Cameroon

Cameroon is at the crossroads of West Africa and Central Africa and has considerable natural and human resources. With over 50 years of partnership, multifaceted operations and a wide range of tools, AFD is supporting Cameroon’s development.
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AFD and Cameroon: boosting growth and improving governance
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Boosting growth in rural areas

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Boosting growth in rural areas

Cameroon has rich agricultural land and abundant biodiversity. The country has substantial manpower, but it is insufficiently employed, and there are persistent disparities between cities and rural areas.
AFD is boosting these territories by:

  • Assisting local authorities with the implementation of their development plans and the concerted management of rural areas. For example, it is financing the National Participatory Development Program, which is supporting the implementation of microprojects in 360 municipalities (schools, water points, abattoirs, rural roads, etc.), in particular via the high labor-intensive approach.
  • Strengthening family farms, which account for 80% of production and 60% of employment in the country. It involves modernizing farming and management techniques through the training and integration of young farmers, advice and financing. 
  • Developing community-based social services (primary education, health), such as those provided by the Cameroon Baptist Convention or health centers which are part of the health voucher scheme. 
  • Financing road infrastructure, such as the Batchenga-Ntui road, which opens up the regions it crosses through.

Supporting companies

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Supporting companies

Cameroon’s economy is dominated by the informal sector. To boost growth, it is essential to create skilled jobs and improve business productivity.

AFD supports the private sector to:

  • Modernize industrial enterprises and professionalize small artisanal businesses, by introducing service vouchers and providing training; 
  • Facilitate their access to financing, particularly in the agriculture sector, in partnership with local banks (SUNREF program and ARIZ guarantee);
  • Strengthen vocational training to adapt skills to business needs and promote women’s employment, particularly via support to Sectoral Vocational Training Centers. 

Furthermore, business competitiveness is weakened by energy difficulties: indeed, a third of the country’s electricity comes from generators… It is for this reason that AFD is supporting Cameroon’s energy transition by focusing on its substantial hydropower potential: for example, we are financing the construction of infrastructure in the Sanaga basin and in the East region (Lom Pangar Dam). 

Rethinking the city

Cameroun, truck, works

Rethinking the city

Over 53% of Cameroonians live in urban areas. This trend is gathering pace. The Government is addressing rapid urbanization by conducting an active investment policy in Yaoundé and Douala, and in secondary cities (Bertoua, Bafoussam, Garoua and soon Bamenda and Maroua).

To sustainably develop these cities and increase their attractiveness, AFD finances:

  • Transport infrastructure which facilitates mobility (east and west access to Douala, 2nd bridge on the Wouri, road networks).
  • Market facilities which boost the local economy (markets, bus terminals).
  • Local services which improve living conditions (sanitation, lighting, public spaces). 

Improving the effectiveness of public action

Cameroun, townhall, city, administration, Ngoulemakong

Improving the effectiveness of public action

Sound public finance management is a prerequisite for the effective implementation of public policies. AFD is assisting the Government of Cameroon in its public finance reform.

Objectives:

  • Better allocate resources, with regard to development priorities.
  • Make expenditure more efficient. 
  • Promote transparency and accountability towards citizens.


To support the decentralization process, AFD is assisting in the transfer of competencies and financial resources to municipalities, by strengthening their means and capacities. 

Addressing climate challenges

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Addressing climate challenges

Cameroon accounts for 0.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The country is also exposed to the impacts of climate change. To support a strong response to these issues, AFD assists:

  • The development of clean energies, particularly hydropower.
  • The implementation of “green finance” products with banks (SUNREF).
  • Sustainable forest management and biodiversity protection (Deng Deng National Park – PSFE).
  • Flood risk prevention in urban areas.
  • The structuring of national climate change strategies.
2bn
euros of commitments in 10 years
250,000
farmers have benefited from technical and economic advice since 2008
2,000
Cameroonian SMEs supported since 2008

At the crossroads of West Africa and Central Africa, Cameroon has a great geographical diversity, which has earned it the nickname of “Africa in miniature”. With 22 million inhabitants, a 420 km-long coastline and substantial natural resources (energy, mines, agriculture, forests), the country plays a leading role in the region.

Cameroon has the most diversified economy in Central Africa and has been experiencing steady growth for ten years. However, this good performance has not been sufficient to reduce poverty, which remains high in both cities and rural areas. It especially affects young people, who are vulnerable to underemployment (90% of young people are under 25). 

But Cameroon aims to reach the status of emerging country by 2035. To do so, the Government has launched an ambitious program to boost the economy and promote job creation. At the same time, the authorities aim to open up rural areas and support the development of sustainable cities to absorb the rural exodus. The objective: dynamic rural areas, connected to modern cities through value chains which transform agricultural products into wealth for all.  

AFD has been operating in the country since 1960 and supports these national priorities. It mobilizes a number of financial tools: Debt Reduction-Development Contracts (C2Ds), loans to the public and private sectors, guarantees to banks and grants. With over 50 years of partnership, Cameroon is one of the main beneficiaries of AFD’s financing in Africa. 
 
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For Cameroon, the Debt Reduction-Development Contract (C2D) is the main program for the cancellation and reconversion of its external debt. In practice, the Cameroonian State continues to repay its debt and once the repayment has been made, France transfers the corresponding amount in the form of grants so that it can be allocated to poverty reduction programs selected by mutual agreement with Cameroon.

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chutes de Nachtigal, rivière Sanaga, Cameroun

Nachtigal hydropower plant

AFD Group signs a EUR 150M financing agreement

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