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Refugees: Benediction or Curse to Cameroon’s Economy,

Dr. D. N. Keming

Department of History, University of Yaounde I


The present study focuses on the contribution of refugees to the growth of Cameroon’s economy. Its focus spanned from 1982 when the UNHCR country office was officially established to 2017 with the collapse of Boko Haram’s pressure on Cameroon. It assesses the benefits and liabilities of refugees to Cameroon’s economy within the time frame. This is experimented through the size of the refugee population, capital transfer, employment opportunities, commerce, and the agriculture industry. These themes were arrived at with the help of primary, secondary, and tertiary data; and construed with mixed methodologies. The work reveals that on a comparative score, refugees are largely a blessing than a curse to the economy of Cameroon. In spite of their constructive role, they also constitute, to a negligible extent, liabilities to the development of Cameroon. The paper therefore argue that refugees should seize to be seen as burdens, but rather as powerful economic actors if properly exploited by recipient countries. Although they may constitute major security and social problems like theft, robbery, population explosion and health challenges, they are manageable. Besides, even without refugees, no country is devoid of security and social challenges.

Keywords: Refugees, Benediction, Curse, Cameroon, Economy

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