Overview

  • Country Overview

    Cameroon is a lower middle-income country with a population of 23.4 million people. Situated in Central Africa, it shares a border with Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria. Two regions are Anglophone (the northwest and southwest regions that border Nigeria), while the rest of the country is Francophone. Cameroon is endowed with significant natural resources, including oil and gas, high-value timber species, minerals, and agricultural products such as coffee, cotton, cocoa, maize, and cassava.

    Political Context

    Cameroon’s ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), has long dominated the country’s political landscape and currently occupies 148 of the 180 seats in the National Assembly and 81 of the 100 seats in the Senate, which was created in 2013. Presidential elections are scheduled for 2018. 

    While Cameroon has enjoyed peace for many decades in spite of its highly diverse population, the situation is becoming increasingly challenging in its northern regions, where Boko Haram is waging a low intensity war, and in the northwest and southwest Anglophone regions of the country, where secessionist movements are increasingly vocal. An estimated 7,500 Cameroonians have been displaced internally and Cameroon is also host to an estimated 45,000 Nigerian refugees in the North and 131,000 refugees from the Central African Republic in the East. 

    Social Context

    With 8.1 million poor recorded in Cameroon in 2014, this number increased by 12 percent between 2007 and 2014, owing to a poverty reduction rate that lags behind the population growth rate. Poverty is increasingly concentrated in Cameroon’s northern regions, with 56 percent of the poor living in the North and Far North regions.

    Economic Overview

    Despite having one of the most diversified economies in the CEMAC region, Cameroon’s economic activity slowed in 2016. Growth is expected to dip to 3.7 percent by the end of 2017, compared to 4.4 percent in 2016. This outcome is due to slower growth in oil production (+3 percent in 2016 against 37 percent in 2015) resulting from the maturity of the main oil fields, and to the avian flu epidemic that has damaged the local poultry industry, particularly in the West, which accounts for 80 percent of production.

    However, continued implementation by the Government of its infrastructure development plan and interventions to boost the agriculture and forestry sectors have significantly contributed to sustained strong growth in public works and construction and services.

    Inflation rose to 1.6 percent at the end of June 2016, largely based on the increased tax rate on alcohol (7.4 percent) and tobacco in the 2015 budget law, and the 4.9 percent increase in prices for services, restaurants, and hotels.

    The World Bank’s most recent Country Economic Memorandum, issued in April 2017, noted that if Cameroon is to become an upper middle-income country by 2035, as targeted in its long-term planning document Vision 2035, it will have to increase productivity and unleash the potential of its private sector. Specifically, Cameroon’s real GDP will have to grow by roughly 8 percent or 5.7 percent in per capita terms over the period 2015-2035, which in turn will require the investment share of GDP to increase from approximately 20 percent of GDP in 2015 to 30 percent in 2035 and productivity growth to reach 2 percent over the same period, from its average zero growth rate over the past decade. These challenges, though daunting, can be met.

    Development Challenges

    Cameroon suffers from weak governance, hindering its development and ability to attract investments. Cameroon ranks 153rd out of 180 countries in the 2017 Transparency International corruption perceptions index and ranks 163rd out of 190 economies in the most recent Doing Business 2018  report.

    Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Cameroon

    Cameroon was declared IBRD creditworthy in 2014 and is currently a blend country. Its IDA-18 allocation is about $787 million.

    In FY 17, Cameroon’s first IBRD operations involved: the Transport Sector Development Project, the Electricity Transmission and Reform Project, and a MIGA guarantee for hydropower development on the Sanaga River. The World Bank’s current portfolio in Cameroon comprises 15 national IDA, GEF, and trust funded operations with a net commitment of $932 million.

    The World Bank adopted a new Country Partnership Framework for the period 2017-2021. It is aligned with the goals of the Government’s 2010-2013 Growth and Employment Strategy (DSCE). This new framework includes 12 objectives grouped into three focus areas:

    • eliminate multiple poverty traps in rural areas, in particular in the northern regions;
    • strengthen infrastructure and private sector development; and
    • improve governance.

