assumed in the strategy’s central scenario. Consequently, budget resources have been lower than expected, and budget allocations to the ministries did not meet those planned, in nominal or relative terms. With implementation of the central MTEF, the priorities under the strategy have been reconciled with changes in the level of resources. In September 2006, the first medium-term budget framework report was communicated to the sector ministries. That report programmed the ground to be made up against the national strategy, in light of resource forecasts. The following chart provides an example of programming for the Social Development and Employment sector.

[Legend:] PRSP projections. Allocations

47. That circular synchronizes the review of strategies and MTEFs with budget preparation. By this circular, the sectoral ministries will now be required to produce reports on implementation of their strategies in relation to use of the funds allocated to them. These reports will be an integral part of the PRSP monitoring and evaluation mechanism.

3.2. Diversification of the economy

48. The Cameroonian authorities are seeking to secure sustainable growth on the basis of endogenous factors, through economic diversification. The principal achievements in this area over the period under review relate to rural development, financial intermediation, and industrial development.

3.2.1. Rural development

49. Under the first three-year program (2003-2006) of the PRSP, priority measures were defined to mitigate the effects and impacts of constraints identified in the rural economy. Aware of the importance of the rural economy and in particular its support role for primary production, the government has established for it four challenges: (i) to ensure food security and self-sufficiency for families and for the country; (ii) to contribute to economic growth, and in particular to employment and foreign trade; (iii) to increase farm incomes and improve the lives of rural people; and (iv) to make better and more sustainable use of natural capital, as the basis of agricultural production.

50. These challenges, which were taken as a basis in formulating the Rural Development Strategy (RDS) in 2002 and revising it in 2005, have been broken down into six strategic areas, in each of which a great many activities are being pursued.

Sustainable development of farming, livestock, fishing, wildlife and forestry

51. The intention here is to achieve production levels that will meet the objectives of food security, rural growth, higher incomes for producers, and greater exports. To this end, the emphasis has been placed on improving people’s access to modern, high-yield production techniques through the development and transfer of appropriate technologies.

52. Thus, in the area of crop production, efforts have focused on: (i) production and use of improved plant materials; (ii) improved farming techniques and systems; (iii) better conservation techniques; and (iv) protection of crops and products.

53. Activities in support of the production and acquisition of inputs have been effective in producing seeds and plant material for maize, potatoes, plantains, groundnuts, sorghum, fruit trees, mushrooms and coffee (see Box 3). As well, regulations to Law 2001/014 of July 23, 2001 on seeding activity have been signed, as well as those dealing with fertilizers.

54. On the phyto sanitary front, pesticides and treatment equipment have been distributed to the “village brigades” and fields have been treated under the pest control project and the project to protect cocoa and coffee plantations.

55. Similarly, the program to improve the supply of agricultural inputs, recommended in the RDS, has been made a priority for implementing that strategy. Terms of reference were prepared in 2006, and formulation is expected to begin in 2007.

56. In the course of developing promising opportunities, significant steps have been taken through specific programs such as the Village Palm Grove Development Program, the Plantain Revival Program (PRBP), the rice growing revival project in the Logone Valley, the Upper Noun Valley Development Authority (UNVDA) and the National Roots and Tubers Development Program (PNDRT).

57. In the livestock area, efforts are focused on raising per capita meat consumption from the current level of 13 kg a year to 25 kg per year by 2015. On this score:

  • The swine development project (PDFP) launched on March 7, 2006 calls for the establishment of 30 modern piggeries, training of 1,100 production leaders, support for 600 producers’ associations, and improvement of 30 breeding farms.

  • The cane rat husbandry project proceeded with training of 15 trainers and 200 young breeders, and the purchase of breeding stock.

  • The Smallholder Dairy Development Project launched its pilot phase on 28 March 2006. The intention is to increase milk production.

  • The traditional marine fishery project built and equipped two fishery training centers at BONAMATOUMBE (Douala) and at DEBUNDCHA(Limbé), and supplied fishing equipment worth CFAF 45 million to the young trainees.

  • Construction work on the fisheries center at Kribi has been completed and the keys were turned over to the Cameroonian authorities; the project to reduce post-catch losses has now started up.

  • The project to control livestock trypanosomoses and their vectors (i) has provided support for establishing 230 breeders’ associations (covering 3000 livestock farmers), grouped in seven departmental unions (Vina, Faro and Déo, Mayo-Banyo, Mbéré, Djerem, Faro and Mayo-Rey); (ii) trained to breeders in alternative control methods; (iii) distributed products, materials and equipment to breeders; (iv) supported control efforts.

58. In the forestry industry, efforts have focused on maintaining output at its current level through diversification. The suspension of “small-scale forestry permits” has been lifted, with two purposes in mind: first, to allow Cameroonians to supply the local market legally, and second to ensure that the government can collect the taxes that were formerly lost through illegal cutting.

59. The above listing of accomplishments under this strategic objective shows clearly that progress is being made in meeting production policy objectives. It is difficult to assess success to date, however, because the short, medium and long-term objectives have not been sufficiently defined, and the statistical database for this sector is weak.

60. Nevertheless, it is clear that further efforts are needed to make inputs economically and physically available. Those efforts must address, in particular, the inadequate distribution channels, insufficient seed production, and the lack of financing. In addition, the procedures for releasing funds are too slow to meet project needs, and this has resulted in bottlenecks in pursuit of this objective.

Promoting local and community development

61. The government seeks to improve the lives of the rural population by removing constraints on socioeconomic development and creating conditions that will allow the poorest people to become part of the economy and to meet their basic needs.

62. The most important activity here is the Cooperatives Development Program (PADC, which covers the provinces of the Center and the Extreme North, with IFAD financing) and the National Participatory Development Program (PNDP, financed by the World Bank and covering the provinces of the Extreme North, the South and the Center).

63. Under the PADC, (i) 125 micro-projects have been financed on the basis of “cautions tournantes” (revolving guarantee funds) for a total of CFAF 45 million in the income-generating activities context; (ii) 55 classrooms and two playgrounds have been built, 44 classrooms have been rehabilitated, and 48 latrines improved; (iii) 11 health centers, 13 “community houses”, two community markets, and six stores have been built; (iv) 54 wells have been dug and equipped with power pumps, 12 water springs have been improved, 16 boreholes made and four rehabilitated.

64. Under the PNDP, studies and actions are underway to improve community management. The studies are examining reforms to local taxation, strengthening the technical and operational capacities of municipalities where local governance projects are planned, by training project managers and the members of municipal commissions in procurement procedures, with support of the ARMP (Public Contracts Regulatory Board).

65. Other initiatives are underway through integrated programs and projects such as PARI (MINADER), Behavioral Change (MINADER), GRASSFIELD (MINADER), RUMPI (MINADER), Mungo-Nkam (MINADER), support for animal husbandry organizations (MINEPIA), program for sustainable fishery livelihoods (MINEPIA) and the swine production program (MINEPIA)

66. The programs now underway (PNDP and PADC in particular) are playing an important role in their respective areas of intervention, but their geographic coverage is still inadequate. Moreover, it needs to be highlighted again that coordination in implementing this strategic area is insufficient.

Sustainable management of natural resources

67. The sustainable use and management of natural resources requires solutions to four interrelated problems: the allocation of land to different uses, maintenance of soil fertility, water controls, and conservation and restoration of biodiversity.

68. To this end, the most important event during the year was the approval by the World Bank’s Executive Board of the program of support for the PSFE (Forest/Environment Sector Program) to which IDA and GEF contributed US$25 million and US$10 million respectively, thus triggering release of financing from other partners (for example DFDID, £4 million).

69. Other important achievements should also be noted. Under the program to improve State-owned forests and upgrade forest products, forest zone maps of the national territory have been prepared and are available, while a sustainable management survey of non-timber forest products in Cameroon has been completed. For the conservation of biodiversity and the upgrade of wildlife products, the map of ZICs (hunting zones) and ZIGCs (community-managed hunting zones) has been completed for the southern portion of the country.

70. In April 2006 the MINEP launched activities under the subprogram for protection and regeneration of the environment and natural resources to promote rural development (APREN).

71. Generally speaking, implementation of strategic area 3 was held back by weak coordination and a failure on the part of all parties involved to master the mechanisms needed for simultaneous intervention of several donors in the same project.

Developing suitable financing mechanisms

72. The goal of rural finance policy is to bring together producers and lenders and facilitate access to financing. Actions on this score can be grouped under three aspects: (i) creation of the Agricultural Bank; (ii) credits to rural development programs and projects; and (iii) the activities of private micro-finance institutions.

73. On January 25, 2006 the National Credit Board of Cameroon approved the project to create the Agricultural Bank of Cameroon, as a corporation with a majority of private shareholders and a partner of reference. The specific purpose of the bank is to finance production, processing, marketing and export of farming, livestock and fishery products.

74. The PADC has financed 125 loans for rural development projects, totaling CFAF 45 million, on the basis of cautions tournantes, while PNDP approved nine community and municipal micro-projects for a total of CFAF 151,394,800. The project for livestock and fisheries development in the southwest granted 519 credits for a total of CFAF 123,942,000.

75. The Execution Unit for PREPAFEN (Poverty Reduction and Action in Support of Women in the Far North Province) and the Working Group instituted by the Government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank has decided to put component II, the “Economic Activity Support Fund”, on a permanent footing by creating the Provincial Refinancing Fund (FPR).

76. With respect to private micro-finance institutions (MFIs), an amount of CFAF 400 million in proceeds from external debt relief has been made available to 19 savings and loan cooperatives (COOPECs) as a subsidy to bolster their lending funds. On June 13, 2006, MINADER and the MFIs signed a contract governing the use of these resources, which remain the property of the government.

77. Given the limited impact of micro-finance to date, there are great expectations surrounding the creation of the Agricultural Bank of Cameroon, although it is likely to take some time to reach maturity.

Employment and vocational training

78. The objective is to rejuvenate an aging agricultural workforce and thereby reap productivity gains and higher incomes, and combat rural unemployment. In this context, training is being provided by the Upper Noun Valley Development Authority (UNVDA), agricultural training centers, and a number of projects such as the National Agricultural Research Extension Program (PNVRA) and the Cooperatives Development Program (PADC).

79. MINFOPRA has launched an open competition to recruit water and forestry experts, including 145 technical agents, 145 technicians, 100 senior technicians, and 75 engineers. In fact, there are many initiatives under way in the area of training and employment, but they need to be better coordinated in order to produce synergy.

Developing the institutional framework

80. Improving the institutional environment is intended to bring greater efficiency to the work of the government’s rural development agencies as project owners, and the activities of private organizations and associations as project contractors. In this respect the first (admittedly hesitant) steps have been taken to make operational the Steering Committee that is to support and monitor implementation of the rural development strategy. This should make for smoother and more efficient management of resources earmarked for this sector.

81. As well, MINADER has refined the Rural Development Strategy Paper with a subsectoral strategy and has finalized its Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and these were presented to the country’s development partners on January 31, 2006. This undertaking is still in gestation within the MINEPIA. The PARI project has established a platform for coordination between the government and rural organizations

82. Generally speaking, the initiatives taken by the various ministerial departments to improve the institutional framework still suffer from a lack of synergy in their planned activities.

83. The main issues for attention in 2007 in terms of rural development are thus, on one hand, to improve statistics so that better monitoring indicators can be developed, and on the other hand to reinforce coordination among government agencies, development partners and civil society.

Promotion of financial intermediation

An amount of CFAF 400 million in proceeds from external debt relief has been made available to 19 savings and loan cooperatives (COOPECs) as a subsidy to bolster their lending funds. On June 13, 2006, MINADER and the MFIs signed a contract governing the use of these resources, which remain the property of the government.

Three structures (in addition to the HIPC projects) have been put in place within MINEPIA for financing the rural economy. Two of these are now operational: the Project for Livestock and Fisheries Development in the Southwest (PDEP/SO) and the PSSA (Special Project on Food Security) diversification project.

Under the PADC, CFAF 33 million in revolving guarantee funds has been placed with the MFIs for the account of the CDVs (village development committees) established under the PADC. The CDVs have accumulated savings totaling CFAF 30, 250, 000, and have financed 125 micro-projects for a total of CFAF 45 million.

As part of the move to decentralize financial systems, two regional networks have been established for the Decentralized Rural Credit Project, PCRD III, comprising 110 S&Ls with 37,243 members. Their savings deposits average CFAF 504, 043, 855, and their outstanding loans average CFAF 738,067,041. Consolidation of the S&Ls is continuing.

