Earlier in the year the World Economic Forum launched their annual Global Risk report. At the top of the list lay insecurity and regional conflict and making the top--five they had high structural unemployment and underemployment. Similarly in another study this time by global consultancy firm PwC, the biggest concern amongst African CEOs with regards their company's growth prospects at the top of the list lay social instability.
As we have seen with the Arab spring, disenfranchised youth and rising unemployment can make for a toxic mix. It is against this backdrop that the Cameroonian government recently launched a three-year emergency investment plan. The FCFA925bn ($1.5bn) plan will run from 2015 to 2017, and is aimed to fast track the implementation of second generation projects across the country. It is a special programme of measures and projects aimed at the immediate needs of the population. The three-year project will be rolled out across the entire country. "It is important to note that the project is separate from our strategy for growth and jobs which remains our development charter," President Biya stated in an address, following a cabinet meeting he chaired to announce the plan.
The plan aims to provide an immediate boost to the economy as well as deal with some structural problems and social issues. These are to be quick fixes which will sit alongside the longer term projects and works which have become part of the national strategy adopted and designed to meet the goal of becoming a middle-income economy by 2035.
A MONITORING COMMITTEE
The president called a cabinet meeting and pushed a rapid deployment of the programme.
Cameroon is setting a growth objective in excess of 6% for 2015, higher than the continent average. This public investment boost will help reach this target. The shorter time frame will also make the policy makers more immediately accountable, in terms of its implementation and impact. A task force has been selected to form a monitoring committee which will fall under the authority of the Prime Minister Philemon Yang. This body will ensure that the plan's commitments are fulfilled and that the deadlines are respected. The plan ultimately has been put in place to provide a countercyclical boost to the economy and to address the issue of inequality. And that is how it will be judged. Throughout Africa, GDP growth has come with increased inequality and the message from the cabinet was that the plan was targeted...