Cameroon is one of the 57 priority partner countries for German Development Cooperation.
The most recent governmental negotiations took place on 22-23 september 2010 in Bonn following the two-year rhythm of their holding. During the negotiations both parties involved have agreed that the present concentration of the German development cooperation on the three priority areas is still in accordance with the development policy of the Cameroonian partner.
Notwithstanding the previous scheme, Germany donated an overall amount of 77 Million Euros to Cameroon for the period of 2010-2013. 40 Mio. Euros will be devoted to the financial development cooperation while 37 Mio. Euros will flow into the technical development cooperation. The German commitment has hence increased further compared to the previous negotiations in 2008. Therefore Germany is, after France, the most important bilateral donor Enlarge image Mr. Niels Breyer (BMZ) and Mr Essomba Ngoula (MINEPAT) at the closing ceremony of the negociations (© German Embassy Yaounde)
You can find the distribution diagram of the 77 Mio. € here:
You can find Mr. Niels Breyer's opening speech here:
The granted commitments for projects and programmes in Financial and Technical Development are non-refundable. Germany is participating proportionately in the Development Aid of multilateral donors like the European Union, the Worldbank and the African Development Bank etc.
In November 2003, the governments of Germany and Cameroon have agreed to concentrate the development cooperation on following three priority areas:
- Health and HIV/AIDS
- Sustainable use of natural resources
- Decentralisation, participatory development and governance
The most important German Development Agencies in Cameroon are, in the field of Technical Cooperation, the Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) as well as the German Development Agency (DED), in the field of Financial Cooperation, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).
2. In particular
2.1. Political dialogue and Donor Coordination
Due to poor governance in many places, the dominance of particular interests and the endemic corruption, the achievements of single measures are endangered. Therefore the German Development Cooperation is having a critical look at the political conditions in the country being the main obstacle for sustainable development and for this purpose to enhance the Development Cooperation by working jointly with other donors in the sence of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Furthermore, non-governmental initiatives should be intensified whereever there is an opportunity.
The political dialogue and exchange of western embassies and international organisations are regularly taking place at so-called „8+6“ meetings, on Ambassador's and head of delegation's level, as well as at regularly meetings of the European Union member states, which are represented in Cameroon and the Government of Cameroon.
Within the framework of the political dialogue with Cameroon, Germany regularly refers to the inefficient situation of human rights, democratization and the quality of governance.
The donor coordination regularly takes place in the so called „Comitee Multi-Bailleurs“ (CMB), which was initiated by UNDP, on the level of the head of missions.
On the background of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the cameroonian government is endeavoured to strengthen their responsibility for coordination for Development Cooperation of different donors. At the request of the cameroonian government an advisory project is currently taking place on the implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectivness.
2.2 Priorities of Cooperation
The above mentioned priority areas are playing key roles for the development of the country, especially after having considered the analysis of the major problems and the potentials of development. The priority areas are also declared as priority in the Cameroon's national Poverty Reduction Strategy. They were selected under consideration of various aspects of global structure policy as well as the complementarity to the activities of other donors.
2.2.1 Priority area „Health and HIV/AIDS“
Inadequat financial resources and significant deficits in the administraion of the health system are leading to a stagnation of the indicators for health in Cameroon in
the last years. In 2005, furthermore only 3,45 % of the state budget were contributed to the health sector, which is insignificant. This indicator is clearly behind the indicator recommended by WHO with 6 % and a long way behind the indicator of 15 % which African State Presidents in Abuja have declared as their goal.
A key theme of the German Cooperation in Cameroon's health sector is the sustainable improvement of the population's health situation, especially of the poor, the women and children, who are particularly abandonded to all risks of deseases. In order to achieve this goal, a sustainable enhancement of the structures of the state's health system and management as well as a change in the acteur's attitude will be necessary. These goals are more or less part of the Cameroon's health sector strategy (2001-2010). German Cooperation supports this process, in accord with the partner and other donors, in the execution of selected areas for actions based in the sector strategy:
- Improvement of local self-help groups for people with HIV/AIDS and young mothers
- Enhancement of present conditions and medical equipment as well as efficiently running health centres and hospitals
- Development of a decentralised health-insurance system
- Development of a policy for the supply of medicaments
- Implementation of national progammes for battling TB, HIV/AIDS and cholera and their financial support
- Development and implementaion of a maintenance policy for health centres
- Definition of roles of clerical and non-governmental sectors
In accordance to the content of the priorities of Cameroon's sector strategy (2001-2010), the previous regional separation of donors in the health sector should be transfered -within the framework of the planned Sector-Wide-Approach (SWAp)- to a thematic concentration, starting in 2009. The strategies of donors should be better linked and involved to a health system strategy in the future. Under the supervision of the Ministry for Health formalised working basis for donors will be carried out.