Under the FIMAC project (Investment Fund for Agricultural and Community Activities), CFAF 20 million has been recovered and loans totaling CFAF 130 million have been granted to 290 rural associations.

3.2.2. Financial intermediation

84. Credit to the economy stood at CFAF 865.2 billion in December 2006 versus 836.7 billion in 2005. Credit to the private sector went from CFAF 859 billion to 832.3 billion over the same period, for an increase of only 3.2 percent, while private-sector deposits in banks stood at CFAF 1,294.1 billion in December 2006 compared to 1,454.7 billion in December 2005, for an increase of 12.3 percent. The money supply grew by 9 percent, and stood at CFAF 1,713.4 billion at the end of December 2006.

85. With respect to making operational the Cameroon financial market (Douala Stock Exchange), the first stocks have been listed. As part of the effort to rationalize the savings and loan cooperatives (COOPECs), 232 micro-finance establishments have been licensed; those of the CAMCCUL (Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League) network have been approved by COBAC (Central African Regional Banking Commission), and the licensing authorization has been signed by the MINEFI.

86. The project to support micro-finance establishments for rural development (MC2/MUFFA), intended to strengthen relations between micro-finance institutions (MFIs) and the commercial banks with a view to introducing micro-credits into their portfolios, has been finalized and is planned to run for five years with HIPC and IFAD (PPMF) financing. The overall cost is estimated at CFAF 3,814,544,650. The project will be executed by the Appropriate Development for Africa Foundation (ADAF), and Afriland First Bank and MINADER will be the principal financial partners.

87. On January 25, 2006 the National Credit Board of Cameroon approved a project to create a rural bank, known as the Agricultural Bank of Cameroon, as part of the effort to promote financing structures and mechanisms appropriate to the rural economy. It will be a corporation with a majority of private shareholders, including a partner of reference.

88. A civil society organization, CANADEL, has drawn up an operating plan to raise equity capital for each of the 38 Village Development Committees (CDVs) so as gradually to reduce their dependence on external financing.

3.2.3. Industrial development

89. The industrial sector as a whole performed well in 2006, achieving a growth rate of 5.5 percent. To strengthen the sector further, the government has launched a number of key programs that will in time expand infrastructure capacities. Highlights include the following:

  • Work on the Limbé oil yard accelerated in 2006, and the project is now 60 percent complete; investment for the first phase is planned at CFAF 90 billion.

  • Design work on the Alucam expansion project continued; the total investment cost is now expected to be US$1.5 billion versus the initial estimate of $900 million.

  • AES-Sonel has met the conditions for realizing its five-year business plan, with signature of a direct loan of CFAF 1 billion from international financial and banking institutions.

90. The Prime Minister established a steering committee to prepare the strategy for the industry and services sector. The Competitiveness Committee has completed a study analyzing the competitiveness of various industries and to identify and select those with the greatest growth potential. The sectors identified are textiles, wood, energy and hydrocarbons, sectors undergoing change (plantains, maize, oilseeds), “configuration” sectors (cocoa, coffee, rubber), high-tech sectors (ship building and repairs, ICT, pharmaceuticals).

91. In the textiles industry, a strategic audit was performed on CICAM. The final report has been approved by government and its recommendations are now being implemented: in particular, an ad hoc committee and provincial units have been established to combat fraud, counterfeiting and contraband.

92. A regional project for development and modernization of the palm oil industry is being formulated with support from UNIDO and the CFC (Common Fund for Commodities). The project embraces Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. Feasibility studies have been prepared with technical assistance from UNIDO.

93. The Integrated Project for Industrial Development, approved in April 2003 in cooperation with UNIDO, made further progress in 2006, with the creation of pilot centers for agri-food processing. The first center, for milk processing, was inaugurated in Bamenda in the second half of 2006, and a second center for processing ginger has been built at Bafoussam with equipment supplied entirely by UNIDO.

94. As part of preparations for a specific policy to promote local subcontracting, a study on the industrial subcontracting and partnering potential was conducted by CCIMA, under a government contract awarded by tender. The purpose of the study was to pave the way for creating an Industrial Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange (BSTP) in Cameroon. The corporate charter and business plan of the BSTP have now been finalized.

95. In the context of promoting standardization and quality control, a draft decree on the organization and functioning of the National Standards and Quality Agency was approved on June 28, 2006 by the Competitiveness Regulation Board, chaired by the Prime Minister. To this end, 250 national standards have been prepared, 13 of which are mandatory. Eight other standards have been adopted in the beverages industry. The standard on concrete reinforcing rods, welded wire mesh and binding yarn have been approved and will be made mandatory by order of MINIMIDT.

96. The program to support and assist with the economic partnership agreement between Central Africa and the European Union (PASAPE) is providing preparatory assistance to develop a national program for industrial scale-up and competitiveness. Under that program, an integrated quality promotion strategy has been prepared to help Cameroon meet international requirements in terms of standards, technical regulations, and fit assessment. The pilot phase, which will support scale-up, standardization and quality in Cameroon, was validated at a workshop in Kribi in November 2006. The cost of this phase is Ĩ7,235,946. The program is being financed by the European Union, with technical assistance from UNIDO.

97. An inventory of consulting firms specializing in SME development and a study on the definition of SMEs have been prepared. A draft law on the creation and organization of one-stop business service centers has been submitted for ministerial approval. A study on improvements to the regulatory and administrative framework governing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and crafts has been finalized with UNIDO support. Studies for the creation of pilot enterprise nurseries (Douala CUD, Mairie II in Yaoundé, and Extreme North) have been finalized.


98. Measures and actions to boost the private sector continued throughout the year. These included activities to promote enterprises and to eliminate bottlenecks, as well as large-scale infrastructure works in support of the private sector.

99. As part of the effort to promote the generic drugs industry, a project was launched in 2004 to overhaul a unit that produces essential drugs in generic form, and to equip it electronically. The purchase of new machines for packaging the drugs, together with packaging materials, was planned for fiscal year 2005 in order to make the malaria kit available. At this time, laboratory stocks of the drugs are available and are awaiting industrial-scale production.

100. Progress has been made in eliminating obstacles to private development in the energy sector, with improvements to the regulatory framework for the downstream oil industry, pursuant to a decree from the Prime Minister entrusting to SNH the financing of security stocks of oil products. As well, the Minister of Energy and Water has issued a circular clarifying licensing conditions for service stations. New entrants in the sector include TRADEX and PETROLEX.

101. Large-scale infrastructure works in support of the private sector included: (i) rehabilitation of the Wouri bridge, which is now 97 percent complete. The bulk of the work is done, and only the dike and the bayou works remain to be finished; (ii) the construction study for a second bridge over the Wouri, under a public-private partnership (BOT) contract which is in the process of signature; (iii) plans for a network of trunk roads: Ngaoundéré-Touboro-Moundou (on the border with Chad): 89 percent complete, 237 km in length; (iv) Ambam-Eking: all the work on the route has been completed (27 km), representing 84 percent of the total works. Still to be finished are the related works, which were 35 percent completed as of December 31, 2006; (v) construction of the Ambam-Kye Ossi Road (to the border with Equatorial Guinea): studies are now underway for a bridge over the Kye, the road works have been acceptance-tested, and the studies are 100 percent complete.

102. Other projects in the course of study or negotiation include: progressive improvements of the Foumban-Tibati-Ngaoundéré route and the Garoua-Boulai-Ngaoundéré road (studies 90 percent complete), asphalting of the Ekok-Mamfé road (study 85 percent complete), construction of the Sangmélima Djoum-Congo Frontier road (studies 83 percent complete) and of the Maroua-Bogo road (studies 56 percent complete).

103. Urban road improvements in Douala and Yaoundé. The Douala Infrastructure Project (PID), financed by IDA, is well advanced. The project was intended to enhance competitiveness by upgrading links between the port and the industrial zones, as well as the exit from the port towards the Yaoundé-Douala highway and towards the Wouri bridge. Of the 23 km of roadways to be rehabilitated, the first lot (covering 12 km and costing CFAF 9 billion) has been acceptance-tested. The second lot, covering 10 km at a cost of CFAF 11 billion, was about 70 percent complete as of December 31, 2006. The works are scheduled to be finished in July 2007.

104. Following Cameroon’s achievement of the HIPC completion point in 2006, the cities of Douala and Yaoundé have been granted project financing in the amount of Ĩ115 million under the Debt Settlement and Development Contract (C2D). Tenders were called in 2006 and the works will begin in 2007. These works will change the image of the country’s two main cities and enhance their overall competitiveness.

105. The Entreprise-Cameroun project marks further progress in building the capacities of private-sector organizations to participate in the preparation and implementation of economic policies and to improve the contributions of their members. The project has provided training for 18 people in strategic management, coaching for 13 SMEs, three entrepreneurship training seminars for 17 business managers, and training for 15 entrepreneurs in the design of management programs.

106. The Inter-Ministerial Committee Enlarged to the Private Sector (CIESP) met in October in Yaoundé. This forum for coordination between the public and private sectors not only identified obstacles to the growth of the national private sector and progress with efforts to remove those obstacles, but also gave thorough consideration to the issue of “how to bring Cameroon out of underdevelopment and into the modern world". Concrete proposals were put forward in several sectors, relating in particular to basic infrastructure, sectors with high growth potential, and financing for the economy.

107. The law on partnership contracts, which has been under discussion between the public and private partners for nearly 2 years, was promulgated on December 29, 2006. Cameroon now has a legal framework conducive to the construction and operation of large-scale infrastructure and public services, through partnership between the public and private sectors. Major projects such as the second bridge over the Wouri, the Yaoundé-Douala-Bafoussam-Yaoundé freeway loop, and various power generating stations can now be pursued within an appropriate legal framework.

108. Despite the progress on certain fronts, serious difficulties persist in other areas. For example, implementation of the Investment Charter seems to be held up by work on the regulations and introduction of the structures called for in that charter. Nearly 5 years after the law was promulgated, the Investment Promotion Agency and the Export Promotion Agency, among others, are still not operational. The private sector argues, among many other complaints, that the tax system is still not adapted to the needs of a competitive economy, citing as well the limited access to financing and the inadequacy of human capital in light of market needs.

109. An analysis of outcome indicators for this strategic area produces mixed results. The following table, taken from the macroeconomic framework and showing the public and private investment rates as a percentage of GDP, is instructive on several scores.

Table 3:

Gross Fixed Capital Formation


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Source: SIPAE

110. While the investment rate rises significantly from 14.7 percent in 1999 to nearly 25 percent in 2010, stagnation is apparent over the period 2002-2007, contrasting with more dynamic performances in 1999-2001 and again in 2008-2010. The private component follows the same curve, with effective stagnation and even a slight retreat between 2003 and 2007. The increase in public investment over the same period suggests a crowding-out effect, which in principle should not be the case at these levels of investment. It is clear, then, that the measures taken to revive the private sector have yet to bear fruit, in terms of private investment capacity. The pace of reform in this important strategic area of the PRSP must therefore be accelerated.


3.4.1. Basic infrastructure

111. The strategic guidelines in the PRSP and those relating to the Construction and Public Works (BTP) sector have been broken down into areas, strategic objectives and projects for purposes of strategic planning (BTP sector strategy and its MTEF). Since 2006, these documents have formed the basis for MINTP activity in the BTP sector.

112. The BTP sector strategy was adopted on June 15, 2005, and its 2006-2008 MTEF was confirmed in December 2005. The documents were updated in the course of 2006. These updates have made it possible to assess needs for the next three years of the strategy, and to produce the 2007-2009 MTEF. In contrast to preparation of the 2006 budget, the 2007 budget is based on the MTEF, and all programs under the sector strategy are budgeted.

113. The study of the Roads Master Plan (PDR) was completed in 2006 and adopted at the first session of the National Roads Board, chaired by the Prime Minister. At that same meeting, the 2007-2009 MTEF was adopted, consistent with the high scenario of the Master Plan.

114. Overall results in the roads sector in 2006 may be summarized as follows: (i) cantonnage, current and/or periodic maintenance of 4,568 km of paved roads; (ii) current and/or periodic maintenance of 13,366 km of “priority” and “nonpriority” dirt roads; (iii) maintenance and rehabilitation of 3,070 km of rural roads; (iv) construction of 66.3 km of paved roads; (v) opening of about 10 km of dirt roads; and (vi) construction of some 22 linear meters of bridges.

