IPMA International Project Management Association
25 November 2019 / 9:00

Project Management in Cameroon

Republic of Cameroon (French: République du Cameroun), is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon’s coastline lies on the Bight of Biafra, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is geographically and historically in West Africa with the Southern Cameroons which now form her Northwest and Southwest Regions having a strong West African history. The country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa. Cameroon is home to over 250 native languages spoken by nearly 20 million people.

Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun.

After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates. The Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) political party advocated independence. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroun under President Ahmadou Ahidjo. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Large numbers of Cameroonians live as subsistence farmers. Paul Biya, the incumbent President, has led the country since 1982; he had previously held office as prime minister, from 1975 until his elevation to the presidency. The country has experienced tensions coming from the English-speaking territories. Politicians in the English-speaking regions have advocated for greater decentralisation and even complete separation or independence (as in the Southern Cameroons National Council) from Cameroon.

The official languages of Cameroon are French and English, the languages of former colonial French Cameroons and British Cameroons and its religious population consists of 70% Christians and 20% Muslims. It is governed as a Unitary presidential republic and has good relations with the major powers of France, the United Kingdom and China.

The country is often referred to as “Africa in miniature” for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The highest point at almost 4,100 metres (13,500 ft) is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, and the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri River, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua. Cameroon is a member state of the African Union and the United Nations.

After IPMA attendance of the Pan-African conference on project management in 2016 and 2018 in the capital Yaoundé, Cameroon Project Management  (CaPMA) was born and formally registered in Douala in 2019. It has 50 members from different sectors including administration, private sector and universities. With the support of the Groupement Interpatronal du Cameroun (GICAM) one of the large employer organisations in Cameroon, it has organized on 23.011.2019 in Douala a workshop on project management excellence, in order to raise awareness of the importance of project management as a societal challenge. The event was supported by IPMA through Vice-President Products and Service Martin Sedlmayer and IPMA Executive Director Amin Saidoun as speakers and facilitators. They presented the IPMA eco-system and helped the Cameroon Project Management Association executive board to move the activities listed on their roadmap forward. This was done through an interactive exchange and identification of action priorities, defining roles and responsibilities and answering questions on association governance.

Project Management Workshop in Douala on 23.11.2019 with Cameroon Project Management Association and International Project Management Association

President Séraphin Essama, Vice president Just’ Alain Salinzhouer, secretary-general Sara Dipepa and David Sosso as person in charge for communication are now moving with their board colleagues the organization forward to the next steps: identifying market needs, increasing membership, preparing the next event in 2020 and fostering the partnerships with supporting organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and association sponsors.
Congratulations to this workshop in Douala and let’s keep Cameroon Project Management Association moving forward!

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Author of this post

Amin Saidoun is Executive Director of International Project Management Association, an international federation of over 72 project management associations around the world. Amin Saidoun, is an economist and graduate from London School of Economics and Political Sciences. He is a project manager who gained his 25 years of experience in international projects both in medium sized and multinational organisations in auditing, consulting and the logistics domain. As Executive Director of IPMA, he is in charge of the area Finance and Administration, Business Development of IPMA activities in Africa and the Middle-East. He is involved is various internal development projects and governance. He is author and co-author on various project management and business administration related articles. Among his areas of interest: intercultural project management, leadership and digital transformation.