Paul Biya: My Campaign Manifesto
September 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
Dear Electors, My Dear Compatriots,
On 9 October 2011, you will be going to the polls to elect the President of the Republic. In response to your numerous pressing calls, I have decided to stand for re-election in order to pursue the confidence pact that I have sealed with the Cameroonian people. I would like, through this manifesto, to define the general objectives I want to achieve, with your support, over the next presidential term. I place this term under the banner of Major Accomplishments. However, before reviewing these general objectives, I believe I should remind you that we will need determination to succeed. I am convinced that for us to meet the challenges we are facing at home and abroad, we must continue to build an increasingly strong Cameroon. BUILDING A STRONG CAMEROON IS POSSIBLE since our country is resource-rich, blessed with favorable climatic conditions and, above all, can count on its people who are hardworking, enterprising and responsible. BUILDING A STRONG CAMEROON IS AN IMPERATIVE because there is no room for the weak in today’s world. Given that globalization begets stiff competition, markets which generate unfair practices, internal turmoil or external shocks which States have to grapple with, only a strong Cameroon can cope.Such an imperative will require that we all rally round the following five priorities:
Ø Consolidate peace in Cameroon and our national unity, a precondition for our development;
Ø Improve the functioning of our institutions to create a more just society;
Ø Encourage an entrepreneurial spirit to stimulate our economy by creating jobs and wealth, factors of growth;
Ø Modernize our administration to ensure greater efficiency and better redistribution of resources;
Ø Pursue the affirmation of our diplomatic action to strengthen our influence on the international scene.
1. A PEACEFUL AND UNITED CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON. It goes without saying that consolidating peace in Cameroon and our national unity is a precondition for building a Nation around a vision, such as becoming an emerging country. For this reason, we should always strive to consolidate peace and national unity. They depend on each and everyone’s willingness to contribute to national efforts which will help us to collectively overcome any obstacles to development. Peace and national unity cannot be dissociated from the idea of democracy. Our country already has the essential ingredients of democracy: free and transparent elections, separation of powers, exercise of human rights and freedoms, etc. The implementation of decentralization will take us a step further. As in the past, we will continue to address dysfunctions that may crop up in our march towards modern democracy. Bearing in mind that democracy does not necessarily lead to unanimity, we remain staunch advocates of dialogue. Accordingly, on issues of national interest such as peace, development and security we must seek a common ground with those who do not share our views. For our part, we will do all in our power to reach consensus on such issues.
2. AN EVER JUST CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON Our institutions have established the equality of all before the law. However, their functioning must guarantee fair treatment for every citizen, which may not yet quite be the case. The Government’s duty is to ensure effective equality before the law and to remedy any cases of injustice. By definition, judicial authority, which is responsible for enforcing the law and ensuring the enforcement of court rulings, is bound to deliver equal justice within reasonable timeframes. We will make sure such is the case. Our Constitution affirms equal rights and obligations of all Cameroonians, notably without distinction as to sex. In practice, this provision is not always applied; however, it is necessary to note the progress already made in this domain. We are staying on that path while aiming at gender equality. This quest for equity is one of the major thrusts of my policy. Its key area of intervention is the domain of education. Significant progress has been achieved in recent years at different levels of education to ensure equal opportunity for all our youths. Access to primary education has been facilitated through free education, with the ultimate goal being education for all. An increasing number of Cameroonian children now have access to secondary education, and quite a good number of them go up to the second cycle in all fields of study. For its part, higher education is undergoing modernization and diversification, with emphasis on professionalization and integration of ICTs in order to ease access to employment. Concerning adults, the fight against illiteracy is being pursued. Considering the importance of education for the development of our country, it is obvious that the efforts already initiated must be pursued. Equal access of all patients to health care and good quality medication is an objective we must constantly strive to attain, because the well-being of many Cameroonians depends on it. To this end, we must, on the one hand, continue to increase the number of community health centres which are more suitable for meeting the health needs of our people while densifying our health system with more referral hospitals, and, on the other hand, finalize the setting up of our health insurance scheme which will ultimately enable our fellow citizens to get low cost health care and quality medication, and free of charge where possible. In terms of employment, many Cameroonians still experience inequality. Youths, in particular, have considerable difficulties finding jobs. Our education system is trying to adapt to the needs of the real economy. For its part, the State is recruiting mainly young people into our security forces and every year opens the doors of the public service to thousands of young graduates. While waiting for the acceleration of economic growth to lead to an increase in job opportunities, I will continue the war I have waged against unemployment, which remains my top priority. In this endeavour, I will systematically turn to the private sector, an indispensable partner in job creation. Corruption is another factor of social discrimination that exacerbates inequalities and undermines public morality. Illegal enrichment of a few, especially misappropriation of public funds, impoverishes the entire population and undermines values like work and effort. I will unrelentingly pursue the fight we have initiated to rehabilitate public morality and reduce corruption to the barest minimum.
