Cameroon is a country with a good development potential due to a diversified economy but still high poverty due to weak institutional development. Cameroon is the largest middle income country in Central Africa with a relatively diversified economy (agriculture, forestry, raw material extraction and some transformation industry) and a dynamic private sector.
In spite of Cameroon's very significant endowments in natural resources and a well educated elite, economic growth (around 3-4%) has been lagging behind the rates achieved by more dynamic African countries and large parts of the country remain very poor. Also security threats are increasing mainly on the northern borders.
In the past, EU cooperation focused in the past on improving governance, boosting trade and regional integration. As Cameroon is the first country in the region expected to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement, it plays a key role in the region as well. The Country Strategy Paper for Cameroon (2008-13) and a multiannual action programme, detailed cooperation priorities with Cameroon for €250 million of funding under the 10th European Development Fund.
In the governance sector, the EU has been contributing to consolidating the rule of law, management of public finances, forestry governance and the sustainable management of natural resources. With regard to trade and regional integration, assistance has been on competitiveness and facilitating trade, strengthening production and exports as well as improving the road network.
Additional assistance from the thematic budgets is assisting decentralisation and non-state actors (NSAs).
All EU projects in Cameroon address cross-cutting issues such as gender, the environment, human rights (in particular those of the pygmy people) and the prevention of HIV/AIDS and malaria.