Category Archives: Economic Development

UN Cameroon at the Yaoundé “Promote” International Trade Fair

The United Nations System in Cameroon participated in the 7th edition of the Yaoundé International Trade Fair for Business, SMEs and Partnerships code-named “PROMOTE”, which took place this year from 16 to 24 February 2019 at the Yaounde Conference Centre on the theme ‘business climate and sustainable development’. UN’s was a means of bringing the organisation closer to the people, sensitise on the SDGs and give the public an opportunity to ask questions on the work of the system in Cameroon

The official launching ceremony of the exhibition trade fair took place on Monday 18 February 2019 by Cameroon’s Prime Minister H.E. Joseph Dion Ngute, who expressed government’s appreciation to all participating companies to the trade fair. H.E Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana Minister of trade encouraged the exhibitors especially foreign companies, thanking them for choosing to do business with Cameroon. He further stated that if agricultural methods were modernised, it could improve on the business atmosphere in Cameroon, given that agriculture remains the backbone of the economy. The UN Resident coordinator, Allegra Baiocchi, said that Cameroon needs to build a conducive environment for business to grow, and called on Cameroonian companies to ensure they are doing business responsibly, in line with the ten Principles of the UN Global Compact.

On Wednesday 13 February 2019 and prior to the kick-off of the trade fair, UNIC’s NIO; Jean Njita and Ms. Audrey Moneyang; Youth policy Assistant (UNDP) were special guests on “MIDI LIFE”, a One-hour midday programme on national television “Cameroon Radio and Television” (CRTV), to situate the raison d’etre of UN’s presence at Promote (engage youths to the “youth Connekt” initiative and engage the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the SDGs and also finance the SDGs), as well as inviting the general public to visit the UN stand.

The United Nations System in Cameroon organise 3 conferences at the Trade Fair village, to educate youths, and engage economic operators and the private sector to finance the SDGs:

  • Youth innovation and business opportunities: the youth connekt approach” presented the different opportunities available or youths in economic, social and profession domains.
  • Financial inclusion to reduce inequalities and accelerate emergence in Cameroon” highlighted the fact that financial inclusion was a critical enabler to meeting the SDGs and leave no one behind, especially actors of micro finance sector.
  • The private sector: key to realising the SDGs in Cameroon” gave an insight on the indispensable role to be played by the private sector towards achieving the SDGs in Cameroon and the world.

UNIC prepared and animated a weeklong “ONE UN Stand” with documents, videos, and other information material from the UN family; UNECA, UNFPA, UNIC, UNWOMEN, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNV, UNDP, etc.. Displayed were documents education, gender equality and violence against women, Volunteering, contraception, condoms and HIV/AIDS, financial inclusion, basic facts on the UN, SDGs factsheets, Africa Renewals, and other books by UNIC. The SDG mystery wheel was present at the stand. Visitors unceasingly spinned the wheel and answered questions on the respective goals. Some SDGs gadgets such as mugs, pens, t-shirts, books were awarded as Prizes for good presentations and answers. Visitors greatly appreciated the game as it gave a broader knowledge on the SDGs. Many took pictures with the SDG ring as well.

Cameroon’s Prime Minister and Head of Government; H.E. Joseph Dion Ngute visited the UN stand on Wednesday 20 February, during which he and his suit were handed gifts consisting of UN documents and magazines.

 

 

Mrs. Allegra Baiocchi; UN Resident Coordinator was on hand in a live webcast interactive session with visitors on Friday 22nd February, to provide answers to the numerous questions of visitors present at the stand on the UN and its activities.

Op-ed by Elliot Harris, UN Chief Economist and and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development.

Worrisome risks lurk beneath solid global growth,   By Elliott Harris

On the surface, the world economy remains on a steady trajectory moving into 2019. Headline figures suggest that – while global growth has likely peaked – activity around the world will continue to expand at a solid pace. Several developed economies are operating close to their full potential with unemployment rates at historical lows.

Yet, headlines do not tell the whole story. Beneath the surface, a much more worrisome picture of the world economy emerges. The newly-released World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 illustrates how a combination of rising economic, social and environmental challenges hampers progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. There are several risk factors that could disrupt activity and inflict significant damage on longer-term development prospects. Over the past year, trade policy disputes have escalated, and financial vulnerabilities have increased as global liquidity tightens, casting a shadow over the outlook for 2019 and beyond.

Should such a downturn materialize, prospects are grim. Global private and public debt is at a record high, well above the level seen in the run-up to the global financial crisis. Interest rates remain very low in most developed economies, while central bank balance sheets are still bloated. With limited monetary and fiscal space, policymakers around the globe will struggle to react effectively to an economic downturn. And, given waning support for multilateral approaches, concerted actions – like those implemented in response to the 2008/09 crisis – may prove difficult to arrange.

Even if global growth remains robust, its benefits do not reach the places they are needed most. Incomes will stagnate or grow only marginally in 2019 in parts of Africa, Western Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Many commodity exporters are still grappling with the effects of the commodity price collapse of 2014-16. The challenges are most acute in Africa, where per capita growth has averaged only 0.3 per cent over the past five years. Given a rapidly growing population, the fight against poverty will require much faster economic growth and dramatic reductions in income inequality.

And, perhaps most importantly, the critical transition towards environmental sustainability is not happening fast enough. The nature of current growth is not compatible with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In fact, the impacts of climate change are becoming more widespread and severe. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing.Floods, coastal storm surges, droughts and heat waves are damaging vital infrastructure and causing large-scale displacements. The human and economic costs of such disasters fall overwhelmingly on low-income countries.

Many of the challenges before us are global in nature and require collective and cooperative policy action. Withdrawal into nationalism and unilateral action will only pose further setbacks for the global community, and especially for those already in danger of being left behind. Instead, policymakers need to work together to address the weaknesses of the current system and strengthen the multilateral framework.

The author is UN Chief Economist and and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development