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CNA Education: Cameroon Still To Meet UNICEF Targets

YAOUNDE,Cameroon-Tuesday July 10, 2018-9:40 PM Local Time(Cameroon News Agency) The government of Cameroon is still to meet up with the required annual budgetary spending on the education sector.

A critical and objective assessment made by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund, UNICEF, of the level of commitment by the government of Cameroon and its development partners indicate that the level is far below average.

With regards to the commitments in terms of financing the Education and Training strategy of the country, the results according to the representative of UNICEF in Cameroon, Jacques Boyer are not encouraging.

Government’s budgetary provisions to the sector decreased from 14.55% in 2014 to 13.91% in 2015, and then stabilized at 14%, meanwhile UNICEF’s agenda 2030 recommends that the sector be allocated at least between 15 to 20 per cent of government’s annual spending, or 4 to 6 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As of date, Cameroon spends only 3% of its GDP on Education, a level relatively lower than the average spent by other member states of the Central Africa Economic Community which is 3.4% and that of the Sub – Saharan Africa which is 4.1%.

Furthermore, a chunk of the budget allocated to the sector is spent on salaries and personal emoluments leaving very little for investment and development.

Besides the government’s budgetary spending, Cameroon has equally partnered with development partners, (Nations and Institutions) to support the Education and Training sector in the country.

The commitment from external funding for the sector as of date, July 4, 2018 is merely 3%. This is well low below the 7% target set and agreed on by development partners.

The framework for monitoring and evaluating the progress of implementation of support to the Education sector met in Yaounde on July 4, 2018 in their joint annual sectoral review meetings with the objective of providing room for the government and its partners to assess the results obtained so far, challenges remaining and to define well informed steps to further speed up the march towards the accomplishments of goals.

It should be noted that after the 2014 and 2015 sectoral review meetings, the government has not met with its development partners again and such missed opportunities to meet have not helped the sector to evaluate, document and learn important lessons for the future.

The joint review on the implementation of the Education and Training Strategy was organized on behalf of the government of Cameroon by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and regional Development headed by Minister Alamine Ousemane Mey and the development partners were represented by the resident representative of the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, Jacques Boyer.

Both parties recommended and agreed to take new actions towards mobilizing additional resources and accelerating implementation to achieve the goals outlined in the Education and Training sector strategic document signed by Cameroon and its development partners.

Another major recommendation that came up during the joint review was for the regular organization of joint review exercises to monitor and report on the achievements and challenges.

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