Some critics have slammed the promise of President Paul Biya to create 600,000 jobs annually in the next decade to arrest galloping unemployment in the country.
The Head of State made the announcement in his Thursday February 10 address to the youth. The outing as in prelude to the National Youth Day celebrated February 11.
Many are those who think, the president just made the announcement to sweet talk youths in the country wallowing in biting unemployment.
Some say it smacks of sloganeering and other promises the 89-year-old President has been making in his over 40 years in power.
According to President Biya, “despite the lingering global economic crisis, compounded by the adverse effects of the Coronavirus pandemic that has spared no country, your problems and aspirations feature among the major priorities of the current seven-year term”.
The President went on to cite his National Development Strategy 2020-2030 and the decentralisation process, as major moves in attaining this.
He also talked of the three-year Special Youth Plan whose effect many continue to doubt till date. The plan, Biya said, “thanks to the proper management of our economy,” , had “… enabled the financing of 8430 projects, 119 economic clusters and 132 second-generation pioneer villages, as well as the creation of close to 22 000 direct jobs.”
“Additionally, about forty Multipurpose Youth Empowerment Centres were built and the National Youth Observatory was effectively set up”.
Looking into the future, the president said millions of jobs were going to be created. “… thanks to the youth employment promotion policy included in the Priority Action Plan 2030, 600 000 jobs are expected to be created annually, with the involvement of Regional and Local Authorities,” he stated.
“Such actions,” to him, “will be intensified with the setting up of the National Employment Council, which is expected to provide new solutions to reverse the unemployment trend and improve the productivity of our enterprises”.
He acknowledged that one of the primary challenges this plan would face, is the lack of access to funding by small and medium size enterprises. Over the years, owners of these businesses have often decried the difficulty they entail in getting loans, or owning their own landed property to facilitate business transactions.
“That is why, in the short term, the Government plans to mobilize specific national, bilateral and multilateral funding to support the establishment of a guarantee fund for young entrepreneurs,” President Biya stated.
Many programmes, he told the youths, are already being implemented as part of the day-to-day activities of several ministries with high employment potential, with the key aim of encouraging youth entrepreneurship.
“… in 2021 all these programmes and projects were financed to the tune of 190 billion CFA francs,” he revealed.