Public Private Partnerships of Cameroon
Launched in 2003, the Vision Cameroon 2035 development plan, aims to chiefly bring about economic ‘prosperity’ and ‘universal access to quality social services’. In a climate of limited public capital, multi-stakeholder partnerships form an increasingly important factor in this economic vision, whether private actors, civil society organisation or donor organisations. Infrastructural development is sought by Cameroon through a ‘planned liberalism’approach. Vision 2035 articulated major infrastructure works requiring construction including dams, bridges, roads and housing.
In 2005-09, Cameroon established its policy framework for public-private partnerships. Subsequently, in 2013, the government released details of 21 projects to be financed and executed via PPPs, in the areas of transport, urban development, energy and the agro-food industry. Six of these have currently been awarded contracts, with private partners all drawn from expatriate nations – France, South Korea and South Africa. The government has indicated nations could be enlisted as sub-contractors. Large infrastructural projects completed via PPP models include highways, ports and shopping malls. The government is particularly keen to diversify the republic’s economy from its present dependence on oil.
Part of the challenge is attracting private investment to a country where high customs duties have discouraged capital investment.
Tax exemption methods have now been implemented to mediate this – in 2009 the Cameroon Business Forum simplified procedures to improve the business climate. Persistent corruption has also been a significant factor in the discouragement of both domestic and international investment, an issue the government has sought to expel through the National Anti-Corruption Commission (established 2006) and the National Agency for Financial Investigation (2005)