On July 5, 2021, Minister of Mines Gabriel Dodo Ndoké signed a decision notifying of the temporary layoff of the staff of CAPAM, a government program launched in 2003 to promote and regulate artisanal mining operations in Cameroon. According to the official, the decision will be effective from July 12 to October 16, 2021, the scheduled date for the discontinuation of CAPAM’s operations.

Though the decision specifies that during the temporary layoff period, the staff will receive the same compensation as if it was still working, they remain worried. They were expecting that given their experience in the regulation of mining activities, they would be deployed at the newly created national mining corporation, SONAMINES.

This would not be the case, however. In his July 5 decision, Gabriel Dodo Ndoké indicates that effective from the signing date, the civil servants and government staff working at CAPAM would be placed at the disposal of the Ministry of Mines. As for the remaining staff, they will be deployed at SONAMINES, depending on the corporation’s need.

Victor Aristide Mimbang, the coordinator of the CAPAM, explained that the presidential decree that created the SONAMINES already pointed out that the corporation will request former CAPAM workers’ skills but this will depend on the qualification of each of the employees. So, with the cessation of CAPAM operations, part of the workforce employed in the framework of that government program could soon join the rank of the unemployed despite their more than a decade-long experience in mining exploration.

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