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In Cameroon, Leaders Found a Solution for a Stronger Economy

January 24
20:30 2019

Since the beginning of the Anglophone crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of the country, violence and terrorism has seized these zones. The situation also impacts all the economy of these two regions, important for their agricultural productions.

One of the consequences of the drama occurring in the English-speaking zones is economic, and it would be a mistake to underestimate this aspect, as it serves as the thermometer of the repercussions of the situation on the population.


Graines de Cacao, Cameroun

On the way to Douala, we meet business managers, from small to big companies, mostly in the agricultural sector, especially in cocoa or banana production, which had to run away from their regions. The decision-makers of these sectors are not present anymore as well as all the working forces which exiled to major cities, like Douala or Yaounde. The reason is simple: the secessionists led a campaign of racket and kidnapping toward company owners, leading actions similar to the mafia. “Ambazonians” describes these attacks and this rançonnage as “tax collection”.

The wealthiest Cameroonians, more specifically the owners of cocoa plantations are the priority target of the “Ambazonian” militia. One of these business managers questioned a few weeks ago specified that “from the beginning of this year, not one week passed without an exchange of fire between the army and the separatists. I owned three hectares of cocoa and I abandoned everything.” And he adds, “the separatists extorted money from us. At the same time, the agricultural workers underwent particularly violent attacks in the fields, with atrocious mutilations.”

Since the beginning of the secessionist violence, the production of cocoa in these regions fell, going from 45% of the Cameroonian production in 2016/17 to 32% during the last season. The production is not only affected, but the simple transport of the production becomes a real endeavor for the entrepreneurs in the cocoa business, and as a result there is a constant progress of the stocks which cannot find any exit, because of the absence of the bosses. They are not present anymore to take care of the organization of the transportation. The consequence is that stocks went from 7,212 tons to 21,159 tons between 2017 and 2018, according to the ONCC (National office of cocoa and coffee).

But the new policies of the President Paul Biya, seems to be positives in the region. Many companies are planing to come back to these regions in the coming month, hopping that the war against secessionist will end soon.

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