The Government was able to maintain a stable macroeconomic framework and sustain positive growth rates up to 2008 by implementing the PRSP adopted in April 2003. However, the overall growth rate was not up to the expected level necessary for drastic poverty reduction.
Consequently, under the impetus of His Excellency PAUL BIYA, President of the Republic and in keeping with his policy of “Greater Achievements”, which forms part of the long-term development vision, the Government has undertaken to revise the economic growth and poverty reduction strategy
This is proof of the will public authorities have to focus the strategy on the generation of wealth and on the creation of employment opportunities so as to guarantee a fair redistribution of the fruits of growth.
The growth and employment strategy paper (GESP) is also a testimony of the Government’s will to continue efforts aimed at full achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is one of the second-generation PRSPs, and so has been designed by the Government, following a dynamic and open process, involving full participation of the population at the grassroots, civil society organizations, the private sector and development partners. The Cameroon Government expresses its deep gratitude to all of them for their support and diligence.
To prepare the GESP it was necessary to realize some major projects, notably : formulation of an economic development vision by 2035, review of sector strategies, participatory consultations, review of statistical surveys and studies for the period running from 2001 to 2008, conduct with support from some partners of the third household survey (ECAM III), reporting on and costing MDGs, mapping out macroeconomic and budgetary guidelines through which a medium-term budgetary framework was designed in compliance with growth estimates by the time of full implementation of the strategy. The global economic crisis was taken into account when preparing the GESP. Strategies developed therein are relevant solutions to the problems caused by this crisis.
Firmly considering the challenge of growth and creation of employment opportunities as being at the very centre of its actions in favour of poverty reduction, the GESP is henceforth, in accordance with the Paris Declaration, the reference framework of government policy and actions as well as the point of convergence for cooperation with development partners. It is hence a vector of the search for growth and redistribution of its fruits right down to the most vulnerable segments of the population with special emphasis on women and the youth. The GESP, which is the first phase of implementation of the long-term development vision, is an overall and integrated strategy paper, a springboard of all action that will be taken over the next ten years. Preparation of the GESP was, for all those who participated therein, a learning process aimed at continuous improvement. In this respect, the GESP has been designed to cover about ten years, but as a strategic planning paper, it is open to revision, as the need arises, so it can be tailored to the nation’s socio-economic trends and to international circumstances, through a repeated and participatory process.
Now that the country has a reference document addressing the issue of growth, the challenge lies in its proper implementation. In this regard, the Government plans to speed up the reforms underway and take all the appropriate steps, so that improvement of economic performances should be translated into concrete results such as the creation of employment opportunities, poverty reduction, and visible improvement in the living conditions of the population.
To overcome this challenge, the authorities plan to fully play their role while counting on the dynamism of the private sector, the involvement of civil society organizations, the mobilisation of the population and support from economic, technical and financial partners.