2.2.2 Priority area „Sustainable use of natural resources“
German cooperation thus orientates at following aims, which are included in PSFE, and efforts of development:
- Adaption of the frame conditions (f.e. Certification / FLEGT)
- Sustainable exploitation and conservation of natural resources
- Preservation of protected areas / national parks
- Capacity-Building / Human Resources
Main goal of the german-cameroonian cooperation is the significant contribution to the improvement of the living conditions of the local population through sustainable use of the rainforests and by protection of ecological forest systems. These goals should be achieved with the impact of a political advisor on a national level through vertical approach and within the implementation of suitable reforms on a local,
communal and provincial level. In addition, contributions to investments as conditions for the protection and sustainable use of the forests should be supported. New instruments are planned in order to secure the financial sustainability of nature parks (trust fund). Recently, Cameroon has started to become more actively engaged in regional activities, such as the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC).
Other donors like Worldbank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Union and France are also engaged in this priority area.
2.2.3 Priority area „ Decentralisation, participatory development and government“
Little progress have been made in the process of decentralisation, contained in the constitution of 1996. The municipalities and democraticaly legalised structures still lack the responsibility and requisite executive powers and financial scope to discharge their responsibilities. The financial resourses of the municipalities are still insignificant and are distributed according to intransparent criterions. Institutionally and politicaly very weak democratic structures and poor organised civil society organisations are not sufficiently geard towards the necessary change. Despite these difficult conditions, Cameroon is developing – on the municipal basis – an increasing intension for a decentralisation strategy in order to enhance local democracy. On the national basis, different coalitions of civil society organisations have already launched initiatives to get formalised.
Compared to other countries of sub-Sahara Africa, Cameroon holds a huge number of human resources. The german-cameroonian strategy in this sector priority area orientates at the strategies of the partner and should support the following:
Support of central governmental acteurs on playing an active part in the fields of decentralisation, implementation of PRSP and participatory development
Support of the implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness
Qualification of the decentralised structures on all levels and support in the execution of their new tasks and strengthening the capacities of municipalities
Support at the participatory implementation of a strategy which enhances the local economic and social development.
Strengthening the civil society acteurs when doing their business in the field of participatory development and lobbying for the implementation and monitoring of PRSP and the process of decentralisation
Enhancement of the physical communal infrastructur
Orientated towards effectiveness, the activities on a local level are taking place in three of ten provinces in Cameroon (Cetre, Extrême Nord and Ouest).
2.3. Debt Relief
Prior to debt relief, Cameroon was one of the most highly indepted countries in Africa. In 1999 its foreign debts amounted to around 9,4 billion US dollars. With the help of HIPC and MDRI debt relief, Cameroon had almost cancelled all its debts in 2006. In 2006 only 6,6 % of the export income has to be used for interest- and amortisation payments, compared to 2005 with a percentage of 22,8 % of the export income. According to calculations of the Worldbank, Cameroon now saves 265 Mio US dollars per annum until 2015. The opportunities to commit urgently needed investment and expenditure have grown enourmously, and the expectations of the population are high. The budgetary resources freed up as a result of debt relief are to be used solely for poverty alleviation. Germany plays a very essential part in this positive development process.
Germany's contribution to debt relief
Cameroon's debts related to Germany were originated by loan and consolidation contracts between the „Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)“ and Cameroon as well as by trade claims of the Export Credit Insurance Euler Hermes of the Federal Republic of Germany. Until 2000, different debt agreements („Cameroon I-V“) were concluded in order help to reduce Cameroon's debt payments.
In the context of the first debt relief initiative „Cameroon IV“ (and two additional agreements), Germany has relieved 621 Mio Euro. Within the framework of the debt relief agreement in December 2007 Germany has additionally relieved 810 Mio Euro which are consisted of – according to the German Ministry of Finance - around 480 Mio Euro trade claims and around 330 Mio Euro financial development assistance.
Considering every debt relief agreement, Germany has relieved the amount of 1,431 Mrd. Euro in total. This means, that Germany is waiving an income of about 800 Mio Euro until 2015.
Small Scale Development Fund
In order to improve the basic needs of the poor and poorest population, the Embassy offers the possibility to support small scale development projects within their Technical Cooperation. A particular attention is paid to the gender-effect of each supported project; it should be ensured, that the micro-project improves the living conditions of local women.
Especially eligible are projects, which cannot be financed by local organisations itselfs (like NGO, missions, or similar organisations). A support of individuals or already privileged groups is not possible. Beyond this, a financing of salaries or recurrent payments for consumer goods (like feeding stuff, medicine, draperies etc.) is also excluded.
The support of the Embassy is limited to the amount of 25.000.00 Euro (since 2009). The project should be accompanied by a co-responsable person known by the Embassy (e.g. working in the German development field) and carried out together with the project execution organisation.
Based on this principle, there have been projects of financing for the reparation of a school-roof, for the purchase of didactical material for HIV-self-help groups, same as the support of several different agricultural projects within the first six months of the year 2008.
This fast and directly visible support is treasured and well-acknowledged by the local population.