Promoting the development of rural areas
Rethinking the city
Improving public management
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.
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.