115. Current maintenance work on paved roads was completed to the extent of 74 percent, or around 4,568 km. Current maintenance work on 13,366 km of dirt roads represented a completion rate of 82 percent.

116. In an effort to protect the country’s roads, several awareness and education seminars for truckers were organized in provincial capitals (Yaoundé, Douala, Ngaoundéré, Maroua, Garoua, Bafoussam). They were preceded by a campaign to weigh tanker trucks and impose fines, with a three-ton leeway. In addition, a national strategy is being developed to manage rain gates, and three open tenders have been issued for the construction, rehabilitation and management of rain gates.

117. Environmental preservation along roadways. Inspection visits to work sites were continued, to enforce environmental regulations. A call for expressions of interest was issued for renewing the environmental audit of the Yaoundé-Douala Road, and the recommendations of the World Bank Mission on the environmental impact study for the Douala-Ndjamena corridor were taken into account.

118. Progress with road projects during the period under review can be appreciated as follows:

  • Seven projects showed a positive rate of progress: construction of the reinforced concrete bridge over the Lokoundjé (7 percent), construction of the Ayos-Abong-Mbang road Lot 1 (35 percent or 18 km), construction of the Yaoundé-Kribi road Section 1 + Makak ramp (5 percent ort 4 km), construction of the Moungo bridge (39 percent), construction of the Yaoundé-Soa road (27 percent or 2.84 km), construction of the Garoua-Gashiga Bridge road (3 percent), opening of the Mosse-Ndogbassaben road (17 percent or 9.69 km).

  • Three projects showed a positive rate of progress, thus contributing to the completion of major works: rehabilitation of the Wouri bridge, improvements to the Ngaoundéré-Touboro-Moundou road, paving of the road from Ambam to Eking (Gabon border), paving of the Melong-Dschang road.

  • Five projects are still getting started. Contracts have been awarded, and administrative arrangements (negotiation of the contract, issuance of instructions to contractor) are being completed. These relate to construction of the Ayos-Abong Mbang road Lot 2, reinforcement of the Loum-Nkam Bridge road, rehabilitation of the KFW bridges, the Ebebda, Noun and other bridges (phase 1) and improvement of the Mutengéné-Muea-Kumba road.

119. pgrades in the construction sector proceeded as follows: (i) implementation of a workable regulatory system; (ii) strengthening management capabilities for civil engineering operations; (iii) intermediation, management and operation of works; (iv) studies to increase the number of structured and efficient firms.

120. To avoid defects, cost overruns and accidents in the sector, works supervision has been further reinforced and construction quality has been improved through better design and the use of local materials. More than 700 worksites and contractors’ offices were inspected during the year, including:

  • Construction of the Palais des sports (sports center).

  • Construction of the headquarters for the Economic and Social Council.

  • Construction of the courthouses at Batouri, Eseka, Mora, Kumbo and Ngaoundéré, which is continuing despite payment problems.

  • Studies for construction of the Sangmelima hospital, where the site has changed.

  • Construction of a building for the National Assembly, for which bids are now being analyzed.

  • Construction of the headquarters building for the CSPH (Oil Price Stabilization Fund), which is proceeding normally.

  • Maintenance works on the Maga dike; the firm selected for the rehabilitation studies is now on site.

121. Urban infrastructure. Preparatory work for the urban development strategy continued with: (i) development and validation of an interim strategy paper in preparation for the donors’ roundtable initially scheduled for 2006; (ii) programming workshops for the strategy, in May 2006; (iii) preparation of a first draft of the strategy paper.

122. Studies on the future of the urban affairs agencies (SIC, MAETUR, CFC) are planned for 2007. These studies will provide input for the final strategy paper, which will be available before the end of 2007. As soon as the final strategy is validated, MINPLAPDAT will prepare the 2007 MTEF, with financing from a World Bank trust fund.

123. Preparation and adoption of the national housing policy. The ministries involved (MINDUH, MINDAF, MINPLAPDAT, MINEFI) have worked together with the operating agencies for the sector (CFC, MAETUR, SIC, MIPROMALO) to produce a report that is now available. There is also in hand a report with more general considerations for a new housing policy in Cameroon, which contains as an annex a program for 10,000 dwellings and 50,000 serviced lots.

124. A specific report on social housing was also produced. As a result of all this preparatory work, a pilot project has been implemented to build 1,000 social housing units and improve 5,000 lots in the cities of Yaoundé and Douala at five sites already identified (Olembé and Ngoulemakong in Yaoundé, Logbessou TV, Mbanga Bakoko and Japoma Bakoko in Douala). The cost of the project will be spread out over three years, and is estimated at CFAF 53 billion, of which CFAF 6.908 billion is earmarked for (i) release of sites, (ii) topographic, urban planning, external works, geotechnical, geological, architectural and technical studies, (iii) procurement, and (iv) preparatory work for lot servicing and construction.

125. In the first half of 2006, MAETUR (the Urban and Rural Lands Development and Equipment Authority) improved 1,030 lots. It also began preparations for creating a small unit (essentially a real estate agency) to handle an experimental project for 300 dwellings in Nyom II (Yaoundé).

126. MAETUR’s work program for the second half of the year calls for completing work in the older housing tracts (Logbessou 1 in Douala, Limbé Extension-section 1 in Limbé, Buea tranche 2 and North Residential Lands in Buea).

Table 4:

MAETUR results in 2006

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Source: MAETUR

127. Crédit Foncier du Cameroun (CFC, a housing bank) provided loans totaling CFAF 6.5 billion in the first half of 2006, to private developers (2.4 billion), MAETUR (1.8 billion), BASIC (1.8 billion) and individuals (500 million). In September 2006, CFC launched a new product, known as “Foncier Solidarité”: associations and other organizations will sign contracts with CFC, and their members will then be able to obtain loans to purchase land and to construct or upgrade their dwelling, simply on the basis of the association’s endorsement.

128. In the first half of 2006, the Société Immobilière du Cameroun (SIC, Cameroon Housing Corporation) continued with its project to build 160 units in Mfandena. Housing projects in Yaoundé Hippodrome, MANGUIER/Bastos and NKOLONDOM are under study.

129. The Local Materials Promotion Agency (MIPROMALO) performed the following activities in the first half of 2006: (i) a material and construction pathology survey in the 10 provinces; (ii) a campaign to promote the use of clay tile bricks; (iii) quantitative and qualitative improvement of products in experimentation workshops; (iv) geological identification of clay deposits, prospecting, analysis and characterization of products; (v) research and development on local construction materials, alternative cement equipment and processing.

130. Urban sanitation. The Urban Community of Yaoundé has undertaken the work of cleaning out a number of drains, in particular those flowing into the Mingoua River at the site known as Messe des Officiers. The Yaoundé Sanitation Project (PADY) is under way with financing from the African Development Bank. It involves construction of the 25 km Mfoundi canal. An amount of CFAF 350 million has been budgeted for 2006 to rehabilitate the pumping station at the SIC’s Grand Messa housing tract. Although the work was delayed by redimensioning of the project, it has now begun. The estimated cost is CFAF 600 million.

131. The Urban Community of Douala has called for tenders to build 20 km of drains, with C2D financing. In the secondary towns, the Sanitation Master Plan (SDA) of the city of Maroua was prepared in 2004, but has yet to be launched because of lack of financing. Kousseri is currently seeking funding to prepare its SDA.

132. Urban streets. MINDUH had planned to rehabilitate and maintain some 120 km of streets in 17 cities, including Yaoundé and Douala, with financing from a variety of sources (government budget, HIPC, C2D and the Roads Fund). As of December 31, 2006, all the contracts had been awarded and most were underway, with completion scheduled for 2007. Nearly all of these works are designed to improve accessibility for underserved neighborhoods and to restructure the squatter settlements that are home to many poor people. Since last year, the World Bank has been financing a program to rehabilitate 23 km of primary roads in Douala (work under way), through a credit that has been entirely passed on by the government as a grant to the Urban Community of Douala.

3.4.2. Information and communication technologies

133. The strategic guidelines of the PRSP for the posts and telecommunications sector call for finalization of the P&T sector strategy, further promotion of community telecenters, strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for ICTs, and improving the capacity and quality of telecommunications infrastructure.

134. The telecommunications and ICT strategy paper has been prepared, validated and adopted by the government. The MTEF for the strategy has also been prepared. The latest version of the strategy for postal services has been submitted to MINPLAPDAT for comment before adoption, as well as a copy of the MTEF, for information.

135. Community telecenters. Some 30 multipurpose community telecenters (TCP) have been completed, a third of which are already operational. Other TCP are now being equipped and readied for operation with support from CAMTEL, the technical partner for the project. Construction work on 16 other centers programmed in 2006 is under way. “Postel community digital centers”, involving the installation of digital access points in post offices, are programmed for 2007 with financing from the Special Telecommunications Fund (FST).

136. Eight of the 14 fiber optic-linked output points along the Kribi-Doba pipeline have been activated, and the other six are scheduled for 2007. CAMTEL’s work on the Douala-Kribi fiber optic link (passing through Edéa) is completed and the link is operational. The feasibility studies for construction of the Yaoundé-Bafoussam FO link with a branch to Bamenda and the Ngangui-Ngaoundere link will be updated in 2007.

137. Consideration of the project to establish the Central Africa Trunk Network and the transatlantic network is also proceeding. The project will be evaluated by the international consulting firm AXIOM, to which the World Bank has awarded the technical and financial feasibility study. A feedback session with Axiom is scheduled for early March 2007 at N’djamena in Chad. MINPOSTEL has already validated the results of the survey conducted at the beginning of the year on ICT user and penetration rates in Cameroon.

138. Strengthening the regulatory framework. A draft law on cyber-security and cybercrime is now under discussion among the various ministries and agencies concerned. When it is completed, Cameroon will be in a better position to punish and combat electronic crime and to launch applications such as e-commerce and many other electronic transactions that MINPOSTEL is experimenting with.

139. Three draft regulations have been prepared and submitted for signature, relating to Decree 2005/441 of November 1, 2005 which sets conditions for the installation and use of telecommunications facilities in government offices. An interministerial committee has been established to control the consumption of telecom services by government employees, and this will facilitate establishment of an interministerial network and allow the government to realize great savings. The government has issued a call for expressions of interest to perform a technical and economic feasibility study for establishing a broadband interministerial network for 2007, thereby demonstrating its determination to modernize this sector.

140. CAMTEL is making satisfactory progress in deploying the local wireless loop using CDMA technology; all provincial capitals are now served. The “CT phone” system is being extended to all towns in Cameroon. Work is continuing on digitalizing certain central offices and trunk lines.

141. Mobile telephone operators (Orange and MTM) have been deploying their network to provide comprehensive nationwide coverage in accordance with the contractual specifications. Each of these operators has more than a million subscribers. Mobile telephony covers all the provincial and departmental capitals, urban districts and the larger villages of the country, as well as the major interurban roads. The available telephone numbers for mobile telephony are nearly exhausted, and studies are nearing completion for moving the national numbering plan from seven to eight digits.

142. In December 2006 a framework agreement was signed on the operation of telecommunications infrastructure in Cameroon, which should speed the process and ultimately help to reduce the costs of telephone calls and telecom services. The agreement covers existing facilities, and opens the possibility of pooling future infrastructure.

143. The Special Fund for Telecommunications has begun activities, and will speed the development of telecommunications and ICTs in Cameroon. The Fund has already selected the projects that it will help finance (with priority to the backbone, the telecenters, promotion and popularization of ICTs).

144. The law governing postal services in Cameroon was adopted in December 2006. It will rationalize this subsector and quantify its real contribution to the national economy and the country’s development.

3.4.3. Natural resource management

145. Drinking water. Work on a national water sector strategy continued in 2006, with validation of the diagnosis. Despite the lack of a sector strategy, access to drinking water has been improved through a number of programs such as “Rural Hydraulics II". With the stepped-up pace of the water programs, 60 water points were constructed or rehabilitated in 2006 under the PADC and FIMEX projects.

146. Mining research and exploitation. Regulations have been prepared and information seminars for operators have been scheduled, in support of the mining legislation reform, and an inventory of mining licenses has been compiled (8 small-scale mining licenses, 1 prospecting permit, 25 pre-mining research licenses, and 4 operating licenses).

