Cameroon: North West, South West - Progressive Socio-Economic Recovery

The Steering Committee of the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West Regions held its third session in Yaounde on September 16.

The report from the study carried out by the Steering Committee of the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West Regions (PPRD) indicates perceptible take off of socio-economic and cultural activities in the crisis-ridden regions since 2020. The Committee held its third session at the Auditorium of the Prime Minister's Office on September 16, 2021 presided at by its Chairman, the Minister, Director of Cabinet to the Prime Minister's Office, Balungeli Confiance Ebune.

In his opening statement, the Chairman of the Steering Committee stated that, "After the preliminary stages of sensitisation and updating of the losses recorded by the population and communities, the recovery phase has effectively started." He mentioned many initiatives to promote social cohesion and the rehabilitation of schools and health centres belonging to churches. He also talked of the signing of a financial agreement with Japan for an amount of FCFA 1.5 billion and the commitment of the private sector to support the implementation of the Presidential Plan during the meeting with the Prime Minister on May 18, 2021 in Douala.

After the session during which the 2021/2022 action plan was examined and adopted and the presentation of the evolution of the socio-economic situation in the two regions done, the National Coordinator of PPRC, Minister Paul Tasong gave concrete recovery indicators to the press. In the economic domain, he gave statistics of the banana sector in the South West Region. He said in 2016 the region exported 135,000 tonnes of banana, dropped to 16,000 in 2019 in the heart of the crisis. The Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) did not export a single banana in 2019 but exported 6,000 tonnes in 2020 and by mid 2021 it had exported 12,000 tonnes. He also said that in 2016 prior to the crisis, the South West Region produced 41 per cent of the country's cocoa and the quantity dropped to 26 per cent in 2019. In the educational sector, Minister Tasong said that in 2016 over 1.1 million pupils and students were in schools in the North West and South West Regions, the number dropped to 225,000 in 2019 and increased to 427,000 in 2020. In the health sector, in 2016, there were 170 doctors in hospitals and health structures, dropped to 71 in 2019 and is gradually increasing now. With this Minister Tasong said, " We are making important steps." He invited Cameroon's international partners not only to support the plan with finances but also with actions to support government efforts.

The 2021/2022 action plan focuses on reinforcing social cohesion, provision of essential infrastructure and actions to promote local economy.

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