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Cameroon plans National Employment council to address tech skills shortage

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 15 Feb 2022
Paul Biya.
Paul Biya.

Cameroon President Paul Biya has announced plans to create a National Employment Council to enable enterprises to leverage technology and boost productivity.

The Council is expected to create 600,000 jobs annually until 2030, which will help address a skills shortage within the country’s ICT and telecommunications industries.

To achieve this goal, the government plans to establish a fund to support young entrepreneurs and start-ups, particularly with their efforts to secure capital. Raising sufficient capital remains a major obstacle for SMEs in Cameroon.

Biya has also emphasised the country’s National Development Strategy 2020-2030 (NDS30), a framework of how the government intends to establish the economy as an emerging economy by 2035.

Under the NDS30, Cameroon is keen to reconfigure its national digital ecosystem, particularly by restructuring the sector through the creation of a digital infrastructure heritage company, build digital infrastructure and secure networks globally.

A central component of the strategy is the creation of a digital infrastructure heritage company, as well as digital technology parks that will focus on innovation and digital services roll out. It covers the manufacture and assembly of digital parts and appliances.

In a bid to guarantee access to low-cost broadband internet, the government has reaffirmed its intention to develop a digital ecosystem and provide a high-performance and secure digital space with an average access index greater than 0.4, as detailed in NDS30.

In a public address to mark the country’s 56th National Youth Day on 11 February, Biya said, “As you are aware, today’s new global economy is digitally oriented, thus urging us to encourage young people to seize all the opportunities offered by digital communications, through their socio-economic adaptation and application.”

He also referenced the role of the National Youth Observatory. “The maiden field actions of the observatory have led to the production of 50,000 youth biometric cards to facilitate access to many basic social products and services at reduced costs.”

“I am pleased to note that many of our youth have a remarkable mastery of digital technology, particularly through the creation of numerous start-ups in various fields. I urge them to be more inventive and creative in the digital economy sector, which has bright prospects for the future,” Biya said.

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