147. Work continued on making the CAPAM (“Support Framework for Small-Scale Mining”) operational, with CFAF 4.5 billion in HIPC financing for 2005-2007. Twenty small-scale mining cooperatives (GICAMINES) have been created and registered, through which 1,000 miners have found sustained self-employment. Five of these cooperatives are in Bindiba, nine in Bétaré-Oya and six in Béke. The miners have been equipped with six motorbikes, 80 power pumps, and 100 washing tables and other materials. Extension services are provided, and site managers provide day-to-day coaching for the miners. Two “local site managers” are now working at each of the first three sites. The miners have received training in mineral prospecting, exploitation and product treatment, as well as in revenue management and the promotion of cooperatives.

148. Geological risk management. Work on the geological mapping of Mount Cameroon is nearing completion. As well, a geological observation mission has been conducted (report available) in the context of reinforcing the natural dam at Lake Nyos.

149. The system for degassing the Nyos and Monoum lakes remains in operation and presents no danger. Two new small-diameter pipe columns were constructed in Lake Nyos in July 2005 and are operational, as are those inserted in Lake Monoum in April 2006.

150. Energy access for all. During the first six months of 2006, PRSP activities in the energy and water sector pursued the following objectives: (i) develop and expand the rural electrification program; (ii) develop and make accessible other forms of energy (solar, wind etc.); (iii) increase access to modern energy sources for domestic cooking; and (iv) take steps to overcome the energy deficit.

151. Rural electrification. As of May 30, 2006, the 2006 rural electrification program financed from the government budget was at the consultation stage, and the HIPC-financed program was at the definition study stage. In the latter case, together with the studies, a draft execution plan is being prepared with experts from the HIPC advisory committee. The process of pre-qualifying firms to carry out the works has also begun.

152. The PANERP (Energy Plan of Action for Poverty Reduction) report was ratified by the government during the second half of 2006, and is now considered satisfactory by the World Bank. Efforts are now underway to secure financing and implement the components. A draft law on creation, organization and management of the PANERP has been proposed by the AER (Rural Electrification Board) and is under study.

153. Programs for electrification of 26 sites along the border with Nigeria, financed by Spain, and the electrification of 33 other rural localities with Islamic Development Bank funding are ready for imminent launch. For the latter program, the loan contract has already been signed.

154. Cooking fuel. Significant quantities of cooking gas are now available on the market, thus overcoming the chronic shortages of previous years. During the first six months of the year, an average of 4,000 tons of gas was marketed nationwide, of which 2,200 tons was produced locally by SONARA and 1,800 metric tons was imported. The new gas storage facility at Maroua has stabilized supply in this part of the country, which is exposed to desertification.

155. Measures to overcome the energy deficit include the following projects: the gas-fired power station at Kribi; the dam and reservoir at Lom Pangar; and the hydroelectric stations at Nachtigal, Memve’elé, and Colomines on the Kakey.

156. Work continued on making the CAPAM (“Support Framework for Small-Scale Mining”) operational, with CFAF 4.5 billion in HIPC financing for 2005-2007. Twenty small-scale mining cooperatives (GICAMINES) have been created and registered, through which 1,000 miners have found sustained self-employment. Five of these cooperatives are in Bindiba, nine in Bétaré-Oya and six in Béke.

157. The miners have been equipped with six motorbikes, 80 power pumps, and 100 washing tables and other materials. Extension services are provided, and site managers provide day-to-day coaching for the miners. Two “local site managers” are now working at each of the first three sites. The miners have received training in mineral prospecting, exploitation and product treatment, as well as in revenue management and the promotion of cooperatives.

158. A joint venture agreement was signed on October 14, 2003 between CAPAM and South African and Danish investors, giving birth to a joint venture company called Cameroon Mining Company (CAMINCO SA). CAPAM signed another joint venture agreement on January 13, 2006 with Korean investors, creating the Cameroon and Korea Mining Corporation (C&K Mining Inc.), which has a diamond exploration permit in the Mobilong area near Yokadouma.


159. The seventh regular session of the Conference of Heads of State of CEMAC Member Countries was held on March 14 and 15, 2006 at Bata in Equatorial Guinea. During the session, Heads of State discussed the audit reports they had commissioned at the special summit meeting of June 2005 in Malabo. Those audit reports highlight the obstacles to regional integration, relating both to the operation of institutions and to the growth of trade within the Community and the construction of the common market. Leaders also recognized that member countries have not asserted sufficient ownership over the integration process, and have failed to apply the Community standards that were adopted by consensus. To tackle these obstacles it was decided to create promptly a strategic committee to prepare and carry out a regional program of reforms, by March 2008.

Negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA)

The first phase of negotiations took place during 2005. The following issues were identified and debated: (i) sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), (ii) customs facilitation and border measures affecting trade, (iii) competition policy and other trade-related matters; (iv) trade in services and the investment framework; and (v) strengthening productive capacities.

The second phase of negotiations extended through 2006, and dealt with the structure of the agreement and the development and strengthening of productive capacities in Central Africa. A draft outline of the EPA is now under discussion. Some fundamental differences persist as to the concepts for strengthening capacities: for the European Union, capacity building is confined to market access and trade assistance issues, while for Central Africa there can be no EPA without strengthening the capacities and upgrading the economies of the region. The state of progress with the negotiations was to be assessed at the end of 2006.

The third phase of negotiations will run to December 2007 and will deal with market access, the schedule of tariff cuts, and the sectors to be liberalized.

160. Training. High-level training activities have begun at the regional training center for financial administrators in Libreville. The conference also decided to provide matching funds for rebuilding and rehabilitating the inter-state public health center of Central Africa in Brazzaville.

161. Community Integration Tax (TCI). Heads of State recognized the weak performance of the TCI, and instructed ministers of finance to enforce the corresponding provisions strictly. They also recommended that customs exemptions should be addressed promptly, so as to reach an equitable basis for contributions that would be fair to all countries. Finance ministers will need to clear up the current TCI arrears owed by national treasuries to the Central Bank.

162. On economic issues, the Heads of State ratified creation of a subregional committee on the thorny issue of cotton, and reaffirmed their commitment to work together and cooperate in the multilateral negotiations. A common organization was created to regulate the sugar market and to prevent fraudulent imports into the subregion. On the worrisome question of avian flu, a special budgetary allocation will be given to the CEBVIRHA (CEMAC’s Economic Commission on Cattle, Meat and Fish Resources) to establish an epidemiological surveillance network in the CEMAC zone.

163. Harmonization of agricultural policies within CMAC. At the current stage, draft legislation and action plans have been prepared. Negotiations have begun to establish reference laboratories, one to analyze the quality of pesticides and the other to analyze pesticide residues in agricultural products.

164. In this connection, MINEFI has been asked to seek funding from the European Union for a feasibility study of these laboratories. The EU has also supported the Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (CPI) in holding a meeting of experts to amend the regulations governing approvals. The meeting of ministers, convened by the CMAC Executive Secretary, was held in Douala in September 2005. There has been no significant forward movement in this matter since the beginning of 2006.

165. Important progress was also made in the establishment of a common market for sugar, with the adoption in July 2006 of an internal regulation governing the workings of the coordination committee and the monitoring of sugar policies.

166. Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union. With the pending move to a free trade zone in 2008, Cameroon has joined the negotiating process along with its CMAC partners. The government wants to ensure that the liberalization process will be conducted in such a way as to preserve the national productive apparatus, and it recognizes that firms will have to be strengthened and made more competitive in the current context of globalization.


2.6.1. Implementing the education strategy

167. A global strategy for the education sector was approved on June 6, 2006. This made Cameroon eligible, in September 2006, for financing under the G-8 “Fast-Track Initiative” for achieving Education for All (EFA).

168. To give greater visibility to their budget execution, the ministries in charge of education, with the exception of MINEFOP, have each prepared and adopted a 2007-2009 MTEF.

169. Funding for education in 2006 represented 15.1 percent of the government budget, or CFAF 280.2 billion, of which 17.5 billion was funded from HIPC resources. The funding is distributed as follows: 103.2 billion for basic education, 150.4 billion for secondary, and 24.6 billion for higher education. Grants to private education amounted to 4.5 billion for nursery, primary and secondary schools, while grants to state universities totaled 17.9 billion.

170. Nursery schools and primary education. The government has also given effect to its commitment to support the strengthening of the education system with an administrative provision that would help to reduce the repetition rate from 30 percent to below 10 percent in primary school. Decree 315/B1/1464/MINEDUB of February 21, 2006 established procedures for student promotions in primary school, and came into effect after a broad campaign of information for the local school authorities.

171. On a commitments basis, the Ministry of Basic Education has used up 90 percent of its operating budget, and 89.8 percent of its capital budget. Overall, the operating budget was used to:

  • Pay the salaries of temporary teachers until they have permanent contracts: CFAF 7,154,174,000.

  • Subsidize private primary education: CFAF 3 billion.

  • Supply the “basic kit” to public primary schools: CFAF 1,845,573,000.

  • Organize and conduct examinations and competitions: CFAF 700 million.

  • Cover the payroll for MINEDUB staff: CFAF 54,201,930,000.

  • Support professional development for teachers: CFAF 300 million.

172. Capital expenditure. In 2006 the Ministry of Basic Education financed some major infrastructure and logistics projects, including construction or renewal of 546 classrooms, 10 nursery schools, 5 regional offices, 10 local inspection units, 11 accommodation units for teachers, 6 normal schools, and the purchase of vehicles. The additional HIPC financing was used to construct 429 classrooms and equip them with desks and seats.

173. A number of studies were funded, for a total of CFAF 185 million, including those for the second phase of the school infrastructure and equipment audit, and the school location map. Counterpart funds from the 2006 government budget (CFAF 714,670,000) were earmarked for projects for which MINEDUB has received international funding (Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, the Japanese grant etc.): the construction of fences around schools, and connections to the AES-SONEL power company network.

174. The Japanese grant was used for the construction of 17 latrine blocks in 12 schools, and construction, furnishing and supplies for 150 new classrooms, for a cost of some CFAF 4.5 billion.

175. Recent achievements have included the strengthening of decentralized management, finalization of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and its use in preparing the 2007 budget, strengthening teacher training, and investments in school infrastructure (classrooms, fences, latrines, water wells).

176. A number of steps have been taken to address the critical shortage of teachers at the primary level. Personnel files have been purged and updated, management has been decentralized, and most importantly, large numbers of interim teachers have been given permanent contracts. In addition, the work now under way to update the school map will make it easier to track many other ongoing activities.

177. Secondary education. The budget execution rate for MINESEC to the end of 2006 was 95 percent. The budget was used to:

  • Increase the accessibility and improve the quality of education by promoting human resource development and pedagogical activities, including: (i) recruitment, coaching and assignment of 2,000 teachers graduating from the normal schools; (ii) hiring, through competition, of 99 interim teachers in technical education; (iii) refresher training for 3000 teachers, training courses and assignments for 2,500 classroom assistants and 6,000 teachers; training for 60 monitors, principals and inspectors in the Multimedia Resource Centers; (iv) supply of tamper-proof diplomas (BEPC, CAP and CAPIET), for a cost of CFAF 783,080,000; (v) a start on the restructuring of the secondary and normal school cycles; (vi) a start at professional development activities for teachers; (v) further development of ICTs in secondary education, with construction of three new multimedia resource centers in high schools, bringing their number to 17, with 999 workstations.

  • Expand the supply of education: CFAF 119 billion was devoted to the second area, for: (i) designing standard construction and rehabilitation plans for schools and decentralized administrative offices, and preparation of cost estimates for the works; (ii) construction of 270 classrooms, 7 specialized rooms, 20 teacher housing units, 16 sani-stations, 20 administrative units, 2 complete structures in areas ceded to Cameroon by Nigeria, 9 connections to the AES-SONEL network, 1 borehole, 3 connections to the SNEC network. As well, 62 vocational workshops have been built in secondary technical schools; (iii) rehabilitation of three specialized rooms, 300 regular classrooms, and 13 obsolete establishments, 29 offices at headquarters; (iv) workshops have been equipped with teaching materials for CFAF 1.1 billion, 60 classrooms with computer materials, provincial and departmental offices outfitted for CFAF 303 million, and desks and seats have been acquired for a total of CFAF 300 million.

  • Strengthen the institutional framework. Spending on this item amounted to CFAF 30.392 billion, and was used to: (i) implement the organization chart; (ii) step up the campaign against corruption in the schools; (iii) promote good governance; and (iv) strengthen planning and programming.

