The NSIF in 1937
The 17th of November 1937
General overview of social security in Cameroon
The Cameroonian social protection system experienced two stages of evolution: that of pre-independence and that of post-independence. However, it should be noted before, few colonial texts had already laid the foundations of an embryonic social security system in Cameroon. For example, the decree of the 17th of November 1937, which, for the first time, laid down the principle of direct compensation paid by employers, for industrial accidents occurred to their workers.

History of the NSIF
The 07th of January 1944

The decree of the 07th of January 1944, regulating labour in Cameroon, specifically in its title VI, that laid down a system of compensation for industrial accidents and occupational diseases, shall also be taken into account. This scheme was not only discriminatory as it only applied to indigenous workers, but the compensations made were also derisory.

The 06th of December 1945

Social protection before independence.

The Cameroonian social system has been defined by the Decree of the 06th of December 1945 implemented by France, creating Family Benefits Compensation Fund with its Head Office in Douala. At that time, social legislation was advantageous only for French workers and assimilated meanwhile indigenous workers were not considered as insured persons. Then, their action and the one of international organisations brought out some improvement.

The 15th of December 1952

The Labour Code for Overseas Countries promulgated on the 15th of December 1952 modified the initiatives of the various texts of the colonial administration which aimed at setting up aspects of social insurance in Cameroon. The Benefits of the Compensation Fund was extended to all workers (Article 237 of the Labour Code). A Decree of the 1st July 1956 actually reflected the extension of the personal expertise of the Family Benefits Compensation Fund.

History of the NSIF

The 11th of April 1959

On the eve of independence, law No.59/25 of 11 April 1959 repealed the 1956 decree and reorganised the Fund. Family benefits include:

  • Family allowances paid for dependent minor children;
  • Prenatal allowances paid during pregnancy;
  • Single wage or household allowance (wage supplement for a worker whose spouse is not in paid employment);
  • Benefits in kind.


The 1952 Labour Code also provided for the extension of occupational risk cover (disease and accident) to all workers. The decree of 24 February 1957 organises the system. It was based on the idea of employer liability for occupational diseases and accidents. However, benefits are provided by an insurer to which employers pay contributions. Finally, if the idea of liability is retained, it is diluted because contributions are due regardless of whether any damage has actually occurred. The system works with several insurers, which are private insurance companies. However, contributions and benefits are set by the authorities. The former varies according to the risk incurred, the latter according to the seriousness of the injury.

 The 1952 Labour Code extended old-age cover to Cameroonians. The system adopted is in line with the French system set out in the 1945 Ordinance. It is a pay-as-you-go system, with working people paying contributions to cover the cost of benefits for retired people.

History of the NSIF

The 12th of June 1967

Social protection after independence


With independence and reunification, Cameroon, Member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) since 1960, adapted its legislation to international standards. This legal framework for social protection was adjusted through:

  • Law No.67/LF/07 of 12 June 1967 establishing a Family Benefits Code (prenatal allowances, family allowances, maternity allowances, daily maternity leave allowances);
  • Law No. 67/LF/08 of 12 June 1967, creating the National Social Insurance Fund as an autonomous institution in charge of managing the family benefits scheme;
  • Law No. 69/LF/18 of 10 November 1969 establishing an insurance scheme for old-age, disability and death pensions. This scheme is financed by social contributions collected from both employers and workers;
  • Ordinance No.73/17 of 22 May 1973 on the organisation of social insurance, entrusting the NSIF, within the framework of the Government's general policy, with the provision of the benefits provided for by social protection legislation;
  • Law No. 77/11 of 13 July 1977 on the compensation and prevention of industrial accidents and occupational diseases, which entrust the National Social Insurance Fund with…