Cameroon’s leading commercial cities, Douala and Yaounde are the most affected negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to job losses in 2020.
According to a just published report by the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), six per cent of employees in Douala, the leading commercial and most populous city in Cameroon lost their jobs in 2020 due to the negative effects of COVID-19.
Yaounde, the national capital and second most populated city in the country, saw 4.7 per cent of its employees losing their jobs due to the pandemic in 2020.
“As concerns the loss of employment during the period of the Covid-19, the proportion is a little higher in Douala (where 6 per cent of employees lost their jobs) and Yaounde (where 4.7 per cent lost their jobs) than at the national level and less in the rest of Cameroon where 3 per cent of employees lost their jobs,” revealed the NIS in its report of a national panel that studied the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 on the conditions of living of Cameroonian households.
Douala, the country’s economic capital, hosts most of the big companies in the country and employs more workers than any other town including the national capital Yaounde.
Douala also plays host to most of the small and medium sized enterprises in the country.
“Though the COVID-19 pandemic is being put in front as the main cause of the retrenchments in some of the international conglomerates and some big local companies, most of these sackings were abusive and the pandemic was just used as a trojan horse for the companies to proceed with lay-offs they had already programmed but found it difficult to execute them because of the financial and judicial consequences they should have incurred had they not used the coronavirus excuse,” said Honga Gabriel, trade unionist in Douala.
“What we are looking forward to now is that those retrenched ostensibly because of the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business would be called back to work as the pandemic recedes,” Honga added.
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