Also with regard to the exploitation of other mineral resources, such as iron ore (Mbalam / Est), cobalt, nickel and the like. Manganese (Nkamouna, Lomié / Est), uranium (Lolodorf / Sud, Nki / Est), gold (Djoum, Ntem, Nkout / Sud, Batouri / Est, Rey Bouba / Nord) or bauxite (Minim-Martap, Ngaoundal / Adamoua) and diamonds (Mobilong / Est), international mining companies are keeping an eye on Cameroon. In recent years mining licenses have been granted to various foreign investors, especially Canadian, Australian and US companies; although many of these raw material deposits are never mined.
The working conditions in the mining sites have partly improved in recent years, but still show numerous shortcomings.
Information technology is booming within the service sector. While computers and the Internet are only concentrated in the cities, mobile phones are widespread and have even conquered Cameroonian villages within a very short time.
Transmission mast in the Mandara Mountains
Despite many sights in terms of country and people, culture, flora, fauna and scenic beauty, the tourism sector does not play a really important role economically.
The number of tourist visas granted rose steadily until 2014 (2010: 573,000, 2012: 817,000, 2014: 822,000, 2016: 994,000; data for the Organizaton Mondial du Tourisme / World Bank) and there were various efforts on the part of the state to expand this branch of the economy, however the war against Boko Haram and the unrest in the Anglophone regions suggest a massive slump in numbers.
It is reasonable to assume that the informal sector generates more income than the formal sector in Cameroon. In urban areas in particular, a large part of the population (estimates speak of well over 50%) stay afloat with activities in the informal sector. Especially for women and young people there are opportunities to earn a living, on the other hand very little is usually earned and there is no protection whatsoever.
According to localtimezone, Cameroon is a country located in Central Africa. 75% of the population invest their money in informal savings associations (tontines), which also represent a system of social security.
Domestic trade from NW to Littoral
Inland trade in Cameroon mostly takes place in a south-north direction: fish, wood, fruit and imported goods that come into the country via the port of Douala are transported north, meat and onions are transported south.
Internationally, Cameroon has not achieved a balanced trade balance in recent years; imports clearly exceed exports. The global financial crisis is making itself felt in Cameroon as well.
The main trading partner is still the European Union. The Netherlands and Italy are important for Cameroonian exports, while France has lost weight and Germany plays a subordinate role. But Asia, especially India and China, is also a buyer for Cameroonian products. Imports are mainly from China, as well as from the EU, with France in particular being an important partner. The US leads in terms of investment (Chad-Cameroon pipeline, AES SONEL).
The neighboring countries, such as Nigeria, will also gain in importance as trading partners if the necessary infrastructure is created.
The main export products are petroleum, wood, cocoa, bananas, cotton, aluminum, rubber and coffee.
In addition to industrial products and crude oil, more or less processed agricultural products such as rice, wheat, refined sugar, malt, milk powder, tobacco products, etc. are imported.
Like other ACP countries, Cameroon receives aid for trade, for example within the framework of the European Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which are supposed to support the partner countries in expanding their trade capacity; – However, opinions are very divided.
Wood, the green gold of Cameroon, is an important raw material, the use of which is of great importance for the Cameroonian economy. The income from forestry represents a not inconsiderable part of the state income, which is made up of harvesting concessions, taxes and export duties. However, sustainable management of the forest is of crucial importance here, everything else would only mean “selling your silverware”. To protect our own wood processing industry, there is a ban on the export of round wood.
The global economic crisis was the first to be felt in timber exports, and international buyers canceled orders. In 2010 at least the EU and Cameroon signed an agreement on the certification of export timber…
Video on the subject:
- Impact of the economic crisis on forestry