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Regional themes > Poverty reduction frameworks and critiques Last update: 2020-11-27  

A dynamic poverty profile for Cameroon

Samuel Fambon

University of Yaounde II, Cameroon

October 2006

SARPN acknowledges the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) as the source of this document:
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The purpose of this paper is to construct a dynamic poverty profile for Cameroon covering the 1996-2001 period, using poverty profile standard construction methods, and data drawn from the two Cameroonian Household Surveys ECAM I and ECAM II, respectively conducted in 1996 and 2001 by the National Institute of Statistics (NIS). To that end, poverty has been assessed using FGT-class poverty indexes (i.e. the poverty ratio, the poverty gap index and the severity of poverty index), as well as stochastic dominance methods in order to gauge change in poverty over the study period.

In addition, the decomposition of FGT poverty indexes was carried out to highlight the main factors affecting poverty. The levels of poverty were estimated using household expenditures per adult equivalent for the years 1996 and 2001, and the official poverty line calculated by the NIS. Evaluations of poverty were therefore made to capture the degree of hardship experienced by both rural and urban Cameroonians. Households were also classified by socioeconomic characteristics and their poverty indicators were calculated to render the profile more comprehensive, and to identify the attributes characterizing poor households. Income inequality was captured with the Gini index and two generalized entropy measures. In general, the results of the study show that while poverty declined thanks to economic recovery to some extent, especially in the urban areas, inequality on the other hand increased between 1996 and 2001. However, the urban areas record a reduction in inequality whereas it is the opposite in the rural areas. Finally, these results are used to make policy recommendations aiming at poverty relief in Cameroon.

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