GIZ and its predecessor organisations have been operating in Cameroon for more than 45 years. At present, 24 development workers and 213 Cameroonian and German experts are working for us in Cameroon. Cameroon has the seventh largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and is rich in natural resources and minerals. It has been largely free from domestic and external conflicts for generations. Nonetheless, Cameroonian society faces major challenges. Widespread corruption and the resulting unfavourable conditions for investment mean that much of its development potential is going untapped. Out of the eight Millennium Development Goals, Cameroon is making a small amount of progress towards meeting the targets on poverty reduction, primary education and gender equality, and the spread of HIV has not worsened. In 2007/2009, the Government of Cameroon set out its ambitions in its Vision 2035, which aspires to make Cameroon an emerging economy by 2035. This formed the basis for a Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP), which replaced the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. The Government currently attaches great importance to infrastructural and economic development. However, ‘upstream’ sectors such as legal certainty and good governance, which are the prerequisites for these processes, are not elaborated in any detail in the GESP. GIZ is engaged in three priority areas of cooperation with Cameroon: Environmental and forest policy Governance and decentralisation Health and HIV Regional programmes focusing on the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, the All Africa Ministerial Conference on Decentralization and Local Development, and business development in the cocoa sector are also supported from Cameroon. Environmental and forest policy: Cameroon accounts for a substantial proportion of the Congo Basin, the world’s second largest tropical forest area. In all, half of Cameroon’s land area is forested. Timber is the country’s main export product alongside oil and cocoa. At present, only a small percentage of Cameroon’s timber comes from sustainably managed sources. The signing of the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement between Cameroon and the European Union in 2011, which aims to ensure traceability of Cameroon’s timber exports, is seen as a major step forward. GIZ’s forest policy advice played a significant role in bringing about this Agreement. Health and HIV: Health care, particularly for rural communities, women and the poor, is quite inadequate. On the basis of Cameroon’s Health Sector Strategy, we are promoting financial access to health care. We are also engaged in programmes to control HIV and tuberculosis and improve reproductive health, and are working to improve health care service provision. Governance and decentralisation: Cameroon is making progress with decentralisation and the transfer of competences to the municipalities. This must now be followed by the decentralisation of the requisite financial resources. In rural regions in particular, the municipalities still have a long way to go before they will be in a position to provide infrastructural and social services. We are contributing to capacity building at the municipal level and are strengthening civil society organisations and their role in public service provision. Drawing on our experience at this level, we are also advising ministries and associations on political processes relating to decentralisation. Visiter le site de la Coopération Allemande GIZ www.giz .de
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