Cameroon Economic Update: Special Focus on Social Safety Nets

January 29, 2013

  • In Cameroon, economic growth is steady but the country’s citizens remain poor
  • More and better-funded social safety net programs are necessary
  • The Cameroon Economic Update analyzes trends in the country’s economic activity

YAOUNDE, January 29, 2013—Despite increased economic growth, poverty rates in the West African nation of Cameroon have not declined, according to the latest Cameroon Economic Update, and in the country’s poorest regions, poverty and hunger continue to rise.

According to the Update, the fifth in the series, titled Mitigating Poverty, Vulnerability, and Risk, too few resources are being put into small-scale, ad hoc social safety net programs, programs meant to improve the lives of the poor.

Among the Update’s other findings:

  • While economic activity in many parts of the world has slowed in 2012, economic growth has continued to gain momentum in Cameroon, as in sub-Saharan Africa in general. Preliminary indications would suggest that economic growth could reach about 5 percent in 2012, as compared to 4.2 percent in 2011.
  • The economic momentum observed in 2012 is expected to carry over into 2013 with the construction of large infrastructure projects and continued efforts to improve agricultural productivity.

Economic growth in Cameroon has on average over the past decade hovered around three percent, lagging behind the average oil-exporting middle- and low- income countries in sub-Saharan Africa which have experienced expansions of about 7.5 percent.

The World Bank’s Cameroon Economic Update, produced bi-annually, analyzes trends and constraints on recent economic developments in the country.  Each issue has a special focus on a topical issue. The Update series aims to share knowledge and stimulate debate among those interested in improving the economic management of Cameroon and unleashing its enormous potential.