To date, the State is the main job provider in Cameroon with more than 400,000 employees. The demand for employment is increasingly growing and the unemployment rate reaches 50%, especially among young people. Unable to provide these millions of young people with jobs on their own, several preferential measures to foster entrepreneurship have been put in place under the label “Incentives for Enterprises Creation”. Law 2013/004 of 18 April 2013 sets out the various incentives for private investment in Cameroon. The emergence by 2035 cannot be achieved with such a high unemployment rate and especially without the private sector.
The above-mentioned law aims at encouraging, attracting and promoting productive investment with a view to develop activities intending to promote strong, sustainable and shared economic growth and employment. It rules the entrepreneurial activities of creation, extension, redevelopment, renewal and/or transformation.
Sectors governed by specific texts are not concerned (upstream oil, mining and gas).
Normally, any person who shall benefit from it, must carry out an activity in accordance with the laws and regulations in force.
Several customs and tax incentives are granted during the installation (for a period of 5 years) and operation (for a period of 10 years) phases.
It is important for those who want to benefit from these exemptions to abide by this law. Indeed, the requirements are neither complicated nor difficult to meet. For example, Article 8 stipulates that any investor may benefit from a tax credit provided that he meets one of the following criteria:
- Hiring at least 5 young university graduates per year;
- Combating pollution;
- Developing sports, cultural or social activities;
- Creating public interest activities in rural areas.
Special incentives are even given to those who want to get into priority sectors such as:
- Packaging and storage activities for products of plant, fish or animal origin;
- Tourist and leisure offer;
- Social economy;
- Housing and social housing;
And here, businessmen can benefit from the exemption from VAT on investment credits, the exemption from property tax on built and unbuilt buildings, and many others.
It is therefore up to each investor to get and catch the spirit of this law to make good use of it and benefit from the incentives contained therein. To do so, some rules should be respected.