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Cameroonians are living a better life, but inequality is destroying their quality of life, UN says


Cameroon has recorded an impressive growth of 0.6 points over the past year on the United Nations Human Development Index, recently released data shows.

The Human Development Index gathers information on a country’s investment in its citizens health, education, and basic standard of living. The information is then used to measure the quality of life, education and health in the country. The UN Development Program (UNDP)  then ranks and compare countries with other.

Cameroon’s HDI value for 2017 in the most recently published index is 0.556, putting Cameroon in the 151 positions among 189 countries surveyed.

Cameroon has recorded impressive progress in the past decades, UNDP says. ‘Between 1990 and 2017, Cameroon’s HDI value increased from 0.440 to 0.556, an increase of 26.3 percent. Between 1990 and 2017, Cameroon’s life expectancy at birth increased by 6.4 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.8 years and expected years of schooling increased by 4.2 years. Cameroon’s GNI per capita increased by about 14.1 percent between 1990 and 2017’.

Over forty three percent of Cameroonian population is made of up of youths. The country spends over 32 percent of its budget on health, education, and social welfare.

Notwithstanding with rampant corruption across the country, most of these investment does not reach the average Cameroon. Corruption has also widened the gap between the rich and the poor. According to the UNDP report, ‘Cameroon’s HDI for 2017 is 0.556. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.366, a loss of 34.2 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. The average loss due to inequality for medium HDI countries is 25.1 percent and for Sub-Saharan Africa it is 30.8 percent. The Human inequality coefficient for Cameroon is equal to 34.2 percent’.



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