National lands in Cameroon which are unoccupied or unexploited are allocated by a temporary grant of rights. Depending on the circumstances the grant may become a lease or an absolute grant subject to the terms set in in decree No. 76/166 of 27th April 1976 which has set conditions for the management of national lands in Cameroon.
Temporary rights shall be granted for development projects in line with the economic, social or cultural policies of Cameroon. The duration for temporary grants may not exceed five (5) years and in exceptional cases it may be extended on reasoned application by the grantee.
Application for Unexploited or Unoccupied National Land in Cameroon
All natural and corporate bodies wishing to develop unoccupied or unexploited national land must submit an application in triplicate in the prescribed forms which shall contain the details of the applicant.
As regards the case of a corporate body, the registration documents will be used in the application process. If the corporate body is acting through an agent, a Power of Attorney must accompany the application.
A development program with clear objectives and an outline of the stages of implementation must accompany the application.
Allocation of Temporary Grants
Grants of less than fifty hectares are allocated by order of the Minister in Charge of Property, survey, and Lands, those of more than fifty hectares are allocated by presidential decree. The rights of both the state and the grantee shall be set out in special clauses and conditions.
Termination of Temporary Grants
Temporary grants to unoccupied or unexploited national lands shall terminate in the following circumstances;
- On the expiry of the period stipulated in the decree,
- In the event of non-fulfillment of the grantee’s obligations,
- In the event of voluntary relinquishment,
- In the event of the transfer of property without the consent of the grantor,
- In the event of the grantee’s insolvency or winding up in the case of a company,
- In the event of an absolute grant.
The pronouncement of the termination of the temporary grant shall be made by the Minister in Charge of Property, survey, and lands or by presidential decree.
Absolute Grant and Long Lease
On the expiry of the period of the temporary grant, the consultative board shall assess the development of the land and draw up a report specifying the number of investments made. If the development project is completed before the expiry of the temporary grant, the grantee may request the board to proceed with the assessment.
The report will be transmitted to the prefect who according to the circumstances may propose the following;
- Extension of the period of the temporary grant,
- Absolute grant,
- Forfeiture of rights,
- Grant of a long lease.
The prefect shall consider the number of investments made and may not propose absolute grants if the development has not been done in conformity with the conditions laid down by the deed of grant and any additional clauses.
In the event of partial development of the land granted, the prefect may propose an absolute grant on part or all of the land.
However, when it concerns foreigners who have developed national lands, the prefect may only propose a long lease. Unless renewed, the lease shall be terminated on the expiry of the initial period. It may be renewed by order of the Minister in Charge of Property, Surveys, and Land. An application for renewal must be formulated six months before the expiry of the lease. The state may require further investment as a condition for renewal.