Cameroon reached a deal with the International Labor Organization (ILO) last week in Bamenda to recruit nearly 2,500 young people as part of the Ring Road construction project. The latter is a road loop linking the main towns in the Northwest region and opening onto neighboring Nigeria.
"We are in the process of recruiting young people who will be trained in the various fields of civil engineering. This program requires an investment of CFA1 billion and will run under the HIMO approach," said the regional delegate of Public Transport, on national radio. The operation is placed under the supervision of the town halls which are responsible for selecting suitable candidates. The recruitment procedures were explained to the local municipal authorities during a training and awareness-raising workshop held on February 15. The ILO is responsible for both building the capacity of the recruited youths so that they can "strengthen their employability", and organizing them into cooperatives, according to the representative of the International Labor Office (ILO), Cyrano Ombolo.
The agreement is aimed at combating the enrolment of young people into armed groups in the northwest region, which is the scene of more than five years of bloody conflict between law enforcement and Anglophone separatists. According to several experts, high unemployment and poverty, especially among the youth, are fueling crime and terrorism.
In his December 31 address to the nation, the head of state announced the start and continuation of various projects in sectors such as infrastructure. Paul Biya presented these as "job niches" to be exploited by the youth. "We will resolutely pursue our efforts to revive and diversify our economy, which will surely create new job opportunities for our youth," the president announced on February 10, during the 57th edition of the Youth Day.