Understanding Economic Growth: ESSEC Students Enlightened

A study by the World Bank in collaboration with enterprises in the private sector brought out constraints and proposed solutions


The dwindling economic growth in Cameroon is no longer news, but how to trigger productivity for more competitiveness preoccupies not only the government but international organisations, entrepreneurs, businessmen and students as well. A study carried out by the World Bank team on Cameroon’s low rate of economic growth and how it can be accelerated, indicates that obstacles ranging from unfavourable business climate, through limited resources to competency have to be taken into consideration. Presenting the findings to students of the Advanced School of Economics and Commerce dubbed ESSEC in the University of Douala Friday, Souleymane Coulibaly of the World Bank said the state has to take drastic measures to promote growth and favour competitiveness at the local, regional and global levels.

On economic growth, Souleymane Coulibaly pointed out that manufacturing companies will increase productivity by 12.2 per cent if they engage in capacity-building of workers, use electronic mail to communicate with clients, create a web site and have an ISO certification among others. He also disclosed that having access to loan or finances will increase productivity by 24 per cent. The findings also indicated that clearing goods from the Douala seaport is slow and it is an impediment to growth as well as competitiveness.

Though Cameroon, through the Cameroon Business Forum, has put many reforms in place to ameliorate business climate since 2010, the outcome of Doing Business ranking indicates that much still needs to be done. To Souleymane, it is possible to accelerate growth so that vision 2035 be realistic if the government encourage innovative activities like certification, normalisation and the use of internet. The government in collaboration with the private sector should develop technical and professional training centres that are in line with the need of the job market, reduce numerous road controls, and reinforce the management of the Douala seaport.

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