In a nation where over 60% of the population comprises youth and women, their economic exclusion poses a significant barrier to Cameroon’s aspirations of becoming an emerged economy by 2035. This sobering reality is highlighted in the insightful article “Entrepreneurship, Youths, and Women Economic Inclusion in Cameroon” by Laurent Brice Nsengue, Dr. Bin Joachem Meh, and Dr. Jean Cedric Kouam of the Nkafu Policy Institute.

The article delves into the multifaceted challenges hindering entrepreneurship development in the country, ranging from burdensome taxation and administrative hurdles to limited access to finance and the pervasive issue of corruption. These barriers have impeded the ability of entrepreneurs, particularly young people and women, to establish and grow sustainable businesses, perpetuating cycles of unemployment and poverty.

However, the article also shines a light on the transformative potential of entrepreneurship as a vehicle for economic inclusion. By fostering an enabling environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Cameroon can harness the innovative spirit and drive of its youth and women, empowering them to contribute actively to the nation’s development.

This aligns seamlessly with the vision of the Emerging Leaders Program, which seeks to identify and nurture a new generation of changemakers committed to driving positive change in Cameroon. Through comprehensive training, mentorship, and hands-on experience, the program equips these emerging leaders with the skills to tackle complex challenges, such as fostering inclusive economic growth and creating opportunities for marginalized communities.

As the article highlights, initiatives like the National Development Strategy 2020-2030 and the promotion of youth entrepreneurship underscore the government’s recognition of the pivotal role of economic inclusion. However, concerted efforts are needed to address the systemic barriers and create an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurship to thrive.

By empowering Cameroon’s youth and women to unlock their entrepreneurial potential, we can catalyze a ripple effect of economic empowerment, job creation, and sustainable development. The Emerging Leaders Program serves as a catalyst, nurturing the visionaries who will champion this transformative agenda, ensuring that no one is left behind on the path to a prosperous and inclusive Cameroon.

Read the full article here.