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Employment : New Niches For Future Jobs!

With the evolution of ICTs and other factors of production, there are attractive emerging jobs in di

T he advancement in technology has revolutionised the world’s economy, Cameroon inclusive. The drive for economic growth has led to the diversification of many economies as well as the modernisation of different factors of production. Thus, a paradigm shift is being experienced in different sectors of the economy especially with the modernisation of production mechanisms and emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). With Cameroon’s march towards emergence, sectors such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) agro-industry, retail distribution chains, tourism, urban development, extractive industries and aeronautic, amongst others, are identified as torch-bearers for new jobs in the nearest future. The Telecommunication sector is today seen as a pivot for any meaningful development. The development of ICTs have modernised every fabric of the economic life and has created along the line many other jobs as companies and institutions are aligning to modern day technology for optimum production of goods and services. Cognizance to this, President Paul Biya on December 31, 2015 in his routine annual address to the nation noted “We must rapidly bridge the digital development gap. This is a genuine growth driver as well as a niche for new jobs for our youth.” ICT sector is therefore the core of digital economy owing to its contribution to fields of human economic development. According to statistics contained in the Strategic Plan for Digital Cameroon by 2020 elaborated by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, the digital economy sector now employs 10,000 youth and would create some 50,000 new jobs by 2020. The contribution of the digital ecosystem to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also expected to up to 10 per cent by 2020 from actual 5 per cent, according to the same plan.  Agro-industry is another promising sector with many opportunities for new jobs. Cameroon has, over the last few years, opted for the modernisation of its agricultural sector with the move to what is today known as “2nd generation agriculture.” It entails the use of modern technics in production as well as greater transformation of agricultural produce to manufactured goods. The value-chain, therefore, will create more jobs ranging from production, processing and marketing. The sector for now employs about 70 per cent of the country’s active population. Recently, the government launched a FCFA 70 billion Value-chain Development Project aimed at promoting processing of some agricultural products. Agricultural training institutions like the Bingela Practical School of Agriculture have been created to give hands-on training needed for new jobs in the sector, with just 20 per cent of the arable land cultivated at the moment, according to Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) statistics.  The tourism sector is also waxing strong with prospects high as the country, referred to as “Africa in miniature,” prepares to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. With over 700 hotels and about 500 restaurants of all categories existing as at April 2017, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure, the sector is witnessing giant strides with new hotels under construction and several tourist sites. As the sector is getting new impetus, new jobs in the sector such as tourist guides, hotel receptionists, chefs and waiters, amongst others, will be abound. The sector created some 289,500 direct jobs in 2016, representing 3.1 per cent of total jobs. It is expected to rise to 411,000 direct jobs, representing 3.9 per cent of total jobs by 2027, according to World Travel and Tourism Council.   

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