178. Higher education. To improve living conditions for students, recreational and cultural facilities have been constructed or rehabilitated. At the University of Ngaoundéré, two “mini- university cities”, a student center, an information technologies center and a social-medical center have been built. At Yaoundé II amphitheaters seating 1,000 and 1,500, respectively, have been built, a digital law campus and a UNESCO channel created for distance education in social governance and the rule of law.

179. At the beginning of the 2006/2007 university year, faculties of medicine and industrial engineering were established in the universities of Douala and Buéa, and an Advanced Teacher Training College at Maroua, while the one in Yaoundé was rehabilitated.

180. To reduce unemployment among recent graduates, the government has fostered a practical partnership between the universities and vocational circles in order to establish a closer match between education and employment opportunities. A start was made in 2006 at adapting the curriculum in order to enhance the quality and relevance of instruction.

181. Student aid was provided in the form of 268 bursaries totaling CFAF 402 million and payment of 240 million in arrears. With support from the World Bank and French cooperation, the PASE and COMETES projects were financed for a total of CFAF 600 million.

3.6.2. Implementation of the health strategy

182. The Government continued to implement its health strategy in 2006. Budget execution capacity was improved following reorganization of the technical unit for programming and monitoring the HIPC programs. This year also saw increased mobilization of external financing.

Disease control

183. The malaria program. Efforts to control this endemic disease have been boosted. Thus, 10,082 community health workers were trained in the impregnation of mosquito nets, and received a manual. 800,000 leaflets were printed and distributed during house visits. The distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to pregnant women is now part of the prenatal consultation process. Training for health workers in methods for preventing and treating simple and severe malaria has been reinforced.

184. Community and civil society partnerships have been established with 10 NGOs and associations at the provincial level, 160 NGOs and associations in health districts, and 1,549 NGOs and associations in health areas for raising community awareness.

185. Monotherapies are now being withdrawn from the market, and contracts have been signed to subsidize the new therapeutic combinations. Health facilities have been equipped with antimalarial drugs for free distribution to pregnant women. More than 238 members of health district teams have been trained in the new anti-malaria strategies, as well as 2,102 health workers, who have received 2,300 care manuals.

186. STD/AIDS. The objective of this program is to provide universal access to treatment for persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA). In 2006, decentralization took effect at the health district level. Drugs are distributed free to infected pregnant women and their newborns. 65 care units are now operating. Activities under the program to prevent mother-to-child transmission have been planned. ARV drug costs have been kept to CFAF 3,000 and 7,000 a month, while children and indigents are treated free of charge. 25,500 PLWAs are on ARV, including 1,001 children. 12,937,394 condoms have been distributed. The cost of quick tests has been lowered (CFAF 500), and biological monitoring examinations have been subsidized.

187. Tuberculosis. Rehabilitation work has been completed on 29 diagnosis and treatment centers, bringing their number to 197. 77 physicians, 96 nurses and 40 laboratory technicians have been trained in treating tuberculosis. A national communication plan is available.

188. Onchocerciasis (river blindness). Treatment activities have been stepped up in the historical hotspots (Fontem, Campo and Mamfé) with the distribution of Mectizan. Geographic and therapeutic coverage rates are now 75 percent and 95.5 percent, respectively. 1,365 health workers have been trained. The special meeting of APOC (African Program for Onchocerciasis Control) partners, covering 19 African countries, was held in Yaoundé; its program could be extended to 2015.

189. Schistosomiasis and intestinal parasites. The battle against intestinal worms has been stepped up in the schools. Nearly 20,000 nursery and primary school children, and 150,000 older students, have been treated to eliminate parasites. A parasitology survey was conducted in 40 schools; 10,000 information leaflets on schistosomiasis, 10,000 disinfestation guides, and 1,000 measuring tapes were distributed, and 2,000 posters have been produced to raise public awareness of the threat of helminthiasis.

190. Other communicable diseases, such as Buruli ulcers and sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis) are the subject of screening, awareness campaigns for target populations, and the distribution of drugs throughout the country. A WHO team has certified the eradication of Guinea worm.

191. Other non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, drepanocytosis, rheumatic afflictions and deafness are the subject of operational research, epidemiological surveillance, screening and treatment, as well as IEC (information, education and communication) and training activities.

Reproductive health

192. Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). This program was restructured last year at the central and provincial levels to give it more visibility, self-management and efficiency. EPI introduced a viral hepatitis B vaccine in 2005. Refrigerated storage and transport facilities have been reinforced for the delivery of vaccines. Combined “measles/impregnated mosquito nets” campaigns have been organized in the northern provinces. IEC manuals have also been produced. The routine coverage rate for DTP3 (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) is around 80 percent. A review of the EPI program covering the period 2001-2005 has been organized and GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) contracts have been signed with the health districts. A full multiyear plan for 2007-2011 has been prepared. Thanks to all these actions, there has been a clear improvement in vaccination coverage.

193. Under the health program for mothers, adolescents and the elderly, training modules have been prepared and adapted for family planning and prenatal consultation, and a local communicator model has been developed for obstetrical care. The comprehensive program for childhood diseases (PCIME) is now operational in four more health districts, bringing the total number to 17 districts. 16 physicians and 72 managers of comprehensive health centers have been trained. Emergency obstetrical and neonatal activities have been conducted in four provinces.

194. The prices of essential drugs, reagents and medical devices have been reduced by some 65 percent. CENAME (National Center for the Supply of Essential Drugs) is now an independent agency, with HIPC funding (300 million), and it has made drugs more affordable and available.

Health sector financing

195. Health insurance: a forum was held in February 2006, and a strategic plan prepared to introduce health insurance. Experiments with health insurance arrangements have been monitored in the field.

196. Partnership. The strategy was activated in 2006, and projects have been pursued with a number of United Nations agencies. Cameroon is eligible for the World Fund, GAVI funding, and C2D funds from AFD and is receiving considerable financial support for the treatment of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, and for immunization and strengthening of the health system. Support for maternal and child health comes from several partners: WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, PLAN Cameroun, GTZ, the European Union, Coopération Française, OPEC, the Islamic Development Bank ( IDB), the AfDB, the CTB, the Canadian fund, Japanese cooperation (JICA) and local NGOs and associations.

Improving the supply of health services

197. Program for the construction of 1,000 comprehensive health centers (2004-2009). HIPC-funded construction of 91 CSIs has continued; eight centers have received provisional acceptance, and the other 83 are under way. In terms of rehabilitating health facilities, 51,23 [sic] CMAs (local or district health centers) have been rebuilt, and 95 CSIs have been rehabilitated. The government has continued with the construction of accommodation for on- duty doctors (phase I); of the 25 units planned initially (2003), 20 were completed and accepted between 2005 and 2006. In addition, 108 official housing units are built or under construction; nine have already been accepted.

198. Hospital reform. Preliminary work has been done on the establishment of “centers of excellence”. Some health facilities have been audited (Yaoundé General Hospital). A draft organization scheme for health facilities in categories 2, 3 and 4 has been proposed.

199. Human resources. The Ministry of Public Health is in the process of recruiting 570 health workers, and a human resource development plan is being prepared.

200. Other aspects of improving the supply of health services. Two new health districts have been created, as well as a provincial hospital. 129 CSIs have been built; 90 percent of on-duty physician housing units have been built, and 96 percent of boreholes drilled. Inspections have been conducted in private health facilities, and 51 district hospitals, 23 CMAs, and 95 CSIs have been rehabilitated.

3.6.3. Employment and social security

201. To ensure protection and coverage for the greatest possible number, the Social Security system is being reformed in three aspects: extension of the social protection system to other occupational groups, improvement in existing services, and establishment of new facilities. To deal with rising unemployment, the National Employment Policy Paper is being prepared, as well as an employment program for youth, women and other disadvantaged groups.

202. The Integrated Project of Support for Workers in the Informal Economy (PIAASI) provided support for 1,000 promoters in 2006, and the FNE (National Employment Fund) has placed 6,480 jobseekers; 866 projects have been financed, and 1,364 people have found independent employment.

203. Improvements to the institutional framework have focused on finalizing the Code of Individuals and the Family, a draft of which is now under examination to harmonize it with the Child Protection Code and the Nationality Code. Other actions include strengthening mentoring capacities, specialized services, non-formal education for women and girls (particularly on HIV/AIDS) and income generating activities. Local self-help and family support initiatives have been encouraged: 35 projects have been financed with funding from UNFPA.

204. To protect socially disadvantaged children, campaigns have been conducted against stigmatization. 150 orphans and at-risk children have received birth certificates, and another 300 have been accepted in health and education facilities. Nearly 1,500 “street children” are being cared for in specialized institutions, and 500 girls have benefited from life-skills coaching.

205. National solidarity and the battle against social exclusion. Various forms of assistance are offered to indigents, including medical and financial aid to the handicapped, to people living with AIDS, and to the elderly.

3.6.4. Gender and family support

206. Special attention is being paid to reducing poverty among women and reinforcing women’s capacities. CFAF 900 million has been granted to women in the Extreme North province through the PREPAFEN program.

207. The “Project in support of poor women in centers for promotion of women and the family” has provided women with 36 computers, 43 sewing machines, 36 knitting machines, 18 embroidery machines, and a typewriter. PARFAR (Program to Improve Rural Household Incomes) has granted loans for a total of CFAF 6,726,000.

208. Under the program for “gender equity and equality”, designed to strengthen women’s capacities, 571 men and women have been enlisted, 64 trainers and 24 association leaders have been trained. To foster social cohesion, 100 families have been trained in parental education in Adamaoua Province.

3.6.5. Urban poverty

209. Consultations were held with stakeholders in the housing sector on preparation and adoption of the national housing strategy. More general consideration was also given to a new housing policy for Cameroon, which contains as an annex a program for 10,000 dwellings and 50,000 serviced lots. As a result of all this preparatory work, a pilot project has been undertaken to build 1,000 social housing units and to service 5,000 lots in the cities of Yaoundé and Douala. The cost of the project will be spread out over three years, and is estimated at CFAF 53 billion.

210. A study for a strategy to address urban poverty has been prepared for the donors’ roundtable. The World Bank is financing a number of studies that were begun in 2006, under the Urban Development and Water Supply Project.

211. In Yaoundé Nkomkana, the State has built a Social Reintegration Center for at-risk urban youth, on land made available by the municipal government of Yaoundé II. Supplementary financing from the 2005 budget paid for a security fence around the building. Budget funds for 2006 are equipping the Center. A site has been located in Foumban for space to exhibit artworks created by young artists in search of self-expression.


212. By the end of the year significant progress had been made in the area of governance. There are still some persistent weaknesses, however, relating to the consolidation of democracy, transparency and rigor in fiscal management, participation by nongovernmental stakeholders in the management of public affairs, improving the institutional framework for the business climate, reinforcing the decentralization process and local development, and combating corruption.

3.7.1. Consolidating the democratic system

213. Efforts to modernize the electoral system and improve the functioning of State structures have been front and center in the government’s activities. Five laws were adopted and promulgated. The laws of July 14, 2006, determining procedures for electing regional councilors and establishing conditions for the election of senators, are intended to round out the institutional provisions stipulated in the constitution of January 18, 1996. The laws of December 29, 2006, amending and supplementing provisions of the law of December 16, 1991 on the election of deputies to the National Assembly and the law amending and supplementing provisions of the law of 14 August on the election of municipal councilors, will relax the time limits for electoral operations and reduce the piggybacking of offices, thereby implementing various recommendations submitted by national and international observers. The law on the creation, organization and functioning of Election Cameroon (ELECAM) has established an independent institution that will oversee the entire electoral system.

214. The work of computerizing the electoral system proceeded at a faster pace, with the introduction of a national computerized election management center, equipped with satellite centers at the provincial and departmental levels. In time, this center will manage the voter registration list, and bring greater transparency and credibility to elections.

215. There have been a number of delays, however, in establishing the structures called for in the 1996 Constitution, and existing computer systems are inadequate to handle the electoral process. To remedy this weakness, the studies underway will be accelerated, the necessary legislation will be prepared, computer facilities will be upgraded, and personnel responsible for elections management will be trained, with support from the international community.

3.7.2. Management of public affairs: transparency, information and accountability

216. The principal steps taken involved further rationalization of the public expenditure cycle, strengthened management in the social sectors, the production and publication of statistical data, and information to the citizenry on the management of public affairs.

