(Business in Cameroon) - Nearly three out of ten employed individuals in Douala and Yaoundé are migrants, according to the 3rd Survey on Employment and the Informal Sector (EESI3) released by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
The stats agency defines its study’s targets as foreigners working in Cameroon, "exchanging their labor for pay or profit”. The survey, which focuses on 10,788 households and individuals aged 10 and above, reveals that one in five employed individuals in Cameroon as a whole is a migrant. It further points out a relatively higher presence of migrants among the employed population in the Littoral region outside Douala (43.0%) and the Center region outside Yaoundé (36.1%). The release of this study coincides with growing concerns about illegal foreign labor in Cameroon, although the document itself does not delve into this issue.
Since 2023 started, the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training (Minefop), Issa Tchiroma Bakary, has ordered foreign employees working irregularly in Cameroon to comply with the law. Article 4, paragraph 1 of Decree No. 93/575/PM of July 15, 1993, which sets out the procedures for establishing and granting visas for certain employment contracts, stipulates that foreign workers must be endorsed by Minefop before commencing their duties.
Furthermore, the 2023 finance act mandates in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 of Article 22 a levy on the salary of all foreigners working in Cameroon. "The aforementioned deduction is set at the equivalent of two months' gross salary and compensation for non-African workers; the equivalent of one month's gross salary and compensation for any African worker, with a 50% reduction," specifies the text.
Through this deduction initiative, the government seeks to raise CFA14 billion by the end of the current year. These financial resources will be used to fund the transformation of 288 SAR-SM (rural artisanal and household sections) into state-of-the-art vocational training centers. SAR-SM entities are public secondary educational facilities located in rural areas where trainings focus on masonry, carpentry, and tailoring.