Cameroon vs Netherlands – Development Scorecard

Posted on Thursday, 24 June 2010 14:30

Cameroon need at

least a draw against the Netherlands to restore their dignity before they fly home from the World

Cup. Off the field, they need an end to the EU’s agricultural subsidies according to a development scorecard prepared by the Africa Progress Panel

for their ‘Scoring for Africa’ report. Read more on the relations between the two countries off the field.

Attempts on target

Development Assistance: The Dutch Development Organization has been operating in Cameroon since

1963. Planned assistance over the next two years is set to focus on improving access to health services and

safe drinking water as well as promoting community forestry. (Source: Dutch Development Organization)

Trade: The EU is Cameroon’s largest trade partner, receiving almost 80% of its total exports. The Netherlands

are Cameroon’s 5th biggest export partner, after Spain, Italy, the US and France. (Source: EconomyWatch)

Investment: The Netherlands have expressed a strong interest in investing in flower cultivation in Cameroon,

an area in which the European country has much experience. (Source:

Attempts off target

Trade: While negotiations on an EPA continue, interim agreements have been signed by Cameroon,

which has allowed for duty free access to the EU for all cocoa and chocolate products. This has meant

an improvement in comparison to the taxes the country was subject to previously. However, under the

EPA agreement, some of the cocoa products are not covered by the duty free access and are subject

to a higher tariff. (Source: ICCO Annual Survey 2008)

Regulatory Reforms: Despite some recent reforms, Cameroon still ranks as one of the most difficult places

in the world to start a business making it hard for companies from developed countries like the Netherlands

to enter the market. (Source: World Bank Doing Good Business Report 2010)


Agricultural Subsidies: Agricultural productivity is central to Cameroon’s export industry. Owing to the

fertile land, almost 70% of Cameroon’s population is engaged in agriculture. The EU’s agricultural subsidies,

especially for cotton, which is one of Cameroon’s primary products, are seriously harming Cameroon’s

agricultural sector. (Source: EconomyWatch)

Deforestation: Illegal logging is a profitable business in Cameroon and will remain so as long as law

enforcement is not strong enough and corruption prevails. While Cameroon has just signed a voluntary

partnership agreement on forest governance and trade in forest products with the EU, there remain

questions whether this will substantially improve the situation.

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