217. With a view to improving the quality and efficiency of public spending, the government conducted a survey tracking public expenditures and measuring user satisfaction in the education and health sectors. The survey laid the groundwork for an action plan that will require budget managers to communicate information to beneficiary groups on the investments planned and to produce a budget execution report at least annually. As well, work to establish information archives on fiscal management was pursued, in order to constitute financial and accounting documentation for the work of the Cour des Comptes (Audit Court).

218. Training continued for members of the public procurement commissions. The provisions of the 2006 budget law did much to limit the fragmentation of procurement orders. To assess the reliability and performance of the national procurement system, a series of indicators has been adopted, in cooperation with the World Bank. The 2006 budget exercise will be evaluated on the basis of those indicators.

219. In a further move to improve the quality of public expenditure, a physical inventory of staffing levels was performed and the payroll files were purged and updated. Initial results show that, at December 31, 2006, there were 102,756 civil servants, 6,034 contract workers, and 7,135 decision-making agents, for a total of 115,925 government employees. These figures demonstrate considerable progress in the control of staffing levels, starting with the payroll. The Integrated State Employee and Payroll Management System (SIGIPES) was installed in four pilot ministers, and new functionalities are being developed. Extension of the stabilized version to 11 other ministerial departments has begun.

Main activities for improving the institutional framework and governance.

  • Promulgation, dissemination and publication of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

  • Creation of the National Anticorruption Commission (CONAC).

  • Regular publication of the Treasury account balances.

  • Regular publication of information on oil production, prices and revenues to the public coffers.

  • Systematic publication of sanctions imposed on unscrupulous public officials.

  • Making the National Financial Intelligence Agency (ANIF) operational.

  • Adoption of a law governing the elections of regional councilors.

  • Adoption of a law creating Election Cameroon.

  • Computerization of the voter registry.

220. The government also subscribed to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In addition to setting up a Technical Secretariat for the Monitoring Committee and implementing the principles of the Initiative, the authorities also adopted a plan of action, prepared through a participatory process. That plan calls for the reconciliation of data on oil production and the publication of periodic reports, among other measures. The responsible officer has now collected the information and produced an interim report.

221. Measures to bring greater transparency to fiscal management also included audits and regular monitoring of public sector and quasi-public enterprises, public administrative establishments, accounting offices, and subsidized entities. In the forestry sector, measures are being taken concerning the allocation of forest operating licenses, combating illegal logging, and forestry development. A list of valid operating licenses and a list of companies facing legal and judicial action are published periodically in the media. A study on public access to information on government affairs has been conducted, and the provisional report is available.

3.7.3. Strengthening the rule of law and business security

222. A priority action plan to reform the judicial system is now being implemented. It involves three aspects: (i) reinforcing the independence of the judiciary; (ii) stepping up the drive against corruption in the justice system; and (ii) improving the enforcement of laws, court orders and penalties.

223. The Code of Criminal Procedure was promulgated at the beginning of the year and came into force on January 1, 2007. As a consequence, individual rights will be respected more thoroughly in legal proceedings, to avoid the many abuses that were denounced in the past. To ensure the effectiveness of this new legal instrument, an intensive publicity campaign was conducted in all 10 provinces, and it was carried to the departmental level between August 28 and September 22, 2006. Judicial and quasi-judicial personnel have received training in OHADA law, and court registrars have been trained in the use of computers. The legal arsenal in support of modernizing the judiciary has been reinforced with the laws of December 29, 2006 on judicial organization, on organization and functioning of the Supreme Court, and on the organization, powers and functioning of the regional audit tribunals.

224. These laws have clarified the responsibilities of judicial institutions, and the decentralization of the Audit Bench (Chambre des comptes). To achieve the objectives of speed and credibility in the context of the judicial reform now under way, however, will require effective implementation of the new structures and application of the stipulated measures. A start has been made at computerizing the judicial system, and the African Development Bank has provided 95 workstations this year. In addition, the budget for the justice sector has been increased for fiscal year 2006 in order to speed implementation of the action plan to reform the judiciary.

225. Considerable progress has been made in establishing the institutions called for in the Constitution of January 18, 1996. The Audit Bench is operational, and two provisional decisions have been handed down on the 2004 accounts of two ministerial departments. The court’s review of the accounts of the Ministries of Public Health, Basic Education, Public Works, and Economy and Finance is under way.

226. The principle of collegiality has been adopted in the appeals courts for commercial cases, and is being extended to the high courts of Yaoundé and Douala, as a move to strengthen the security of property. The law enforcement authorities have also conducted swift and targeted interventions to suppress violent crime.

3.7.4. The anticorruption drive

227. The drive against this scourge was stepped up in April 2003 with the establishment of several agencies and mechanisms. The institutional framework was overhauled with the creation of the National Anticorruption Commission (CONAC) on March 11, 2006, to replace the Corruption Observatory. To attack corruption at its roots, a course dealing with public morals, citizenship and the evils of corruption has been inscribed in the school and university curricula for the academic year 2006-2007.

228. The tools available for combating corruption have been reinforced with establishment of the National Financial Intelligence Agency (ANIF). A financially autonomous public body, it has the mandate (among others) to receive and process information and evidence in cases involving persons suspected of money laundering or the financing of terrorism, and to pass this on to the competent legal authorities.

229. The stepped-up drive against corruption has also led, through “Operation Dragnet”, to the initiation of legal proceedings against certain senior officials and public enterprises relating to their management of the institutions and funds in their care. Among those being pursued are the former Minister of Mines, Water and Energy, and the former general managers of Crédit foncier du Cameroun (CFC), the Société immobilière du Cameroun (SIC) and the Fonds d’équipement inter communal (FEICOM, a municipal facilities fund). In addition, several managers have been stripped of their functions for unscrupulous or illegal behavior, or for violating the professional code of ethics in the health, education, justice, rural development, finance and other sectors.

230. Institutional effectiveness has been further enhanced since the general reorganization of the ministries, through reinforcement of the powers of the inspectors general and the creation of reception, mail and liaison offices, which should reduce the points of contact between officials and the users of public services. Newly prepared administrative procedures manuals are improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public officials by introducing formal rules, while the user guides inform the public about the conditions to be fulfilled, the documentation to be supplied, the time limits for processing applications, applicable laws, and access procedures.

3.7.5. Decentralization and the promotion of local development

231. The decentralization process has been pursued since the promulgation in July 2004 of the decentralization laws. Training is being provided for all those involved in decentralization. The reform of FEICOM has been completed, the decree reorganizing its structure has been signed, and employees have been reassigned to the new positions that were determined during the restructuring studies. The law on the election of regional councilors was adopted by the National Assembly at its June 2006 session, marking a further step in establishing the institutions called for in the January 1996 Constitution.

232. The urban governance program has served to: (i) strengthen the capacities of central and local officials involved in formulating and implementing municipal poverty reduction strategies in 23 municipalities, (ii) develop local capacities to control urban crime in the cities of Yaoundé and Douala, and (iii) assist municipal councilors and officials in eight provinces to perform their roles in the decentralization and democratization process more effectively.

233. In March 2006, “city contracts” were signed between the central government and the cities of Douala and Yaoundé to speed up reconstruction work and to strengthen their economic role in promoting growth. Funding for renovation work in these two cities will come from several sources. In the case of Yaoundé, CFAF 24.7 billion is expected from the C2D agreement with France, between 2006 and 2009; 50 billion from the HIPC arrangement, and 20 billion from the ADP-financed Yaoundé sanitation project, for a total of 94.7 billion. The envelope earmarked for Douala amounts to CFAF 170.5 billion, of which 60 billion is expected from the HIPC arrangement for 2006-2009, 58.5 billion from C2D, and 52 billion from the Douala infrastructure project. The “city contract” is an innovation that demonstrates the government’s determination to pursue a contractual approach to decentralization of urban management that will empower local governments.


234. This assessment covers 2006 and consists of a presentation and an analysis of the available information and trends. As a result of this approach, which is limited by the lack of a new poverty profile, the focus of this fourth progress report has been on the main results of some far-reaching actions that could significantly influence the living conditions of the population, and on certain trends in living standards drawn from the new statistical surveys.


235. It is difficult to analyze trends in monetary poverty because there is no data source on household income. To address this issue, the examination of certain specific aspects—economic growth profile, civil service wages, some sources of income in rural areas—reveals some trends.

236. From a macroeconomic standpoint, changes in the growth rate have an impact on monetary poverty, first because this indicator is directly proportional to per capita income, and secondly because growth contributes to the reduction of this type of poverty. Therefore, a growth rate of 3.7 percent in 2004 would mean an increase of about 1 percent in per capita income, population pressure having absorbed 2.7 percent of that growth. Similarly, the growth rate of 2 percent in 2005 would correspond to negative growth in per capita income. In 2006, the expected real growth rate of 3.5 percent is attributable to the oil sector and will allow for a slight increase in per capita income over the 2005 level. In light of the fact that economic growth in recent years would not have contributed directly or significantly to monetary poverty reduction, a second-generation PRSP should consider measures for equitably sharing growth so that it make a better, albeit small, contribution to poverty reduction objectives.

237. In the civil service sector, trends in the wage bill and pensions have an effect on household final consumption. In 2004, the civil service paid CFAF 541.1 billion overall in emoluments, pensions, and the like. In 2005, these payments increased to CFAF 534.6 billion, namely a decrease of 1.2 percent attributable in particular to new hires, which were far fewer in 2005 than in 2004 (the year in which recruitment took place in the police force, education, and health). At December 31, 2006, these same payments1 (wages, other personnel expenses, emoluments (titres salariaux), and salary adjustments) are estimated at CFAF 504.4 billion, which represents a 5.6 percent decrease. The 2006 figures reflect the termination of a compensation payout operation that had lasted four years and reaffirms the downward trend of domestic demand.

238. Income trends in rural areas are closely tied to the performance of cash crops and the increase in the supply of food products. In the cotton sector, the production of cottonseed and cotton fiber declined in 2005 and should continue to do so in 2006 given the downward trend of producer prices in the 2004-2006 period, in tandem with world prices. Producers that do not use enough fertilizer and abandon their crops have lower incomes. As new plantations went into production, cacao output increased by 9.7 percent in 2005 and may increase by a further 7.6 percent in 2006. The operators remaining in the sector should see their earnings increase since output is expanding at a time when international prices are rising. Traditional palm oil producers recorded a 6-percent increase in production, which should continue in 2006 with the expansion of areas under crop that have begun to yield output. Stable domestic prices have enabled sector operators to increase their incomes. The situation in the coffee sector is characterized by a continued decline in production of both Arabica and Robusta. Outside the southwest, where yields exceed 400 kg per hectare, coffee producers find it difficult to earn ample incomes despite the steady rise in international prices since 2004.

239. In 2005, food production estimates were up 3.2 percent over 2004. This upward trend in quantities should continue in 2006. In both 2005 in 2006 the increased output of corn, rice, cassava, potatoes, plantains, tomatoes, onions, and groundnuts maintained a stable supply to the local and subregional markets. This increase, which is attributable to seed development programs and the development of certain sectors or the entry of new producers into others, is a source of monetary income and subsistence. The production of millet/sorghum decreased by about 14 percent in 2005, exposing the northern region to famine and forcing the government to resort to emergency food aid from PAM to save the population in these areas from the extreme poverty they were facing.


240. This analysis assumes that access to certain commodities is a reasonable reflection of the standard of living of households. Using that approach, changes in access to these goods and services by households is a strong indicator of a change in their standard of living.

4.2.1 Access to housing

241. There was a decline in access to housing, as measured by the rate of home ownership, which can be imputed to rapid urban sprawl, since access to home ownership in towns is more difficult than it is in the country.

Table 5.

Changes in access to housing

(in percent)

article image
Sources: Household surveys – ECAM II and EESI-INS

242. With respect to housing amenities, there has been an improvement in the materials and covering used for floors, walls, and roofs, but there were slightly fewer installations of flushing toilets and air conditioning in 2005 than there were in 2001.

243. In sum, though there has been an expansion of large construction projects, the same cannot be said of amenities, probably as a result of the current expenses these installations require (electricity and water rates are rising).

