PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE -------------CABINET

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REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON Peace-Work-Fatherland ------------

PRESS RELEASE
FOLLOWING THE CABINET MEETING OF THURSDAY 29 AUGUST 2013 ****************

Yaounde, 39 August 2013

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The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Mr Philemon YANG, today Thursday 29 August 2013 as from 11:00 a.m., chaired a Cabinet Meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office. In attendance were the Vice Prime Minister, Ministers of State, Ministers, Ministers-Delegate and Secretaries of State. Three items featured on the agenda:
1- A statement of the Minister for Small and Medium size Enterprises, Social

Economy and Handicrafts, on: “Government’s policy on the migration of informal sector enterprises to the formal economy”; 2- A report of the Minister for Housing and Urban Development on: “the implementation of instructions of the Cabinet Meeting of 30 March 2010 to prepare town planning documents and carry out urban renovation operations ; 3- An enquiry point by the Minister-Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Public Contracts, on: “adjustments introduced in the public procurement system by Decree No. 2013/271 of 5 August 2013 to amend and supplement certain provisions of Decree No. 2012/074 of 8 March 2012 related to the creation, organization and functioning of Tenders Boards”. The statement by the Minister for Small and Medium size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts centred on Government policy on the migration of informal sector enterprises to the formal economy. It showed that this is an important production segment in Cameroon. According to figures obtained from the National Institute of Statistics, this sector in 2005 accounted for 80% of the labour force, contributing up to 45% of GDP and growing at 5% yearly. However, informal production units, corresponding to over 2.5 million enterprises, are based mainly in rural areas and in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé. In addition to being uncompetitive, they face serious problems of financing and marketing of their products. Recently, the Government undertook to encourage their migration to the formal economy by structuring handicrafts on the one hand and facilitating business set-up formalities on the other hand. The organization of the handicrafts sector is at two levels – legal and operational – to enable it serve as a recipient for non agricultural informal sector stakeholders. The Minister indicated that the State’s multi-faceted support to operators who accept
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to formalize their activities will include: advice and basic information, individual managerial support, collective technical support, technological assistance as well as financial and commercial assistance. Craftsmen’s registers, ultimately complemented by professional cards, will be operational in all councils by the end of the year. To complement these tools of migration to the formal economy, stakeholders will be sensitized and handicraft villages built – six of them will be commissioned by the end of 2013. Since 2010, five business set-up formality centres are operational in Yaoundé, Douala, Bamenda, Bafoussam and Garoua. Those in Limbe, Ebolowa and Maroua will be operational by the end of the year. To date, over 16,593 enterprises have been registered including 8,380 in Yaoundé, 7,403 in Douala, 212 in Garoua, 299 in Bamenda and 299 in Bafoussam. Registration in these specialized centres is not only cheaper but, above all, confers tax benefits. Lastly, the Minister mentioned the establishment of approved management centres which allow for better monitoring of informal sector operations and announced the imminent commissioning of the Small and Medium Size Enterprises Promotion Agency, created by the President of the Republic on 3 April 2013, as well as the SME Bank. After the ensuing discussions, the Head of Government asked the Minister for Small and Medium size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts to fast-track the construction and commissioning of handicraft villages and to assign to his competent services annual objectives for the effective migration of operators to the formal economy. Next to be recognized was the Minister for Housing and Urban Development reporting on the implementation of instructions received during the Cabinet Meeting of 30 March 2010 for the revitalization of urban planning in towns of 100,000 or more inhabitants, urban renovation and restructuring and training of town planners. He revealed that despite financial constraints, his ministry is working in earnest to implement these instructions. Since 2010, at least 70 localities has a planning programme. The State liaised with city and other councils to design 7 town-planning master plans, 8 land occupation plans; 1 sector plan being finalized; 10 preliminary plans. Furthermore, there are plans in the current year to design one town planning master plan and 11 land occupation plans and 11 preliminary plans. The Government concentrates its urban renovation and restructuring efforts in Yaounde and Douala where identification studies are underway for the appropriate treatment of poorly structured and equipped neighbourhoods. Concurrently, several
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projects are ongoing in the councils of Yaoundé 6, Kribi 2 and Bamenda 3, as part of the Participatory Slum Clearance Programme (PPAB) with technical assistance from UN-Habitat. In conclusion, the Minister for Housing and Urban Development revealed that his ministry’s partnership with the Yaounde-based Advanced School of Public Works, the University of Yaoundé 1 and the Ecole Africaine des Métiers de l’Architecture et de l’Urbanisme (EAMAU) in Lome, Togo, helped to increase training supply in the town planning professions and fill the glaring gap in that area. After noting the report, the Prime Minister instructed the Minister for Housing and Urban Development to continue and more widely disseminate the town planning culture – guarantee of the development of modern, functional cities. Lastly, the Cabinet listened to an enquiry point of the Minister-Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic, in charge of Public Contracts. He revealed that the recent adjustments made to the public procurement system raises by a substantial margin the competence thresholds of tenders boards other than central commissions and institutes prior endorsement before signature of contracts of up to certain amounts. He pointed out that endorsement is governed by a period of seven days and, in case of rejection, an obligation to communicate the reason thereof. The balance of the entire procurement system hangs on two measures. To ensure governance and performance, the new margin conferred on contracting authorities is offset by the endorsement of the Minister-Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Public Contracts, confirming his role of authority of supervision and approval in the contract award phase. The Head of Government called on all contracting authorities to own and implement the new provisions of the public procurement system, so as to increase the level of public investments and respond to the needs of the population. The Cabinet Meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m../-

Yaounde,

GHOGOMU PAUL MINGO, DIRECTOR OF THE PRIME MINISTER’S CABINET 4

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