Cameroon, a small country located in central Africa, is sometimes called “Africa in miniature” because of its geographic and cultural diversity. Once ruled by the British and Fresh empire, English and French are its official languages. A politically stable country, Cameroon has developed a good infrastructure and hence it is socially stable. Agriculture, road, railways, petroleum and timber industry has been developed for the welfare of the country and its citizens. However, even after all this development, citizens of Cameroon are gripped with poverty. Since 1982, Paul Biya is the authoritarian President of Cameroon.
According to the market research report “Cameroon in 2030: The Future Demographic“, in 2030, the population of Cameroon is expected to reach 32.9 million. This is a very significant growth of around 41% from 2015. This rapid increase in population is due to the increasing birth rate and reduced death and infant mortality rate. By the end of 2030, Cameroon is expected to be the youngest nation in the world by median age. This population dividend can be used to Cameroon to uplift its economy and reduce the poverty by properly educating and training its young population. The literacy rate in Cameroon is good and most of their males are educated, although the female literacy rate is not that good. This needs to be improved if Cameroon wants to capitalize on its population dividend. Cameroon has one of the highest attendance rates in school, but the schools do not have sufficient number of teachers. Cameroon also suffers from early marriages and early pregnancy, and from domestic violence. This reduces the expected life expectancy, which is one of the lowest in the world. This has to be worked upon.
The economy of Cameroon is strong growing at around 4% per annum. A significant percentage of its population is living below the poverty line, but with the help of World Bank and International Monetary Fund the situation is improving. Petroleum and timber are the major industries of Cameroon. Telecommunication is mostly under government control. Afriland First Bank, Commercial Bank Cameroon is the major banks while Douala Stock Exchange is the major stock exchange in Cameroon. Camrail is the market leader in railways and operates both passenger and fright traffic between two major cities of Cameroon.
With such a young population and high literacy rate, Cameroon can easily improve its economy by driving its population in right direction. With a few measures to improve on the female literacy, curbing crime against women, and providing best professional training to its youth, Cameroon can increase the growth of its GDP and reduce the poverty of its citizens. It has all the potential to become one of the most prosperous countries in Africa; it just needs to tap into that potential.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications
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