Cameroon will extend its visa requirement for foreign workers' contracts into a second year, with the government aiming to raise XAF20 billion in 2024 to fund vocational training.
The Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training (Minefop) is responsible for collecting the levy, which employers pay based on the salaries of foreign workers. The funds are earmarked for upgrading nearly 300 rural artisan and household sections (SAR-SMs) into modern trade training centers.
However, Minefop faces the challenge of exceeding last year's mixed outcome, where it collected only XAF5 billion of the 14 billion targeted. To improve efficiency, the ministry has prioritized compiling a comprehensive registry of foreign workers in Cameroon. This working group has so far registered over 60,000 foreign workers.
Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary (photo) has also adopted a stricter approach. He previously threatened to expel foreign workers operating in bad faith, emphasizing their responsibility to contribute to training Cameroonian workers amidst high unemployment.
While some employers support the tax's intent, they criticize Cameroon's stricter visa fee conditions compared to other sub-Saharan African countries. The Cameroonian fee equates to two months' salary, and employers bemoan its lack of adjustment for short-term contracts (under six months).
Michel Ange Nga