Cameroonian president Paul Biya said this week that over 500 000 jobs were created in the "modern sector" of the country's economy last year, but added that more employment opportunities were needed.
The president made the announcement during his address on national youth day in Yaoundé, the country’s capital city.
“It must be acknowledged that though laudable, such efforts are unlikely to resolve a problem stemming from the fact that our economy does not generate enough jobs. This difficulty notwithstanding, it is gratifying to know that, according to statistics, slightly over 500 000 jobs were created last year in the modern sector of our economy,” Biya said.
The president did not include details about the sectors in which the jobs were created or if they were temporary or permanent.
He said well-educated and trained Cameroonian youths had the best chance to be responsible citizens and find employment.
However, finding employment remained a concern as there was a mismatch between employment demand and supply.
“The government and the ministry of employment and vocational training are making every effort to provide solutions to this problem,” he said.
Biya further said that the ministry of youth and civic education would continue its activities for the benefit of young people in the areas of civic education and national integration.
According to Business in Cameroon news, in 2019, more than 780 000 young people were registered with the national youth observatory. Over half of them were applying for funding for self-employment or business projects.
Approximately 2 000 registered young people are from the diaspora, and nearly 22 000 of the registered have been referred to various funding and support windows.
Biya used the opportunity to reiterate his call on cabinet to increase its efforts to combat drug and alcohol abuse among the young.
“Not too long ago, during a council of ministers' meeting, I requested the government to consider designing a national drug and alcohol abuse control plan. Such abuse had reached an alarming level among the Cameroonian youth,” he said.