Employment-Intensive Investment in Cameroon

Web page | 08 February 2017

Current EIIP Involvement

At present, the EIIP is providing technical support to two programmes in Cameroon.

Creating more jobs and increasing youth employability through road construction.
In 2014, the Cameroonian government sought the technical support of the ILO to implement a project aiming to promote jobs creation and youth employability in the south west region in the case of construction of Kumba/Mamfe Road. The strategy of the ILO technical assistance mission is to: (i) Develop the capacity to integrate Employment Intensive Investment Methods in the construction of the main road (Kumba-Mamfe) and the rehabilitation of the 118 km of rural roads planned as related activity of the project; (ii) Strengthen the capacity of local government in the management of road maintenance contracts; (iii) Train young people from the project intervention area (ZIP) on labour-based approaches; (iv) Introduce alternative technological choices promoting the involvement of SMEs to public contracts; and (v) Ensure the sustainability of interventions (post-construction-rehabilitation maintenance system).

By using Employment Intensive Investment Methods through trainings and demonstration site works, the project has been able to achieve significant results such as: (i) rehabilitation of 4 km of rural roads during which 15,714 man-days were created (267 registered workers, including 203 men (76%) and 64 women (24%); XAF 22'180'252 of wages paid as salaries to the workers; 49 direct jobs and 91 indirect jobs created); (ii) 16 Rural Roads Committees (RRCs) identified, set up and equipped with the relevant materials; (iii) more than 138 applicants received trainings in public works activities; and (iv) training centers reinforced.

By performing well on this project, the ILO will be able to mobilize additional funds to implement new projects using the Employment Intensive Investment Methods given the high number of projects of road construction which is going to take place in Cameroon.

Supporting the dissemination of Employment Intensive Investment Approaches and Methods in infrastructures in urban areas in Cameroon
With this project, the ILO is providing technical assistance to Cameroonian government in the use of Employment Intensive Investment Approaches and Methods in infrastructures in urban areas. This is done through the capacity building of urban actors such as the officials of the Ministry of Habitat and Urban Development, the technical services of decentralized territorial administrations, civil society organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises. With this project, the Ministry of Habitat and Urban Development and the ILO have been able to design a project document about the optimization of the potential of job creation in urban infrastructure works by using Employment Intensive Investment Approaches in order to meet the constant needs of the labour market. The mobilization of funds is currently being undertaken for the implementation of this project.

Concerning assessment employment works, since January 2017, the ILO has started discussions with the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) about the designing of tools which will enable the government to assess the number of jobs which is going to be created with Public Investment Programmes (PIP). In addition, the ILO is currently involved in the technical committee set up by the MINEPAT in order to design a national guide for the implementation of the Employment Intensive Investment Methods.

For the immediate future, the ILO is working in order to develop and implement new partnerships for the promotion of jobs creation in different areas by using Employment Intensive Investment Methods. Especially, the ILO is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry in order to design a pilot project for the construction and rehabilitation of agricultural roads with paves stones. In addition, we’ve started discussion with the Ministry of Basic Education in order to improve the offer of school infrastructures in the education sector with the promotion of jobs creation and the use of rural materials. Lastly, with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, we’ve started the promotion of ILO tools for green jobs through green works in order to reduce deforestation and the adverse effects of climate change.

Historical Information

In adopting the Declaration for the promotion of Employment Intensive Investment Approaches (HIMO) in June 2008, the Cameroonian Government wanted to provide practical leverage for jobs creation and to improve the access to market for agricultural production among its highest priorities in the fight against poverty and unemployment. The HIMO approach is also seen as an effective tool to support the implementation of its National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and its national employment policy in order to reduce unemployment and underemployment. In this context, the Government has taken the following actions: (i) An HIMO Unit in charge of the promotion of employment using HIMO approaches in public investment has been integrated within the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT); (ii) The conditions for the use and application of labor-intensive approaches were drawn up (Decree of the Prime Minister on 24 March 2014) for the introduction of this approach in public investment plans and programs, Sector representing around 60% of public investment; (iii) The terms and conditions governing the exercising of competence transferred by the State to the municipalities in respect of the carrying out of road-blocking works (Decree No. 2012/2334 / PM of 13 August 2012); and (iv) Manual of procedures and guidelines for road maintenance have been developed formalizing processes relating to the sound administrative, financial management of road maintenance projects and the technical aspects of implementation and monitoring of these projects.

Since then, this objective of jobs creation through the use of labor-intensive techniques has been materialized through the execution of several projects:

The Pilot Project for the Maintenance of Rural Roads by the HIMO- (PERR-HIMO)
The Cameroonian Government initiated a pilot project for the maintenance of rural roads by the HIMO approaches in 2005. This was in response to the new direction given by the Government in 2003 by officially accepting the implementation of the HIMO approaches to address the high costs of maintenance programs and the low impact on social indicators of rural maintenance and rehabilitation of rural infrastructure. The aim of this project is therefore to reduce road maintenance costs and to transform maintenance programs into opportunities for the promotion and creation of jobs for vulnerable groups through the use of technological approaches encouraging local employment and the use of local resources.

The Yaoundé Sanitation Project (PADY)
It was a project set up to clean up the Cameroonian capital, financed by the African Development Bank (20 billion CFA francs) and by the Cameroonian Government (2.3 billion CFA francs). The duration of the work was 5 years (2006-2010) .The objective was to reduce poverty in urban areas by contributing to the sanitation of the city of Yaoundé. It was a question of creating jobs by applying labour-intensive approaches for road maintenance works, reducing water-borne diseases by treating the insalubrity of the riverside districts and beautifying the living environment of the populations. The work consisted in cleaning up Underground collectors in the urban center of Yaoundé and the re-calibration of the canal of the Mfoundi River, which watered the city by creating a 4.4 kilo-meter canal with crossing structures and maintenance runways.

The Support Project for the Promotion of Employment and Poverty Reduction (APERP) phase 1, 2
The objective of this project was to improve the living conditions of populations through the implementation of decent work projects. In the short term, the project aimed to support the process of adoption of the HIMO strategy and its implementation, to contribute to the integration of employment in the formulation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), and to introduce provisions favorable to jobs creation into the public procurement code. It was financed by the French Government. The first phase began in 2006 and was completed in 2009; the second phase lasted four years from 2011 to 2014. In Cameroon, the main project’s activities consisted of: sensitizing the actors, training the actors through seminars and workshops for a better appropriation of the HIMO concept, and organizing workshops for the experimentation of HIMO approaches.

The National Program for the Rehabilitation of Rural Roads (PN2R)
The program for the rehabilitation and construction of rural roads in Cameroon aimed to improve the accessibility of rural areas, reduce the cost of transport and stimulate local economic development. To this end, it contributed to strengthening of infrastructures in rural areas by creating jobs and consolidating the national road maintenance strategy adopted by the Cameroonian government in March 2000. But due to financial constraints and organization constraints within the Ministry of Public Works, the project was able to rehabilitate only around 15 km. However, the works enabled the opening up of some hard-to-reach areas as well as production areas in order to make rural roads accessible all year round. As a result of the rehabilitation work, the Decentralized Territorial Communities succeeded to manage maintenance through partnership contracts with the Rural Road Committees (RRCs) created along the routes. This action led to the creation of permanent employment opportunities in rural areas and thus combat underemployment. In addition, the project succeeded to build the capacity of the different actors in HIMO approaches (the officials of the Ministry of Public Works, the technical services of decentralized territorial administrations, civil society organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises).