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East: Employment Minister Tchiroma calls for compliance with foreign labor laws

East: Employment Minister Tchiroma calls for compliance with foreign labor laws
  • Comments   -   Monday, 21 August 2023 16:05

(Business in Cameroon) - On August 16, 2023, Cameroon's Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, embarked on a tour to sensitize companies in the East region to the need to comply with regulations governing the employment of foreign workers in the country. This forestry and mining region is home to numerous companies employing around 1,000 foreign workers, according to official figures.

However, as is the case in many of the country's companies, many expatriates are employed illegally. This is hampering the implementation of provisions related to skill transfer in the country. During the first phase of his tour, notably in the towns of Abong-Mbang and Doumé, Minister Tchiroma particularly emphasized the need for companies employing foreign workers to ensure the transfer of skills to locals.

Minister Tchiroma's tour is part of the government's drive to track illegal foreign workers (the operation has been intensified in May 2023).

Issa Tchiroma Bakary explained in an official press release: "Despite awareness campaigns, field checks, and formal notices sent to company directors, they continue to unlawfully employ a large number of foreign workers in violation of enforceable regulations.” 

Denied request for approval 

The said regulations stipulate that "the Minister should only grant a work visa to a foreign worker if it is proven that there is no competent Cameroonian for the position requested," or if the employer "proves that a Cameroonian has also been hired to assist the foreign worker to enable technology and skills transfer,” the Minister of Employment pointed out in a circular dated June 2022. 

On March 2, 2023, based on that circular,  Finance Minister Louis Paul Motazé notified the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Atlantique Assurances Cameroun IARDT of his refusal to approve Ivorian Raoul Charlemagne Raymond Yapo for the position of Managing Director.

"I am honored to inform you that I am unable to favorably respond to the request to approve Mr. Yapo Raoul Charlemagne Raymond, as the managing director of Atlantique assurances Cameroun IARDT, insofar as his file does not meet the requirements of the circular (... ) of June 27, 2022, from the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, in particular, the employment contract in question and proof that there are no Cameroonians qualified for the position applied for," reads the letter sent by Minister Motazé to the CEO of Atlantique Assurances Cameroun IARDT on March 2, 2023.


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