Uwem Essia, Regional Director of the Pan African Institute for Development – West Africa, PAID-WA, has noted that Cameroon which recently celebrated its 50th year as a reunified nation has an excellent investment potential which can carry it to emergence.

Some of Cameroon’s excellent Investment potentials he numerated include; an ambitious but realizable Cameroon vision 2035, abundant mineral and agricultural resources, a peaceful and happy population, a stable macro-economic environment with inflation rate below 3% just to name but these.

A nation with thriving middle class

To him, Cameroon, a nation with a thriving middle class of consumers, a gradually growing democracy and free press, diverse ecological and climatic conditions, enormous cross-border trade potentials

A strong culture of civil obedience especially with paying taxes are all potentials that if well exploited will see Cameroon witnessing a rapid, stable and impressive transformation into an African super-power.

He made the declaration last week at the Amphitheater 750 of the University of Buea as he was guest speaker during the international i.Boot camp 2016 organized by the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa, YALDA.

Cameroon's potential to grow

In his presentation Dr. Uwem Essia, of Nigerian origin noted that throughout his stay in Cameroon, he has gotten to realize that Cameroon more than any other African state has the potentials to grow rapidly in all aspects. This he says is due to minimal inter-communal conflicts and civil disturbances, regime longetivity which to him is an opportunity for a sound long term planning

While showering praises on Cameroon for its juicy investment potentials, the PAID-WA regional director who has done Africa proud through his works as an academia pointed out that 50 year old Cameroon has light development challenges which seem to pose not just a problem but a threat to its developments.

Development challenges

Some of the development challenges he highlighted include; a weak private sector with few competitive indigenous firms, a wide income gap as many live far below the poverty line, slow infrastructural development such as roads and rails despite steady toll charges and huge resource leak through massive imports.

Quoting the African Development bank which noted that Cameroon’s vast potential is constrained by poor produce quality, inadequate infrastructure, weak marketing and price uncertainties and poor financing.

Avenues for job creation

Dr. Uwem of the democratic institution points out that despite job creation initiatives such as the National Employment fund, NEF, Rural and Urban Youth Support Program, PAJER-U, the Cameroon National Youth Council, CNYC and the National Civic Agency for Participation in Development, ASCNPD, youths unemployment and underemployment rates according to the international labor organization 2013 was 30 and 75% respectively.

To him, measures such as making local entrepreneurs global players, Cameroon duly belonging to CEMAC and ECOWAS will profit from both sides since it is geographically linked to ECOWAS and politically to CEMAC.

Proposals for development

Provision of incentives to farmers, cutting taxes, speeding up decentralization, separation of economic democracy from political democracy and so on, will put Cameroon back on track headings for its place which is at the top rather than been admitted again and again as a highly indebted poor country, HIPC due to repeated and consistent borrowing without been able to pay its debts.