4.2.2 Access to water, power, gas and telephone service

244. The proportion of households with access to safe drinking water rose from 50 percent in 2001 to 53 percent in 2005. This represents an average improvement of one half of a percentage point per year. This slight increase is due, at least in part, to the increased number of boreholes in the northern region, as well as the construction of new wells financed with HIPC resources. To reach the government’s target of 71 percent access by 2015, the current rate, if confirmed, must rise to 1.8 percent per year. A sustained effort is therefore needed to provide new waterworks and to maintain all available networks.

Table 6.

Trends in the access of households to certain utilities

(in percent)

article image
Sources: Household surveys- ECAM II; EESI; MICSIII-INS

245. Over the period 2001-2005, the proportion of households using electricity for lighting increased. In 2005, just under 5 households out of 10 used electric lighting in urban areas, as opposed to 3.5 out of 10 in rural areas. This improvement continued in 2006, when there was a clear increase in the number of districts covered by networks run by established operators.

246. The use of gas as a cooking fuel makes it a commodity consumed almost exclusively by urban households. Over the period 2001-2005, despite regular hikes in the price of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), its use by households is constantly increasing. The upward trend in access to domestic gas has also been driven by the improvement in 2005 of its supply to Extrème-Nord province, where a gas bottling company was opened.

247. The diversification of telephony products has created a new market structure. While there has been no change in the rate of access of households to land lines, access to mobile telephones has skyrocketed from 7.6 percent in 2001 to 30.2 percent in 2005. These access rates for households masks the real rates for individuals; the number of mobile telephone subscribers per household is at least two in urban areas and many individuals have multiple subscriptions. In 2006, CAMTEL launched its very competitive City Phone product, which clearly boosted demand.

4.2.3 Households equipped with consumer durables

248. Changes in the consumer durables acquired by households is assumed to reflect their standard of living over the period under consideration. Upon review of the two data sources, the ECAM II and the EESI, it appears that overall, households have improved their consumer durables.

249. Over the period 2001-2005, there has been an increase in access to bicycles, motorcycles, and vehicles, reflecting the importance that households place on transport in the management of their budgets, especially in a context where urban mass transport is scarce. Similarly, with regard to household consumer durables, the rate of ownership of radios, television sets, fans, and gas heaters between 2001 and 2005 has increased for these four goods, which appear to be the ones placed at the top of the priority list by the majority of households.

250. There has been a greater increase in acquisitions of televisions than of radios, proving that the liberalization of the audiovisual sector has created a short-lived fad in favor of television instead of radio. 2006 world cup football certainly had a favorable impact on television ownership, particularly since it coincided with a decline in digital cable prices.

Table 7.

Changes in the rate of access of households to certain durables

(in percent)

article image
Sources: Household surveys- ECAM I; ECAM II; EESI- INS

251. Overall, access to gas cookers, refrigerators and freezers is decreasing. The decline in access to gas cookers and the increase in access to cooking gas by households confirms that these households are making greater use of gas heaters, which are a perfect substitute for gas cookers. Once again, this is evidence of a shift in the behavior of households with inadequate purchasing power. The downward trend in the access of households to refrigerators and freezers would not be not only a means of avoiding current expenses, especially at a time when electricity rates are rising, but could also be partially explained by the shrinking size of households, since these smaller households do not seek the economies of scale associated with the possession of these goods.

4.2.4 Status of urban poverty

252. Urban poverty affects some 2 million persons, concentrated mainly in large towns. Monetary poverty is even more acute in these areas, relative to the other dimensions of the population’s living standards, correlated with its income levels. Indeed, close to half the households in Yaoundé and Douala are not directly connected to electricity and three quarters do not have individual access to safe water. The densely populated neuralgic districts and cramped living spaces have a multiplicity of effects on the level of basic public health infrastructure.

253. The absence of a collective sanitation system for waste water and rain water in these districts results in the spread of a number of diseases, such as malaria, intestinal diseases, and by the emergence of a few hotbeds of cholera in 2004 and 2005. With respect to meeting basic needs, food insecurity is greater in urban areas affecting close to 92 percent of the poor. This is compounded by the growing incidence of insecurity and delinquency involving increasingly younger children.

254. Urban sprawl has accelerated during the past 20 years, with an average growth rate of between 6 and 7 percent, together with a decline in urban public investment. This has a real impact on the immediate environment of the population and on the demand for jobs. One of the repercussions is the development of at-risk inner city communities (especially in Yaoundé and Douala) and the proliferation of informal activities, all which are a refuge for the underprivileged.

255. In Yaoundé and Douala, the poor live in at-risk areas that are unfit for habitation. Over 60 percent of the urbanized areas of these two big cities is flood-prone. Housing is mostly makeshift, built with discarded materials. Three-quarters of the districts in Yaoundé comprise unplanned housing. Basic services, such as garbage collection and sanitation are inadequate. The assessment of 23 towns2 has shown that poverty is reflected mainly in:

  • scarce opportunities for employment and income generation since the environment is not conducive to the development of income generating activities and jobs for the poor;

  • lack of control over the development of the urban fabric by the municipal authorities: the lack of master plans for urban development in most towns results in anarchic population settlements, including on state lands and/or in at-risk areas. Over 80 percent of urban lands are not registered, yet they are occupied without control;

  • very little access to basic urban services: less than 40 percent of households are connected to safe water systems and more than 85 percent of the urban population uses individual sanitation systems, with all the pollution risks they entail. This is compounded by the absence of lighting in public areas in most towns;

  • an increase in insecurity and hazards, including depravity in the form of sexual abuse, of minors in particular, and abuse of all kinds (prostitution, pimping, drug use, etc.); urban violence (mugging, witchcraft, beatings, rape, burglary, etc.); increases in the number of street children and the mentally ill. Furthermore, handicapped and elderly people have no spaces or equipment designed for them.

256. The level of unemployment is another major characteristic of urban poverty. In 2005, the unemployment rate, as defined by the ILO, was 4.4 percent, namely 10.7 percent in urban areas and 1.7 percent in rural areas. In broader terms, the unemployment rate, which is calculated to include discouraged job seekers who are included in the inactive population, stands at 6.2 percent- -14.1 percent urban and 2.7 percent rural. The broader unemployment rate estimated by the EESI3 in 2005 was 17.9 percent in Yaoundé and 16.0 percent in Douala.

257. In 2005, the urban informal sector was bursting at the seams with informal production units, in which 50 percent of the operators earned a monthly income equal to or less than CFAF 22,000, in other words, less than the minimum wage (SMIG). This leads to a very hazardous situation in this sector of refuge, where youth and graduates struggle to survive.

4.3 BENEFICIARy Evaluation

258. This assessment is conducted at the time of the PRSP participatory evaluation reviews, the third of which was held in July 2006. The results of this latest review are a good reflection of the beneficiary assessment.

259. Within the framework of this review, the information from the representative sample of Cameroon’s 10 provinces shows that 47 percent know about the BIP project log and 67 percent are familiar with the development and poverty reduction projects in their area that are not under the BIP. In addition, 35 percent state that they are well informed of the ongoing projects in their area.

260. Efforts by the authorities to post the BIP project log in the communes and the different awareness campaigns in the first two participatory evaluation reviews of the PRSP have certainly contributed to these results, which should be consolidated.

261. The 171 beneficiary representatives in July 2006 have knowledge of 918 projects and the municipal judges are familiar with more than 60 percent of them. Among the 918 projects, 34 percent are considered to be very well executed while 27 percent are deemed to be merely passable. If these projects are executed, 48.5 percent of them are expected to have a vital impact on poverty reduction, as opposed to 20 percent, which would contribute only marginally to the improvement of living conditions.

262. Analysis by area shows that 70 percent of beneficiary representatives think that school infrastructures have improved. By contrast, 56 percent believe that road infrastructure has deteriorated and 62 percent find that health infrastructure has improved. Fifty-nine percent of those interviewed thought that the conditions of access to electricity had worsened, However, 58 percent of interviewees thought that conditions of access to safe water had improved. In more general terms, and as a result of the preceding findings, the majority, namely a little more than 50 percent, thinks that living conditions have deteriorated, as opposed to 31 percent who consider them to have improved. The general opinion is that public services have become more accessible, which means that the assessments of the various areas covered a number of parameters, including cost, quality, and many others.

263. Of the sample of 171 persons interviewed, 23 percent deplore the fact that the local authorities do not take part in the project monitoring process. Similarly, 17 percent complain that execution deadlines are not observed, while 8 percent question the relevance of the projects chosen. It is this lack of relevance and the poor quality of some of the work delivered that accounts for the weak impact of these projects on the improvement of beneficiaries’ living conditions. Interviewees made the following recommendations for overcoming these obstacles:

  • Improvement in the quality of project execution by: (i) involving local elected officials in the monitoring and implementation of development actions, (ii) strengthening controls over procurement contracts, and (iii) including local elected officials and members of parliament in procurement committees in their respective localities;

  • continued social dialogue and improved governance and living conditions of the population through: (i) an improvement in the dialogue with local partners in the participatory process, (ii) better communication on the PRSP to improve familiarity with the document, (iii) intensification of the fight against corruption, (iv) prior public information on the projects to be carried out in their localities, and (v) better communication on ongoing projects;

  • promotion of public access to means of production, by: (i) developing agriculture, (ii) stepping up actions to create income generating activities; and (iii) establishing frameworks for SMEs and microenterprises;

  • accelerated computerization of local authorities by: (i) implementing decentralization through the actual transfer of skills to the communes, (ii) establishing measures to make the local authorities effectively autonomous, particularly with respect to finance, and (iii) supporting local authorities with a view to preparing sectoral development plans.

264. Measures to be implemented to improve the living conditions of the public have also been assessed by the participants in the third PRSP review, who think that despite major advances, there are still problems with funding and sustaining the actions carried out, particularly in the productive, infrastructure and governance sectors. The gains in the productive sector have been limited by: (i) problems of access to factors of production (credit, suitable agricultural equipment, access to land), (ii) problems with the functioning of the process of disseminating agricultural research products, (iii) agro-pastoral conflicts, (iv) deterioration of pasture land, (v) insufficient and unsuitable microfinance institutions, and (vi) high cost of agricultural inputs and energy.

265. Regarding the infrastructure sector, participants in review work stressed in particular the problems related to the negative effects of delays in performance on government contracts, owing in particular to the lack of professionalism of the persons awarded those contracts.

266. The social sector is always characterized by inadequate resource allocation compared with the sector’s ever-growing needs. Constraints in the governance sector relate in particular to: (i) the laxism sometimes observed in the application of procurement regulations, (ii) the problems posed by the implementation of projects in the provinces that are centrally managed, with the resulting consequences of ineffective programming and guesswork in their monitoring, (iii) failure of the procurement committees to master the data in the various technical proposals, and (iv) lack of mastery by all the development stakeholders at the local level of the HIPC funds management manual.


267. Since April 2003, PRSP implementation and has led to important gains, notably more coherent government action and the inclusion of strategic programming and planning tools for administrative management, such as the sectoral medium term expenditure frameworks (MTEFs), on the basis of which human, material, and financial resources can be used more efficiently and effectively. However, some factors still limit better implementation of the strategy and lessen its potential impact.


268. The preparation and implementation of sectoral strategies is the response to the government’s new approach to public affairs management based on results and planning by objectives. These sectoral strategies are the launching pad for planning and key tools for preparing more efficient government resource allocation. Drafting work has been under way since 2003 in keeping with: (i) the methodological blueprint prepared in 2002 and revised in October 2006, (ii) a participatory approach through steering committees, and (ii) the guidelines given in the PRSP and the MDGs.

269. 2005 saw the end of the process of preparing the Rural Sector Development Strategy Paper (DSDSR) and the Social Development Sectoral Strategy (SSDS). In 2006, work on the education sector yielded an Education Sector Strategy Paper (SSE) encompassing MINEDUB, MINESEC, MINESUP, and MINEFOP and giving the sector a more coherent image with greater operational integration. Despite the progress, three key sectors still have no sectoral strategies, namely: (i) infrastructure, (ii) industry and services, and (iii) general, economic and financial administration.

270. The results for the ministerial strategies are quite similar. Very few ministries had completed the process. In 2006, MINJUSTICE, MINATD, MINDUH, MINPOSTEL, and MINRESI made progress in their respective areas. In the energy ministry, work has been under way since 2005 yet results are still partial and apply mainly to the master plan for the development of the means of production and transmission of electrical energy, and the National Energy Action Plan for Poverty Reduction (PANERP), which have already been validated. Some strategies prepared before the government reorganization of December 8, 2004 are being reread, particularly those relating to industry.

