Brussels, 14 July 2022/OACPS: Cameroon is the most recent beneficiary of the Policy Support Facility (PSF) as the country aims to develop its first national research and innovation (R&I) strategy and make the knowledge economy a vector for sustainable and inclusive development.

The PSF is implemented by the Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

The PSF service kick-off meeting was held in hybrid mode on 13 July 2022 at the Mont-Fébé Hotel in Yaoundé. It was attended by about 100 key stakeholders, senior officials from the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation (MINRESI) and other sectoral ministries, research institutes and universities in Cameroon, representatives from the OACPS Secretariat, and the European Union (EU) Delegation to Cameroon.

The chair of the Expert Panel in charge of this service, Professor David Simo, recalled the objectives of this R&I strategy, identified as one of the pillars of the transformation of Cameroon, which aims to be an emerging country by 2035 (National Development Strategy 2020-2030 and “Vision 2025”). Aligned with the United Nations Agenda 2030, the Agenda 2063 and the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 of the African Union (AU), this strategy aims to increase the performance of research and innovation in priority areas of development, bring research closer to the business world to better exploit its results, and put in place effective mechanisms for detecting and financing innovative projects.

Speaking on behalf of Dr Norbert Richard Ibrahim, Assistant Secretary-General of the Political Affairs and Human Development Department of the OACPS, Ms. Aya Kasasa, Expert on Culture, Migration, Urbanisation and Demography, emphasised the extent to which, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, “research and innovation are essential to finding solutions to the major challenges of our time (…). This pandemic has also shown that significant changes can happen very quickly when science and policy work together. For this, we need effective R&I strategies to inform the changes taking place and to guide the actions of policy makers. We also need robust and efficient research and innovation ecosystems that produce useful and exploitable knowledge, add value to research results and better meet the needs of our societies.”

Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, Head of the EU Delegation in Cameroon, agreeing with the statements expressed by Ms Kasasa, highlighted the additional means and expertise that will be provided through this service to MINRESI to achieve synergy and collaboration between the various actors of R&I. In particular, “an exhaustive mapping of centres of excellence in research, a diagnosis of the challenges and constraints of implementing an R&I policy, the networking of research centres, and the organisation of indispensable regional and international partnerships”.

The final speaker at the official PSF service launch ceremony, Ms. Madeleine Tchuinte, Cameroon’s Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, urged the experts to give a practical scope to their recommendations, “…in terms of effectively transforming the results of research into a mechanism for employability, a tool for wealth creation, a lever for sustainable development and finally an instrument for the blossoming of our populations”, reflecting both the complexity of Cameroon’s reality and the country’s sub-regional vocation.

The Policy Support Facility (PSF) service in Cameroon, is the sixth such service to be implemented by the EU-funded OACPS Research and Innovation Programme, to enhance the quality and efficiency of R&I policy systems. Since the launch of the Service in 2021, PSF services have been conducted in Lesotho, Mauritania, The Gambia, Timor-Leste and Kenya.

For more information on this PSF service, please download:

Factsheet of the PSF service in Cameroun

Presentation of the members of the Expert Panel

Please also visit the webpage of the PSF service in Cameroon

Photo: PSF Team with Representatives of the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation, Cameroon