Cameroon

Cameroon is at the crossroads of West Africa and Central Africa and has considerable natural and human resources. However, it is having difficulty promoting the development of its remote rural areas and its saturated cities. AFD is a longstanding partner and is supporting the emergence of the Cameroon of tomorrow.
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market, Cameroun, woman
AFD and Cameroon: boosting growth and improving governance
market, Cameroun, woman

Promoting the developement of rural areas

market, Cameroun, woman

Promoting the developement of rural areas

Cameroon has rich agricultural land and abundant biodiversity. There is a large workforce, but it is underemployed. There also continue to be disparities between cities and rural areas: rural territories are isolated and more than one rural dweller in two in Cameroon lives under the poverty line. 

To open up rural territories and boost their economy, AFD:

  • Supports the decentralization process and assists local authorities in developing their infrastructure. For example, we are financing the National Program for Participatory Development (PNDP), which comprises the construction of health centers, water points, rural roads and classrooms in 360 municipalities; 
  • Strengthens family farms, which account for 80% of the country’s production. Our objective: modernize farming and management techniques via training for young farmers and a governmental support-advice mechanism;
  • Develops community-based social services (primary education and health) in rural areas, such as those provided by Cameroon Baptist Convention. 

Rethinking the city

Cameroun, truck, works

Rethinking the city


Over 53% of Cameroonians live in urban areas. This trend is set to gather pace. To address this rapid urbanization, the Government is conducting a development policy for secondary cities and intends to upgrade their infrastructure.

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

  • Market facilities (markets, abattoirs, bus stations), which boost the local economy;
  • Community-based and security services (sanitation, street lighting);
  • Public spaces.

With the Regional Capitals project, we are supporting priority investments (rehabilitation of road networks, creation of public spaces, etc.) and building the capacities of local administrations.

In the transport sector, we are financing a project to improve east-west access to the city of Douala, and the construction of the second bridge over the Wouri, as well as infrastructure in Bertoua, Bafoussam and Garoua. 

Supporting companies

Cameroon, education, agriculture, Mbock

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). 

Improving public management

Cameroun, townhall, city, administration, Ngoulemakong

Improving public management

Sound public finance management is essential for balanced and effective growth. AFD is assisting the Government of Cameroon in its public finance management reform. The objective: make public action more efficient and more transparent. 

In addition, to implement the decentralization process launched in the 2000s, AFD is assisting in the transfer of competences and finances to municipalities, which have until now come up against a lack of resources. 

200,000
family farms strengthened
3,300
microprojects financed
2,000
SMEs financed

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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