Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, was officially received at the headquarters of the Inter-Patronal Group of Cameroon (GICAM), located in the Bonanjo district of Douala.
During this meeting which lasted two hours and whose importance is no longer to be demonstrated, the issue of the business climate was at the centre of exchanges between the head of government and members of the employers’ movement of which Celestin Tawamba is president. For the GICAM (Inter-patronal Group of Cameroon), it was a good opportunity to bring to the attention of the government the grievances of the private sector vis-à-vis the public authorities. This will help to ease the particularly tense climate that has prevailed, until now, between the government and the employers.
This meeting comes after the decision of GICAM to cancel the conference-debate that was scheduled for Friday, April 16, with a delegation mandated by the Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso, to represent him. To this could be added the persistent dissension with the Director General of Taxes, who, earlier this year, went to Douala to present to the private sector the tax innovations of the 2021 finance law. A strategic meeting for which the largest employers’ movement in the country was absent.
It should be noted that four members of government were received at GICAM in 2020, as part of the public-private dialogue. These include the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, whose meeting, on 27 November 2020, focused on ‘the contribution of the private sector in the development and sustainability of road infrastructure’. The Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, who went there in early October for the first stage of the campaign to promote the institutional mechanism of vocational training in Cameroon, and the Minister of Public Health, Malachie Manaouda, who chaired the exchange and information meeting on the Coronavirus on 6 March. It was the Minister of SMEs, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Achille Bassilekin III, who opened the ball of exchanges between members of the government and GICAM on 28 January.
Another point, and not the least of this meeting, was that « the Prime Minister came to ask the heads of companies for their contribution to the war effort for the reconstruction of the South West and North West. These two English-speaking regions of the country, in the grip of a war of independence since 2016, » said a member of the Inter-Patronal Group of Cameroon.
For the president of GICAM, CélestinTawamba, « the more the State consults and takes into account the grievances of those who know the business world, first and foremost the representative organisations of the private sector, the more appropriate this environment will be.
« In its 64 years of existence, GICAM has never been honoured with a visit from a Prime Minister, » he concluded.