The Ministry of Higher Education has not only undertaken reforms to professionalise training but is also engaging national enterprises to serve as incubators for young graduates.
Cameroon’s higher education sector has witnessed a series of reforms in recent years. These reforms are mostly to professionalise training in State universities in order to match training with the exigencies of the job market. The new university governance which focuses on quality assurance, professionalization and employability of certificate holders therefore came to the fore. Linking university studies to the job market became the order of the day. In this connection, different State universities which are autonomous institutions are creating their own network with private enterprises to faciliate professional insertion of their graduates. The University of Buea for instance established partnership agreements with Cameroon Industrial Shipping Company (Chantier Naval), Cameroon Development Cooperation (CDC), Orange Cameroon amongst others where some of its finest graduates were offered jobs.
The Ministry of Higher Education understood the dynamics of relating with the private sector for easy insertion of young graduates. Thus, in 2018, the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education went into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Enterprises of Cameroon (ECAM) and Movement of Enterprises of Cameroon (MECAM). The MoU is intended to optimise the availability of quality human resources in the job market for the enterprises. The Chancellor of Acadmic Orders and Minister of State for Higher Education, Jacques Fame Ndongo stated during the event in Yaounde that it was another milestone to professionalise higher education in the country. To the enterprise leaders, the MoU would improve students skills and inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in them so as to become job creators. It is on the same vein of being job creators upon graduation that the Ministry of Higher Education also created the Presidential Support Programme for Employability of Young Higher Education Diploma Holders (PRO-PAEJ) was also put in place. The programme is to support youth entrepreneurial projects with funding, coaching, installtion and marketing, amongst others. In 2020, the first batch of 100 young graduates whose projects were validated received assistance to become job creators.
The National Employment Fund, NEF, has also been playing a significant role in youth insertion into the job market. Through its diverse services and programmes, university graduates have had job placements across the country. One of its flagship programme, PED (Programme d’emploi diplômé) has been placing inexperienced young graduates on industrial internship where they have the possibility to earn FCFA 100,000 monthly.
Even the National Development Strategy 2020-2030 lays emphasis on the need to develop quality and adapted humain capital in order to drive development and employment. This is therfore incumbent on the higher education to churn out quality human resources needed for Cameroon to attain emergence by 2035.