3. A MORE DYNAMIC CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON I am strongly convinced that we have the means to make Cameroon an emerging country by 2035. To that end, I am counting on our natural resources and the dynamism of Cameroonians. Agriculture is the best domain for the expression of such dynamism, notably because it concerns the majority of our compatriots. Food crops ensure our food security and are finding outlets in our neighbouring countries. Our cash crops, with the necessary efforts to improve quality and increase quantity, offer substantial export opportunities. Concerning our industrial crops, the acreages they cover could easily be increased, so that they can generate more substantial income. It is easy to see the benefits our rural populations could derive from the “green revolution” that was showcased at the Ebolowa agro-pastoral show, in terms of revenue, employment and quality of life. The entrepreneurship of Cameroonians could also help revive our industry. This is possible, first and foremost, by locally processing our agricultural commodities to benefit from the value added they would generate. Furthermore, through the sub-contracting and outsourcing that will necessarily accompany the implementation of our major mining and energy projects, as well as the construction of our road, railway, port and real estate infrastructure. Of course, the development of our industry will depend on the scaling up of our energy capacity. The government is paying close attention to it. In the coming years, several dams and power plants will be constructed and will definitively resolve our energy shortage problem. We can take delight in the good performance of our services sector, a clear sign of the on-going modernization of our economy. I will encourage it as much as possible. In response to the wishes of the business community, we will continue to improve the business climate. We will tailor our taxation to the needs of our economy to make it fairer and more efficient. Similarly, we will continue to encourage consultation and partnership between the public and private sectors. We will take measures to facilitate access to credit which often remains one of the obstacles to business development, increased production and accelerated growth. It is in this spirit that we established an agricultural bank, notably the Cameroon Rural Financial Corporation (CARFIC), and an SMEs bank, the Cameroon SMEs Bank (BC PME S.A). I will personally ensure that these entities go operational soon and will continue to support micro-credit establishments fully. Moreover, we will make sure that our external trade does not make us over-dependent on imports. In fact, it is not normal for us to import products that we produce or for which we would have comparative advantage by producing them locally. Trade with our neighbours, notably CEMAC countries, is not up to expectation. We will strive, within the framework of regional integration, to reach satisfactory trade levels.
4. A MORE EFFICIENT CAMEROON IS A STRONG CAMEROON The success of our development policy largely hinges on the competence and devotedness of State employees. I will do everything in my power for our administration to become the expected catalyst of our efficiency. That is why it will be necessary, during the training of civil servants, to lay emphasis on the ethics of their professions. In this spirit, a code of ethics will be prepared and service heads will undertake to comply with it upon assuming office. Changing State missions and public administration management methods will require in-service retraining or upgrading of civil servants. The performance expected of government services is indeed related to their modernization. Such modernization will require the allocation of more resources to essential services (education, justice, security, health) in order to enhance their efficiency. As far as possible, a salary increase could be envisaged. The advent of new tasks related to decentralization, will also make it necessary to assign additional resources to regional and local authorities.
5. ASSERTING OUR DIPLOMATIC ACTION FOR A STRONGER CAMEROON ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE At the turn of the 21st century, new key players, namely emerging countries, are entering the international scene. The major balances inherited from the end of the Cold War are thus being substantially modified. The example of emerging countries offers new prospects for African countries that aspire to rise to their level of development. Such is the case of Cameroon which has potentialities enabling it to envisage becoming an emerging country by 2035, in accordance with the long-term vision whose strategic framework was adopted recently. Of course, to achieve this goal, we need considerable efforts to stimulate our development while consolidating the peace and stability prevailing in our country. This enviable situation fully explains the various dimensions of our external policy: relations of good neighbourliness, mutual understanding and cooperation with our partners in the sub-region, adherence to the objectives of the African Union, support to the initiative of the United Nations Organization, and strengthening our relations with our traditional partners and new players on the international scene. It is not an overstatement to say that Cameroon is held in high esteem before the international community. This is due to the stability of its institutions and the sense of responsibility of its people. It confers her some measure of influence in the major debates concerning the representativeness of United Nations institutions and the emergence of an international community that is more just and more interdependent. Of course, we will continue to assert our diplomatic action. In recent years, we have made remarkable progress. Had the crisis not undermined our efforts, we probably would have done more and better. Difficulties have sharpened our determination. As growth returns and the sacrifices we have made are bearing fruit, and the peace and stability prevailing in our country are creating an enabling environment for our development, I am convinced that the goals I have proposed are within our reach. Together, we will achieve them. Each of us is concerned and must make his or her contribution. For my part, you can count on my determination and commitment.
A vote for Paul BIYA,
Is a vote to continue living in peace!
A vote for Paul BIYA,
Is a vote for a creative, an innovative and a daring Cameroon!
A vote for Paul BIYA,
Is a vote for fresh impetus!
The People’s choice!
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