Yaounde, UN DAY, 24 October 2018 (UN - Cameroon) – How should stakeholders efficiently and effectively mobilize resources to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Cameroon, especially as the country works towards emergence in 2035?
And why should SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and SDG 12 (sustainable production and consumption patterns) be paid more serious attention, in this regard?
These are two critical questions for which answers would be sought on 9 November 2018, during a symposium at the Muna Foundation in Yaounde, convened by the United Nations System in Cameroon, as part of activities to mark the 73rd anniversary of the United Nations.
Under the theme: “Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Cameroon: the case of the ‘forgotten’ SDGs,” the symposium will draw together speakers and guests from the public sector, the private sector, civil society, development partners, donor organizations and UN institutions.
Their job will be to articulate key ways of financing the less talked about SDGs, notably SDGs 8, 9 and 12, considered strategic for improving productivity and leading countries to self-sufficiency, which will have ripple effects on all other sectors and development outcomes.
The Cameroon context
Cameroon has a long-term development framework called Vision 2035. The Vision, which was approved in 2009, aims to render Cameroon an emerging country, which is democratic and united in its diversity. It has several sub-strategies, including the Growth and Employment Strategy for 2010-2020 (DSCE, in French) and its Industrialization Masterplan, which can both be mapped to SDGs 8, 9 and 12.
The DSCE has four major objectives: to bring growth to an annual average of 5.5% between 2010 and 2020; reduce underemployment to less than 50%; reduce the poverty rate to less than 28.7%; achieve all of the MDGs (now replaced by the SDGs).
Meanwhile the country’s industrialization masterplan with 2050 as its target date for delivery identifies agribusiness, energy and the digital economy as the main hubs (‘sanctuaries’ in French) for industrialization. It focuses on sectors such as: Forest and Wood; Textile, Clothing manufacture and Leather; Hydrocarbons, Petrochemicals and Refining; Mining, Metallurgy, Iron and the steel industry; and Chemistry and Pharmacy. The masterplan explicitly considers the key role of infrastructure and financing for industrial development.
Given the complex nature of mobilizing resources to achieve the targets for Cameroon’s sustainable development, including its Growth and Employment Strategy and its Industrialization masterplan discussed above, key questions at the symposium will revolve around:
Understanding what developments have been made so far in terms of SDGs’ targets vis-à-vis Cameroon’s growth and employment strategy which expires in 2020 and drawing lessons from this;
Understanding why, like in many other African countries the share of industry in Cameroon’s GDP has suffered setbacks in the past decades;
Ways of invigorating public-private partnerships for financing industrialization and infrastructure for productivity;
How to scale up investments in energy supply
The difficult experience of SMEs in accessing long term loans and possible remedial strategies;
Strategizing for efficient agricultural and extractive sector productivity that avoids waste of resources;
Understanding and boosting the role of major development partners in Cameroon;
Making use of innovative financing models outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Plan for Financing for Development and specific models identified during the 34th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts, convened by ECA in September 2018 in N’Djamena – Chad.
Concrete proposals made at the symposium should serve as additional reference for Government, UN agencies, the private sector and other development partners in the implementation of the forgotten SDGs.
Abel Akara Ticha
Communication Officer, UN Economic Commisison for Africa ( ECA) Subregional Office for Central Africa
Office Direct Telephone Line: +237 222 50 43 48
Communication Analyst, Office of the Resident Coordinator, United Nations Cameroon,
Office Telephone: +237 222 20 08 00 ext. 3213