- RURAL DEVELOPMENT
- SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- SECURITY, RECONSTRUCTION AND PEACE
- GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
- ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT
GIZ local staff
National employees: 316
International employees: 38
Development workers: 10
(as at: 31.12.2020)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Cameroon since the early 1960s. The regional office in Cameroon also coordinates the activities of GIZ in Chad, the Central African Republic, Gabon and Sao Tomé & Principe.
The government of Cameroon is pursuing the goal of transforming the country into an emerging economy as outlined in Cameroon’s Vision 2035. Yet, Cameroon’s administrative system on the national and community level still lacks efficiency and transparency and faces challenges in key areas such as agriculture, the sustainable use of resources, and health care. Municipalities still have only limited possibilities for ensuring basic services for the population and designing local development to be inclusive and permanent. Host communities of internally displaced persons are increasingly overwhelmed by their tasks.
Due to its geographical location and ecological diversity, Cameroon has considerable potential for agriculture and livestock, which account for about 15 per cent of Cameroon’s gross domestic product (GDP) and provide the largest share of employment. Yet, overall yields are low, and food insecurity affects more than one fifth of rural households. Malnutrition among women and chronic undernourishment among children are widespread. Moreover, access to land remains a major challenge for both young people and women just like access to credits and loans. Furthermore, small farms have limited access to innovations that would increase productivity, ensure food security and improve incomes.
Half of Cameroon’s surface area is forested, and timber is one of the country’s major export products, yet a large portion remains undeclared. Migration and population growth have led to an increasing need for fuelwood and farming activities. Together with a general lack of employment, this poses a threat to Cameroon’s forests and ecosystems. Illegal logging and poaching exacerbate the situation.
GIZ’s main commissioning party in Cameroon is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Currently, the German-Cameroonian cooperation is focusing on the following key areas:
- Environmental, climate and forest policy
- Rural development
- Governance and decentralisation
One of the goals of the development cooperation is the conservation of Cameroon’s tropical forests and protected areas in harmonisation with the living environment for humans and animals which helps to avoid zoonoses like COVID 19. GIZ is promoting sustainable resource management and the protection of biodiversity in Cameroon and the member states of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC). .
GIZ is also working on rural development in Cameroon to guarantee food security and increase employment opportunities. To achieve this, GIZ supports partners to turn subsistence farming into an agricultural sector that is profitable as well as socially and environmentally sustainable.
The Cameroonian government defines decentralization and local development as key elements for promoting democracy and fighting poverty. GIZ supports Cameroon in realising its strategy and improving cooperation between municipalities and national, regional and local authorities in charge of implementing decentralization. This includes guidance in maintaining and managing public infrastructures with the aid of improved budgeting and user participation; and improvement in the capacity of municipal telecommunication centres, allowing for the provision of demand-driven digital services and internet access to the population and community administrations. A particular emphasis is placed on the participation of women, young people and internally displaced persons.
In the area of good financial governance, at national level, GIZ assists the Cameroonian government in the planning and implementation of medium-term expenditure frameworks and programme budgets, as well as in public finance reform to broaden the tax base and improve tax collection.
Outside the priority areas, GIZ is also active in the health sector and works to provide universal health services in Cameroon. This includes health care for women during pregnancy and childbirth and access to contraceptives. In addition, GIZ supports measures against infectious diseases like COVID-19. GIZ further supports employment opportunities for young people in conflict-driven areas. Interactions with the German and European private sector are facilitated, also through the cooperation with the Cameroonian diaspora. For peaceful and stable development in Cameroon and its neighbouring countries, GIZ works with partner organisations for the promotion of peace in society as well as police force and frontier management.