Algeria, November 7, 2018

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Transformation will come via rigorous development planning, study

A senior official of the UN Economic Commission (ECA), has told Cameroon's development planning and statistics, which is called the 'invisible hand' in economics, which advocates 'laissez-faire' and 'laissez-aller', can not by itself promote diversification, industrialization and the structural transformation of the economies.

Antonio Pedro, Director of ECA's Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa, argued that complementary market forces, countries need robust development planning machinery, rooted in strong statistical evidence to raise the middle income bracket level, prosperity and structural transformation.

He was speaking during a review of two case studies conducted by the Capacity Development Division (CDD) or ECA under the leadership of Sylvain Boko, Principal Regional Adviser at CDD, which aims at systematically embedding accountability in Cameroon's development planning. The event was coupled with the launch of the Commission's Structural Transformation, Employment, Production and Society (STEPS) profile of the country.

One of the case studies assessing Cameroon's National Institute of Statistics' ability to assess and strengthen the way in which Cameroon's national institute is collect, compile, produce and use the data necessary for strengthening accountability in development planning.

Therefore, 'this delegation workshop on mainstreaming accountability into planning processes will help us to improve our planning techniques and to increase and improve our prosperous Cameroon' Minister Delegate in Planning for Planning at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development - Paul Tasong, who chaired deliberations of the event.

Maiden structural transformation profile of Cameroon

In introducing the STEPS profile, ECA's Antonio Pedro recognizes that Cameroon has developed the Industrial Development Master Plan. Notwithstanding, he urge Cameroonian authorities to set their ambitions higher than that middle income status is achieved the country avoids being caught in the so-called 'middle-income trap' label 'or emerging countries.

To avoid getting stuck at that level, the country would need to continue to invest in human capital development and be persistent at its drive towards enhancing productivity, competitiveness and innovation, Pedro added. These are key variables of the Commission's STEPS profiles.

Structural transformation here refers to a marked change in the components of the economy - moving factors of production, notably labor and capital, from lower level productivity Sectors such as mere subsistence agriculture / extraction of raw materials to higher levels including manufacturing, other industries and quality services.

The 2018 STEPS Profile for Cameroon, produced by ECA's Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa, notes that there is no doubt that there are no changes in terms of structural changes. of its economy.

Presented by Mama Keita, chief of SRO-CA Economic Diversification Section, the report on the Government of Cameroon to improve the country's business environment while promoting foreign direct investment (FDI), local content policies and the development of technology to boost production.

It is urgent for Cameroonian authorities to work towards boosting the competitiveness and sophistication of the country's products in order to be better positioned within the global and global value chains (GVCs).

The Profile received a spirited response from Cameroonian authorities led by Minister Mr Paul Tasong.

The Minister and his collaborators The STEPS profile for Cameroon is the first step towards economic diversification - the horizontal approach. This approach has enabled it to implement planning around multiple sectors that would contribute to a sustained growth pattern of the economy.

The next internship will focus on vertical diversification to deepen value addition and linkages development within each sector and other sectors of the economy, in line with Cameroon's Industrial Development Master plan launched in 2017.

The Minister and his collaborators pledged to work on the key messages emanating from the STEPS profile and called upon ECA to support Cameroon with relevant technical advice to help it deliver on its horizontal and vertical diversification agendas, timeously.

They also requested that future STEPS profiles appraise the country's capacity to produce and improve its structural transformation.

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