Cameroonian workers from the public and private sectors will launch a general strike and demonstrations today across the country.
The cost of living is very high in Cameroon. Strikers are denouncing the high prices of everyday staples such as bread, oil, fish, water, and electricity. They are also demanding salary increases in the public sector and a reevaluation of the private sector’s minimum wage—currently standing at $60 per month. Demonstrators will gather at government buildings in urban centers including Yaoundé.
Expect police to increase security measures in urban areas leading up to the strike. Though protests will likely remain peaceful, minor confrontations between protesters and law enforcement are possible, especially considering that the gendarmerie have been condemned for arbitrary arrests and detainments in the past. Traffic disruptions may also occur near demonstration sites.
In 2020, Cameroon’s stock of public debt rose to 45.8% of its GDP, hindering its economic recovery from the pandemic and execution of a new national development strategy for 2030. In the long term, Cameroon will need to reduce its massive debt in order to avoid subsequent demonstrations. Without addressing this issue, costs will continue to rise and further exacerbate local grievances.