271. To have a complete frame of reference for its medium-term actions, the government needs all these sectoral strategies. Therefore their drafting or updating is a priority for identifying critical action to be taken under the PRSP that is currently being revised.

272. The results obtained show that the completed strategies should be revisited so that they can be better used in the revision of the second-generation PRSP, which is intended to be a true national growth and poverty reduction strategy. Grounded in a Results-based Management (RBM) approach, this version of the PRSP must contain the most pertinent programs and projects drawn from the available sectoral and ministerial strategies. It should be noted that the programs and projects formulated in the strategy documents are usually only ideas that have not been subject to pre-feasibility studies, far less feasibility studies. Therefore, the general objective of the rereading is to make each strategy document available to contribute to the improvement of the PRSP as it is being revised. These documents need to be revisited to improve their readability and to identify the most pertinent aspects that should be reflected in the second-generation PRSP. The specific objectives are as follows:

  • revisit each available strategy to make it more suitable as an input for improving the relevant areas of the PRSP;

  • make the sectoral or ministerial strategy coherent with the national vision for development set out in the PRSP and the MDGs;

  • facilitate operationalization of the strategy (completed and validated or in progress) and provide a list of priority programs and projects for the sector, including an indication of scheduling, entities involved in project execution, donors and lenders, and indicators for monitoring results.

273. Since 2005, the government has been making efforts to develop medium-term expenditure frameworks (MTEFs) for the sectors with available ministerial strategies. This work will be extended to other sectors once they have prepared their strategies. Discussions on the central MTEF to control the level of fiscal resources over three years and to allocate these resources to different ministerial departments were started in 2006. A joint MINEFI-MINPLAPDAT draft circular targeting greater coherence between the PRSP and the government budget was prepared. As the draft has not yet been validated by the higher authorities, very little of it has been taken into account in the 2007 budget.


274. Rural sector. The major constraints which have so far held up attainment of the sectoral objectives can be grouped into two categories. On the institutional front, there has been a weak functional link and poor complimentarity between the project/programs and the traditional MINADER units responsible for the issues being tackled; an instrument for the implementation of projects and programs not clarified; lack of financial and technical resources on the part of the private support organizations for assuming the rural population support functions, and few measures to boost their capacities when projects are being prepared; implementation of conflicting approaches to intervention in the same areas and for the same targets, which is the cause of the destabilization of the emerging producer organizations; cumbersome procedures for selecting support structures and getting them under way; little knowledge of the PRSP and the SDSR on the part of a number of public and private players.

275. As regards the financing of actions, the constraints relate to the procedures for releasing funds being unsuited to the swiftness demanded by the implementation of the projects and the rigidity of the agricultural calendar, considerable delays between the entry into force of the loan/credit agreements and the first disbursement (approximately one year), insufficient appropriations for the budget lines reserved for counterpart funds; low utilization of external resources owing to cumbersome procedures and extremely long delivery times, inadequate/inappropriate procurement procedures for the purchase of agricultural inputs that are essentially perishable, and the nature of the economic operators concerned.

276. The removal of those constraints is not particularly a matter for the agricultural sector. Envisaged solutions have been funded in the context of finalization of the SDSR at MINADER. The solutions relate mainly to: (i) analysis of the involvement capacities of players so as to take account of their strengths and weaknesses in the preparation and implementation of programs and projects; (ii) clarification of the roles of the stakeholders when preparing the procedural and implementation manuals; (iii) the contribution to implementation of the recommendations of the Paris Declaration of March 2005 on improving the efficiency of development assistance; (iv) improvement of the structure of the public capital budget and of the level of allocation for counterpart funds and structural investment; and (v) greater ownership of the SDSR on the part of the main players.

277. The resumption of negotiations with a view to tailoring the utilization of resources from debt relief more closely to the specific circumstances of agricultural produce.

278. Energy. The difficulties encountered include, in order of priority, poor human competences and limited resources available for the administration, monitoring, and successful completion of important MINEE dossiers and projects.

279. The human competence problem is due to the freeze on recruitments in the civil service combined with the departure of many members of the professional staff, either to start their retirement or to seek more financially rewarding jobs. Thus, thanks to keeping a retirement age at 50 and 55 for the majority of staff, the civil service is gradually becoming depleted without having a real renewal mechanism. As for the limited resources, it is reflected in lack of access to modern equipment for work (low-level of computerization of services and lack of Internet, software applications, and vehicles for missions), and the low level of operating appropriations allocated to the MINEE, which is far lower than needed for it to properly fulfill its missions.

280. The solutions to these difficulties require an upward revision of the retirement age, the resumption of recruitment and training programs for new recruits, as well as special courses to retrain staff already on active duty. An increase in budget appropriations is needed to support an improvement in performance.

281. Urban development. The implementation of the activities listed above has encountered difficulties that should be underlined, namely: (i) the low-level of budget resources which does not allow the implementation of high-impact projects; (ii) the slow carrying out of works sometimes caused by the smallness of the stock of civil engineering equipment; (iii) the failure to master procurement procedures on the part of entrepreneurs; (iv) the fact that workers have abandoned some work sites to go and work in the fields (low-skilled workers); (v) the chaotic establishment of the network of concessionaires (PTT, SNEC, SONEL), combined with poor collaboration between them and the companies entrusted with the works, has often led to lengthy work stoppages; and (vi) the slow start made on the road maintenance campaign, the abandonment of certain projects by presumably insolvent entrepreneurs, and the cancellation of some programmed projects.

282. As regards the preparation and implementation of the urban development strategy, the main difficulty encountered is the lack of statistical data on the urban and housing sectors. The available data are, for the most part, highly aggregated, and unfortunately do not provide sufficient information about the quality of life of the people living in the districts concerned. The lack of statistics on the urban sector is the main reason for the delays in carrying out the study.

283. To meet the challenges facing the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, its budget needs to be increased gradually on the basis of the amenities-to-inhabitant ratio. Moreover, measures need to be taken to encourage an improvement in the stock of civil engineering equipment and to promote support for SMEs through training, with a view to helping to make these partners become more efficient.

284. Despite these difficulties, the actions taken are gradually helping to achieve the specific objectives of the urban sector, set by the PRSP for 2006, even if there is still a need to close the gap between what has actually been achieved and what has been planned. The Cameroonian government is determined to redouble its efforts to further reduce urban poverty.

285. Construction and public works. The following combination of limiting factors has hindered progress on actions in the construction sector: (i) the lack of logistical resources for monitoring projects; (ii) the persistent lack of civil engineering equipment on the local market, which is a serious obstacle to meeting the campaign objectives, the current difficulties of MATGENIE only exacerbate this already highly fraught situation; (iii) delays in payment of bills, particularly for BIP financing; (iv) delays in awarding contracts, which are still not completely under control; (v) the late start made on road works related to the delay in actual implementation of the “new measures”; (vi) the early heavy rains in the south of the country; and (vii) the studies financed by the BIP are experiencing serious payment problems, which extend their provisional completion dates and consequently delay the start of the works themselves.

286. The following measures are being taken to resolve some of the problems: (i) rigorous management of the dry season by the various players in the field; (ii) strict monitoring of the SMEs and companies for the major road works in the light of the directives and various implementation schedules for the projects; (iii) the adoption and implementation of the recommendations of the specific audits and of the Road Maintenance Internal Audit Mission (MAIER), financed by the European Union; (iv) the validation of the jointly financed projects and the Yaoundé-Soa road by the Advisory Committee on the Monitoring and Management of HIPC resources at its meeting of June 9, 2006 allowed the projects to be speeded up and consequently successful performance of the road map; and (v) the cancellation of certain works contracts and the conclusion of works supervision contracts relating to year 3 of the HIPC on rural roads, so as to initiate a procedure to award contracts directly to efficient companies.

287. Health. The constraints faced are the difficulties encountered in finding the financial and technical resources necessary to cover the operating expenses of programs. There is also a shortage of personnel in general and in a number of specialties in particular. The infrastructures remain inadequately equipped to a greater or lesser extent. There is poor coordination between the different programs.

288. It is planned to strengthen the monitoring/evaluation system at all levels of the health system, to improve the work environment of program managers, to step up the public information campaign about EPI, STIs/AIDS, make the supply of medicines more regular, and open new health facilities. External financing will supplement national resources under the SWAP-health, to guarantee the success of all these programs. Obviously, an improvement in the availability of financing remains a key element for the success of these programs.

289. The reform of the judicial system faces constraints related to: (i) the modest resources available to the Ministry of Justice; (ii) the establishment of quarterly quotas; (iii) difficulties in executing the budget; (i) difficulties in settling companies’ bills.

290. In fact, the establishment of quarterly quotas slows down execution of the budget. Moreover, the late approval of the budget and commitment-based management when it would be better to have advance-based management constitute an obstacle to the implementation of many of the department’s priority actions.

291. The following steps should be taken to resolve those problems: (i) increase the budget allocation for the Ministry of Justice to at least 1 percent of the national budget; place special emphasis on the capital budget for rehabilitation and construction of courts and prisons; (ii) remove the implementation quotas at least as regards execution of the capital budget; (iii) pay the bills of entrepreneurs; (iv) facilitate disbursement of the appropriations earmarked for supervisory missions and the functioning of the committees and commissions set up, and do so using the system of cash advances.


292. Since its adoption in April 2003, the PRSP has, overall, been executed in a satisfactory manner with the effective implementation of the majority of actions in the action matrix. However, rates of progress have been uneven. Thus, the social sectors (education and health), where the sectoral strategies were available when the PRSP was prepared, have progressed more rapidly whereas others (infrastructure and production) have taken longer to establish their planning and programming instruments.

293. Consequently, the average annual growth rate of 5 percent between 2003 and 2006 projected by the PRSP was considerably lower over this period at around 3.5 percent. This represents a 1.5 percentage point loss each year, for four years, of average per capita income. That trend, which could compromise attainment of the main objectives of the strategy, must be reversed by proactive action to revive growth. The choice of methods for carrying out this action requires a fresh look at all the aspects of the strategy.

294. That is main reason for the review of the PRSP. The review has been conceived as a two- stage process, the first of which gave rise, in June 2005, to an interim document, a compendium of the strategic guidelines in the various sectors with or without a formally validated strategy. The second stage will deepen the strategic analysis and programming of actions; it should lead to a so- called second generation PRSP that meets the following concerns:

  • the need to strengthen the PRSP as a Reference Framework for the Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (CSDLP) of Cameroon, and as an operational framework for the implementation of the President’s Great Ambitions, Cameroon’s progress toward the MDGs, and for structuring the support of the development partners;

  • the need to refine/enrich the strategic framework and to make it more coherent with the sectoral strategies (including the incorporation of the sectoral strategies that have been prepared since the adoption of the first edition of the PRSP) so as maximize complementarity and hence the effect of growth and poverty reduction of all the policies of the strategic framework;

  • the imperative to strengthen the business framework and accelerate structural reforms in order to speed up diversification and growth: improved governance, upgrading of companies to make them more competitive, etc.;

  • the imperative for the government to extend its new result-based strategic planning/management approach (GAR) to all sectors by: (i) preparing strategies with well defined objectives, programs, and projects and reviewing them annually; (ii) extending the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) to guide the allocation of budgets among ministries and within ministries in line with the priorities of the strategies; and (iii) strengthening the statistical and institutional monitoring/evaluation system within ministries and at the central level, including the preparation of an annual progress report on the implementation of the sectoral strategies.

295. Major analytical work under way or already completed will facilitate preparation of this new generation of PRSP. The analyses in question are: (i) new surveys on living conditions of households; (ii) numerous studies on the competitiveness of sectors and sources of growth; and development of macroeconomic and budget guideline tools (strengthening of the macroeconomic simulation model, development of the central MTEF and the sectoral MTEFs for education (MINEDUB, MINESEC, MINESUP), health, construction, and the rural sector (MINADER, MINERPIA, MINEFOR); (iii) new discussions on regional planning and on regional and local development.


The source of these data is the fiscal indicator table (tableau de bord des finances publiques).


National urban poverty reduction strategy – UN Habitat, January 2005.


EESI = Enquête sur l’Emploi et le Secteur Informel (Survey on Employment and the Informal Sector), conducted by the National Statistics Institute in 2005

Cameroon: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper-Progress Report
Author: International Monetary Fund