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Supporting longer term development in crises at the nexus: Lessons from Cameroon: Appendix 2

Planning and financing frameworks

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Cameroon Vision 2035

Vision 2035 is the long-term national framework for Cameroon, aiming to establish Cameroon as an emerging market by 2035. The framework has four overarching goals for the country: reducing poverty to a socially acceptable level; becoming a middle-income country; acquiring newly industrialised country status; and consolidating democracy and national unity while respecting the country’s diversity.

The first 10-year phase of Cameroon Vision 2035 is defined within the 2010−2020 Growth and Employment Strategy Paper, which focuses heavily on economic growth and little on human development. The main aims include: drive economic growth to an annual average of 5.5%; cut underemployment from 75.8% to 50% with the creation of 1,000 formal jobs per year; and reduce the income poverty rate from 39.9% to 28.7%.

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National Development Strategy 2020−2030

This second-generation strategy has been developed and is pending authorisation.[1] Its aims are to: raise GDP growth rate to 7–8% on average over the 2020−2030 period; increase the growth rate of the non-oil secondary sector to around 8%, and reduce the trade deficit from 8.8% in 2018 to 3% of GDP in 2030; improve the living conditions of the population and their access to basic social services by ensuring a significant reduction in poverty and underemployment.

Some, but not all, international partners were consulted in strategy development. UN agencies and some NGOs, both humanitarian and development focused, called for a focus on human development and marginalised groups. UNHCR, for example, influenced the revision of the 2010−2020 Growth and Employment Strategy Paper to ensure the needs of refugees, those with humanitarian needs and other specific needs, and ethnic minorities are addressed. However, other actors such as the EU were barely consulted. The final version of this strategy was not available at the time of writing this report.

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Recovery and Peace Consolidation (RPC) Strategy

The Recovery and Peace Consolidation Strategy for Northern and East Cameroon 2018–2022 was developed by the government of Cameroon (Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development) in partnership with the EU, UN and World Bank. It underscores the urgent need to reduce the longstanding socioeconomic marginalisation of the North, Far North, Adamawa and East regions. It provides a good basis for the operationalisation of the humanitarian–development ‘double’ nexus, as it aims to operate according to the UN New Way of Working initiative to aid a gradual transition from humanitarian response to development. It seeks to reduce the risks of future crises by addressing both structural causes of vulnerability and the impact of the current crises through:[2]

  • Progress toward sustainable solutions for displaced
  • Better functioning of local governance
  • Improved access to basic services
  • Improved economic opportunities
  • Improved territorial and human security.

However, despite its title, the RPC strategy includes a relatively limited focus on peace.

The RPC strategy was developed through a participatory process (using the Recovery & Peacebuilding Assessments (RPBA) methodology) to promote ownership and make the strategy as inclusive and grounded in local priorities as possible. It identifies key government reforms including the adoption of a strategy for forcibly displaced people and the revision of communal development plans and the Public Investment Budget to better include the needs of crisis-affected populations. Commitments from international partners include investing in the most vulnerable areas of the country and focusing on building resilience. International players also committed to map existing initiatives and fund the RPC strategy steering committee and monitoring framework.

A mutual accountability framework with clear indicators was developed to monitor government reforms and alignment of international partners. However, although the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development adopted the strategy in 2018, the accountability framework has yet to be signed off and adopted by the Presidency and therefore implementation of the RPC strategy has remained on hold. One reason for the government’s hesitancy in ratifying it might be because it includes expectations of the government to provide for IDPs and refugees. The strategy’s needs assessment finds that the Boko Haram and CAR crises have structural causes because regions have long been neglected by the government, and this may make the RPC strategy difficult for the government to approve.

There was also some divergence between the government and international partners on expectations of this strategy. The government saw it as an opportunity to host a donor conference for additional international funding, as was the case with CAR in November 2016.[3] With the RPC strategy on hold since 2018, there is a lack of a clear vision and common strategy for the North, Far North, East and Adamawa regions, as well as for the Northwest and Southwest not covered by the RPC strategy or any other commonly agreed plan. Most international players in Cameroon are still working on getting the RPC strategy adopted. There have been discussions of including RPC strategy priorities in the National Development Strategy 2020−2030, but the final version of this is not yet published.

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National Community Driven Development Program (PNDP)

In addition to national-level development plans, each municipality also has its own plan, with support of the National Community Driven Development Program (PNDP). PNDP is a country-wide government programme funded by AFD and the World Bank that aims to promote local development. It was set up in 2004 and is now in its third phase. These local plans represent a major advance in terms of identifying local needs and designing appropriate development strategies in a participative way. However, the central government has often failed to align budget allocations with local needs and objectives as identified in these plans. The local plans have also sometimes failed to reflect changing needs, in particular in crisis areas (e.g. concerning IDPs or an influx of refugees), as they run for three to five years and are not updated regularly.

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The Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery & Resilience of the Lake Chad Basin Region

The Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery & Resilience of the Lake Chad Basin Region was developed by the Lake Chad Basin Commission and adopted by its member states in August 2018. The strategy is built around nine pillars:

  1. Political cooperation
  2. Security and human rights
  3. Disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation, reinsertion and reintegration of persons associated with Boko Haram
  4. Humanitarian assistance
  5. Governance and the social contract
  6. Socioeconomic recovery and environmental sustainability
  7. Education, learning and skills
  8. Prevention of violent extremism and building peace
  9. Empowerment and inclusion of women and youth

Notes