    The World Bank is supporting the improvement of Cameroon’s competitiveness in three main sectors: energy, transport, and telecommunications. It is also working to improve the business climate.

    The World Bank is also helping improve service delivery in three main areas: human development, establishment of a social safety net system, and local development, with a focus on increasing access to basic services through infrastructure upgrades and capacity building in the northern regions.

    Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018

  • Boosting Electricity Production

    The World Bank is helping the Government boost access to electricity. Electricity generation capacity has increased through the Kribi Gas Power Project. This has resulted in an expansion of generation capacity by 216 MW.  IDA is supporting the development of the Lom Pangar Hydropower project.  This project will contribute to the unlocking of the hydropotential of the Sanaga River (up to an estimated 6,000 MW). In addition, the IBRD is currently involved in work on the 420-MW Upstream Nachtigal Hydroelectric Project.  Project.

    Enhancing Regional Trade and Integration

    The CEMAC Transport and Transit Facilitation Project  is a regional IDA project totaling $680 million, of which $409 million (62 percent) has been earmarked for Cameroon and focuses on two main transit corridors: Douala-N’Djamena and Douala-Bangui. The project has reduced the average transit time for imports from exit at the port of Douala to N’Djamena and dwell times at the port of Douala.

    Improving Agricultural Competitiveness

    The current World Bank engagement in the agricultural sector consists of two IDA-financed lending operations: the Agriculture Investment and Market Development Project  ($100 million in IDA funds and $25 million in IFC funds), which seeks to transform low-productivity, subsistence-oriented cassava, maize, and sorghum subsectors into commercially oriented and competitive value chains in four agro-ecological zones and the Livestock Development Project  ($100 million from IDA) that aims to improve productivity, market access, and the livelihoods of small livestock farmers in target agro-ecological zones, including pastoralists in the Far North.

    Developing Rural Areas and Improving Social Services

    The multi-donor, IDA-funded Community Development Program Support Project is an important instrument used in the implementation of the Government’s rural development strategy. The project assists the Government of Cameroon in setting up and implementing a decentralized financing mechanism to introduce participatory community development in rural areas and improve access to basic social services. The program has generated strong local support from the towns and communities involved. The project has accomplished the following: helped improve school infrastructure around the country, provided 270,000 people with access to potable water, and improved the access of 20,000 households to roads and basic social services.

    Better Access and Quality of Health Services

    The ongoing Health Sector Support Investment Project targets district-level activities, providing financial resources and a performance-based incentive system to boost outcomes in health facilities across 26 districts covering a total population of 2.5 million. The management tools used within the PBF framework engendered behavioral change among health staff and thereby assisted health facilities in improving governance and efficiencies in their use of financial resources generated through service delivery.

    An impact evaluation of the PBF pilot was completed in 2016, showing significant improvements in the utilization and quality of essential health services (for example, the percentage of children fully vaccinated increased from 47 percent to 88 percent in PBF facility catchment areas).

    Improving the Quality and Efficiency of the Education System

    The implementation of the Education Development Capacity Building and Education for All Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI) grant on education supported a number of activities to improve equity and quality of learning in the sector.

    The Equity and Quality for Improved Learning Project is supporting the transition from teachers financed by parents in public schools to Government contract teachers, providing training to the existing and contract teachers and providing learning materials.

    Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018

  • Cameroon is one of the least aid-dependent countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. International partners such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union (EU), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), the Banque de Développement des États de l’Afrique Centrale (BDEAC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, and Germany have strengthened their coordination mechanisms in order to further the Paris Declaration and Busan agenda.

    Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018

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LENDING

Cameroon: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Nouvelle Route Bastos
B.P. 1128
Yaoundé, Cameroon
+237-2-22-50-38-15
For general information and inquiries
Odilia R. Hebga
Communications Officer
+237-2-22-50-80-45
ohebga@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
cameroonalert@worldbank.org