Cameroon in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects

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    Cameroon (officially regarded as the Republic of Cameroon) is a country with vast natural resources and a population of 22.8 million people. It is also culturally and geographically very diverse. Due to its geographical and cultural diversity, Cameroon is often referred to as “Africa in miniature.” This country is currently considered as a lower middle-income country by the World Bank through social indicators and levels of poverty, which are below those for comparing countries. However, the Government of Cameroon aims to achieve a state of higher middle-income by 2035. There exists a huge potential for economic growth and poverty reduction in Cameroon. Indeed, over the last decade, the country has been characterized by a positive economic growth, spurred by large public investments in infrastructure. However, to attain the higher middle-income status by 2035, growth needs to accelerate further. As the public sector alone cannot bring this about, much more private investments are necessary. Doing so also requires improvements in the business environment.

    However, despite more than a decade of economic growth, national poverty has remained almost unchanged. While Cameroon is urbanizing rapidly, poverty remains a rural phenomenon and is increasingly concentrated in northern Cameroon.

    The aim of the book is to provide an overview of the main issues, challenges, and prospects faced by Cameroon. The book is composed of conceptual and empirical studies of Cameroonian scholars gathered together in order to provide descriptions and explanations of the main issues as well as policy recommendations to support decisions-makers. These considerations are those of Cameroonians for Cameroon.

    The book is organized into two volumes. The first one, entitled “Governance and Businesses”, is devoted to issues relating to public governance, investment climate, insecurity, globalization, business development, and activities that are sources of employment in Cameroon. The second volume, entitled “Environment and People”, deals with issues concerning the management of cross cutting economic services, the conservation of forests, the sustainable development of agricultural activities, the role of women, the immobility of workers, problems of development and poverty alleviation, millennium development goals, the performance of microfinance institutions, multilingualism, and education in Cameroon. (Imprint: Nova)

    Book Reviews
    “Africa is coming of age, a new reality that is perfectly exemplified by this collection of 30 essays by Cameroonian scholars on important policy issues in Cameroon. Africans are looking at their own economic performance with lucidity and rigor, charting a course for the future. This is important. We need more work of this kind.” - Marcel Fafchamps, Professor, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, USA

    "This book is a masterpiece that combines very well theoretical and practical aspects on the role and consequences of institutions in Cameroon. In fact, institutions play a key role in the volume that assesses the effects of natural resources on governance and the effects of the economic policy on the business climate. Other current issues are also examined like the consequences of terrorism on trade between Cameroon and Nigeria. It leads to strong recommendations for economic policies, so that this country, called “Africa in miniature” with countless resources, finally reaches an optimal use of its potential. It also raises questions for those in charge of the economic policy and for any other citizen interested in economic issues encountered by Cameroon. The book enriches the reader on various subjects and it will certainly enlighten Cameroonian leaders, since it finally appears as a tool to help decision-making." - Henri Atangana Ondoa, Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon

    “This is a timely book as improvements in governance (political, institutional and economic) and climate of doing business are crucial in addressing contemporary development challenges in Cameroon. The theoretical arguments and detailed empirical case studies present a comprehensive picture of policy directions. Policy insights into the book are centred on how the high growth potential of the country can be leveraged to address development challenges. The overarching concerns addressed by contributors to the book and corresponding policy implications are also relevant to other developing countries facing similar policy syndromes.” - Simplice Asongu, PhD, African Governance and Development Institute (AGDI), Cameroon

    “Governance and Businesses is a thorough analysis of main issues and challenges faced by the Cameroon’s economy in terms of governance, business climate, globalization, and security. The analysis is carried out by Cameroonian scholars from various disciplines and offers de facto a diversity of points of view and perspectives. More importantly, the book provides clear policy recommendations to inform the decision-making process and shape the country’s economy on a sustainable growth path. I really enjoyed reading this book as it shed a new light on salient issues such as governance, the dependence on natural resources, the widespread of informality, and the threat of insecurity to trade.” - Urbain Thierry Yogo, PhD, University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon

    “The case of Cameroon in this 30-chapter volume book entitled “Cameroon in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects” covering “Governance and Businesses” and “Environmental and People”, is a true reflection of key and specific issues among many countries in Africa. Each chapter covers the subject matter in style. These issues are some of the motivational factors behind the recent formation of the African Federation of Operations Research Societies (AFROS) as an OR regional umbrella body under auspices of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS), which is the global body. As President of AFORS, I would like to recommend this book to academicians, researchers, policy makers and all stakeholders, interested in development of Cameroon and Africa at large.” - Charles Malack Oloo, PhD, First President, African Federation of Operations Research Societies (AFROS), Nairobi, Kenya.

    Editors: Isabelle Piot-Lepetit (Senior Research Scientist in Economics, MOISA INRA, Department of Economics, Economics and Management Division, Montpellier, France)

    Cameroon in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects. Volume 1: Governance and Businesses