The export opportunities of Cameroon using the TRADE-DSM

- 1 March 2021

Trade topics: Regional Integration, Trade Policy

This research project was begun on the initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Cameroon which, through its Industrialization Master Plan (known as “Plan Directeur d’Industralisation”, PDI, 2015), has the ambition to become the “factory of the new industrial Africa” by becoming a logistics hub, manufacturer, and food supplier of the African continent, starting with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and Nigeria (referred to as “ECCAS+N”) zone. More specifically, the PDI has identified few industrial pillars, namely: 1) Forest-Wood and Derivatives, 2) Mining, Metallurgy - Steel, 3) Hydrocarbons and Petrochemicals, 4) Chemistry and Pharmacy and 5) Cotton - Textile – Manufacturing to serve as focus for the development of the Cameroon economy.
In order to materialize this vision, the Cameroonian government, with the support of the ECA, has adopted a national strategy for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA strategy”) in 2020, a few months after ratifying the AfCFTA Agreement in October 2019. Resulting from a participatory process involving different stakeholders (government, private sector and civil society), the strategy harnesses the opportunities and addresses potential threats of the AfCFTA. Considering ECA’s expertise in the area of diversification and structural transformation, the Government of Cameroon has requested ECA's support to assess Cameroon's export opportunities in the AfCFTA market.
To this objective ECA has commissioned a study to inform on a more granular basis the potential associated with possible export opportunities for Cameroon with a focus on ECCAS+N as well as the broader African continent in the context of the AfCFTA developments.
This study provides insights into the approach applied, a summary context of key methodological context, outcomes obtained and examples of more detailed case studies for Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and lastly concluding with summary observations, recommendations and technical appendices.