The Pilot Committee of the Economic and Social Inclusion Programme identified hindrances to growth in Douala recently.
Effort to speed up growth rate in the country has entered high gear. Various government programmes set up to that effect, including the Pilot Committee of the Economic and Social Inclusion Programme, PRINCES, has identified the weak inclusion of vulnerable groups in decision-making as a major hindrance.
The second session of the committee held recently in Akwa, chaired by the Secretary General in the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development in the presence of Littoral’s Delegate of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Blaise-Aimé Ella and the Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme.
During the session, five factors that hinge on vulnerable groups such as women, youths, elderly persons, ethnic minorities, disabled persons and people living with HIV were identified. These include inadequate consideration of vulnerable groups in national policies and strategies, as well as in the process of decision-making, insufficient valorisation of the role of the private sector in the fight against poverty, intensification of poverty and inequality and non-attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
To justify this, the committee noted that nine out of 63 women were in government in 2015, five women out of 360 were divisional officers in 2011 and one woman was a prefect in 2012, none is governor and only 13 per cent of women were MPs in 2013. Meanwhile there is insufficient access to quality basic social services, inequitable access to production factors as well as to financial sources and inability to fully benefit from opportunities.
As a result, the committee has set up a programme to improve on the participation of vulnerable groups in politics and to include their worries and issues such as gender among others in national programmes, policies and strategies. The objective is to strengthen consideration of the situation of vulnerable groups in policies and strategies at the central and local levels, as well as reinforce the implication of the private sector in the fight against poverty.