In the build-up to the National Youth Day, the government of Cameroon has been encouraging the youth to be actors of development. In light specialised programmes elaborated in different sectors to empower the youths are given prominence.
The Special Triennial Youth Plan for the socioeconomic insertion of young people was officially launched on 11th January 2017 in Yaoundé. The programme that began with a financial package of 102 billion CFA Francs seeks to facilitate and accelerate the socioeconomic insertion of youths through mobilisation, civic education and entrepreneurship as well as employment or installation of the youths in production or service delivery units. The Special Triennial Youth Plan is said to harbour all other governmental projects designed for the youths in other to ensure better coherence, monitoring and follow-up.
The plan has three main objectives:
- The putting in place of a National Youth Observatory
- The specialisation and reinforcement of operational capacity of existing projects and programmes existing at the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education
- The development of infrastructure and equipment for social education and proximity coordination of youths.
Other projects placed under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education includes:
- Urban and Rural Youths Support Programme (PAJER-U); is a specialised programme for accelerating the socioeconomic integration through junior enterprises. It targets youth between 15-35 years of age in 17 development sectors. It was put in place in 2007 to provide technical, entrepreneurial and managerial assistance in animal breeding, innovations, transformation and conservation of local materials, agricultural services, hair and nail dressing, aesthetics, metallic works, electricity, electronics, plumbing and brickwork amongst others. Regional, divisional and sub divisional branches of PAJER-U coordinate pre-selection exercises and analysis statistics from the National Youth Observatory. Under the programme, Youths are trained in entrepreneurship, management of projects and conception of financial documents.
- The National Fund for the insertion of youths (FONIJ); is a central structure for the mobilisation of funds for the financing of youth projects. It finances productive and innovative projects that are in the production phase with the goal of contributing to professionalization and reduction of poverty. It serves as an intermediary between youths and partners in all categories of public and private structures the offer services that favour the socio economic insertion of youth. Beneficiaries undergo training in civic education, entrepreneurial and managerial techniques organised in collaboration with the National Civic Service Agency for Participation in Development and PAJER-U.
- National Youth Observatory (ONJ); It seeks to reduce the gap between demand and supply of possibilities for youths. It facilitates training and installation of youths. It is based in Multifunctional Youth Promotion centres (CMPJ). The programme ensures the registration, orientation towards the appropriate sectors and the monitoring and evaluation of projects as they grow. The ONJ targets some 1500 thousand youths within three years.
- National Volunteerism Programme (PNV) seeks to promote skills for personal development. It was put in place in 2017 for mobilisation, citizen participation and promotion of skills of all social strata in view if development, national integration and social cohesion. The PNV target youths irrespective of qualification who are ready to engage in development activities or collective interest. Selected youths are given professional capacity building based on the requirement for their post of commitment and for the eventual post volunteerism integration. 25000 youths were selected for volunteerism activities with 213 probationers during the 2017 youth volunteerism holiday.
- Programme for the repatriation and installation of youths from the Diaspora (PARI-JEDI); the programme seeks to mobilise Cameroonian youth in foreign countries and help them to voluntarily return and be installed in the country. It also helps in managing migration and the implication of the youths in nation building. The government provides credit facilities, subventions and other assistance to assist those who return to establish in the country.
- Project for the Socio Economic Insertion of Youth of youths for the creation of micro enterprises in the manufacture of sports equipment (PIFMAS); the project seeks to valorise of Made in Cameroon” brand. It was created in 2007 to train uneducated youths aged 15-35 in the techniques of making sports materials including footballs, nets, jerseys, gloves amongst others. The programme accompanies the youth to develop skills and eventually become autonomous.
- The Mass Civic Education and National Integration project (PEPCIN) ; it seeks to intensify the moral rearmament of youth. The programme was elaborated to meet up with the urgent need of civic and moral rearmament throughout the national territory. Civic education and national integration campaigns are carried out as part of the National Campaign of Civic Education and national Education (CNECIN)
Compiled by Elvis Teke