Category Archives: Economic Development

Cameroon Celebrates 74th United Nations Day

Cameroon celebrated the 74th edition of the United Nations Day on the theme: “Mutualization of Peace Efforts for Sustainable Development” through a series of events:

Sporting Activities (Sports for the SDGs) – Saturday 19 October 2019

 – Sports-walk (Eco-jogging)

The weeklong series of activities in Cameroon kicked-off with a sports-walk. The over 1500 Participants were led by government ministers, ambassadors, UN Resident Coordinator, Heads of UN Agencies amongst other dignitaries across the streets of Yaounde; from Central Post Office through Olezoa to the military Stadium. During the exercise, plastic wastes by the road were being collected for an Eco-Friendly Cameroon.   This parade was guided by the security forces and the Cameroon Red Cross.

  • Football matches

Female and male football teams from MINREX and the United Nations took place at the end of the sports-walk at the Yaounde Military Stadium. The matches were contested in a spirit of fair play and for the good of the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Female Match: In a hotly contested football match and after 40 minutes of play, the UN female team beat MINREX by 1 nil. Kick-off was taken by Minister Gregoire Owona of National Insurance and Vocational Training.
  • Male Match: the UN male team thrashed the MINREX team by 2 goals to zero, demonstrating UN’s resolve to leave nothing behind for the SDGs in Cameroon.

 

Round table on the Role of Cameroon in maintaining International Peace and Security at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon –  21 October 2019

The maintenance of peace and international security. What is the role of Cameroon and the United Nations?  In a debate conference, students from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) and University, faculties and Civil society were educated on the actions of the United Nations in the world as a whole, and in Cameroon to support peace-oriented operations. and security. As part of activities for celebrations marking the 74th United Nations Day in Cameroon, this panel of experts on peace and security issues encouraged particpants and the general public to work for peace, owing to the fact that “to have peace, we must seek it”, as re-echoed by Minister Jacques Roger Booh Booh; former UN Special Representative to Rwanda.

This conference brought together representative from the government, the United Nations, the civil society, the media. UNIC Yaounde provided information material (roll ups), information kits on the United Nations peace-keeping Operations, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 

SDG Open Day Exhibition at the Esplanade of Yaounde City Council

The SDG open day was an opportunity for both Cameroon government and the UN System to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of donors in responding to the country’s humanitarian and development challenges, and to inform the population on results of UN’s support to Cameroon. Main objective was to create awareness on the SDGs, promote the 2030 agenda, and engage the civil society, youth and women to understand their respective roles a s frontline partners in promoting the SDGs.

An “SDG Village” was set-up with stands mounted by UNIC/RCO for UN agencies and CSOs Actors at the Yaounde City Council on 22 October 2019, to disseminate information on the SDGs, showcasing concrete actions by Agencies, partners towards achieving these goals in Cameroon. Agencies in the stands included; RCO/UNIC, UNESCO, UNV, UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, UNWOMEN, UNHCR. The civil society was represented by Fondation Villes Propres, JADD (Jeunes en Action pour le Développement Durable), AIESEC, YAOUNDE Agfo Changing Lives, CSAYN (Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network), Youth Connekt Cameroon, YOUthKmerVolunteers4SDGs, etc.

 

 

UN Resident Coordinator; Ms Allegra Baiocchi, UNIC’s Jean Njita, JADD’s Cecile MAWE drilled students, grouped in a special tent on their role in implementing the SDGs in Cameroon.  

SDG branded gadget and materials such as; #SDG, roll-ups (kakemonos), posters, brochures, mystery wheels, SDG rings, reports, newsletters, flyers, pins, mugs, t-shirts, pens, SDG cubes, etc characterised the Information content in the respective stands comprised. #Act4sdgs #UNDay2019 #teachSDGs

Official Ceremony

This Official ceremony marking the 74th edition of the UN Day in Cameroon took place on 24 October 2019 at the Ministry of External Relations, was chaired by H.E Felix Mbayu; Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External Relations in charge of Relations with the Commonwealth, ceremony. UN and Cameroon flags were hoisted by former UN Peacekeepers and Cameroonian Police officers

UN Resident Coordinator to Cameroon;  Ms. Allegra Baiocchi saluted the recent efforts that have been put in place by the government of Cameroon in terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030 and most specifically, the work done so far on the next phase of the country’s development policy. Concerning peace efforts, she saluted the holding of the Major National Dialogue, release of people detained in connection with crisis, as well as militants of some political parties. Ms Baiocchi said, “Peace is constructed through development, but the development has to be sustainable and most importantly inclusive.” Re-echoing the words of the UN Secretary- General, Antonio Guterres, she advised the effective implementation of dialogue recommendations and continuing with confidence building measures. She however decried the attacks against humanitarian missions preventing assistance from reaching the needy.

Minister Mbayu in turn stated that the government of Cameroon is still ready and banking on the constructive and fruitful cooperation and collaboration from each and every one, in attaining its ideals for peace and security, by achieving its development goals, through strengthening multilateralism.” He used the occasion to succinctly present peace and security efforts in Cameroon, all intended to enable the country to attain its 2030 development agenda to eradicate poverty, ensure peace, prosperity for people and the planet. He singled out the Major National Dialogue convened by the Head of State, President Paul Biya as a glaring example to illustrate peace efforts and said recommendations adopted consensually were currently under review. Minister Mbayu expressed the gratitude of government to the UN, other international organisations, friendly countries and the civil society for supporting Cameroon’s efforts for a return to peace and normalcy and called for more synergy of action for the country to attain the “desired future” by 2030 in an atmosphere of peace and security.

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