February 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
Several Cameroonians were interviewed and below are their individual opinions on Biya’s ‘Visit’ to Buea.
1. He Is Not Ready.
Biya is the Head of State and has the Cameroon programme in hand and so doesn’t need to give an account of his departure to anyone if he doesn’t deem it fit. If he hasn’t said anything about the date, then it could be that he is not ready and in such a case, he cannot give any precise date because he doesn’t want to disappoint the people again.
Sama, Administrator, Yaounde.
2. Biya Should Give A Specific Date.
I think the President should be able to give a specific date to enable the population to properly mobilise for his coming. We know that, as the supreme head of the country, he has the right to visit any region at any time without even seeking the opinions of the locals.
But with the destruction and frequent clean-up campaigns instituted by the council under the guise of presidential visit, which date is unknown, is greatly affecting not only businesses but also the inhabitants of Buea. For how long are we going to carry on with this activity?
Kenneth Ndze, Businessman, Buea.
3. Biya Is Scared.
Biya is scared. The Southern Cameroons issue has existed for long now and the people have a grudge, and this worsened when he didn’t keep to his promise of visiting the Southwest. I even heard the people once promised to burn him to death. This has scared him and even if he announces a date for his trip to Buea it is likely that he will send a representative. I think Biya is just deceiving the people just like before. He won’t go to Buea.
Kelly, Barber, Yaounde.
4. The President Is Not Supposed To Unveil Date.
Under normal circumstances, the President is not supposed to unveil the date of his visit for security reasons. We know that such a high profile personality like the President needs maximum protection, especially on very special State visits like the one he is about to make to Buea. When he must have been sure that the security network in Buea is in place, he can then give an exact date. Also, the President’s schedule is so tight that he needs time to actually give a date that will not clash with his personal programme.
Aaron Prosper Bias, Accountant, Buea.
5. Biya’s Visits Have Often Been A Mystery.
President Biya’s visits have always been a mystery. He has never disclosed his working or visiting calendar as most of his moves are usually a surprise to the citizens. I think this is not good when it comes to issues of the State.
He has ideas of what needs to be done but I suspect that the resources to get such wishes come to reality are not properly managed. His collaborators are not helping him especially in the work they need to do ahead of his visit to Buea. I wish he announces the visit to Buea for May 20, 2013, because that town is also part of Cameroon.
Rev. Richard Ngassa Kessou, Yaounde.
6. The President Isn’t Hiding Date.
I think the President is not hiding the date of his visit to Buea because he was supposed to have visited Buea since last year. But it seems as if the people he assigned to prepare the necessary logistics for his visit are not ready. Until Buea is ready to host the President before he will make public the date.
Eno Tanyi, Teacher, GTHS Buea.
7. The Secrecy Is Out Of Fear Or Contempt.
If Biya’s visit is shrouded in much secrecy, it could be out of two things; fear or contempt or simply the two. Biya promised the people earlier of his visit but never honoured his promise, and just like the other time he fears something might go wrong. Secondly, Biya might just despise the people of the Region and decide not to visit them at all.
Augustine Meh Zang, Director, Computer Institute, Yaounde.
8. He Wants To Get Things Ready.
I think he doesn’t want to be embarrassed because he has compared the level of the work done on the ground. Drawing lessons from what happened in the past, because you will recall that some time ago, he was told all was ready and he announced elections only to discover on election day that not everything was in place.
He was forced to postpone the elections. This is on account that he has given assignments to be done and he is monitoring the level of work and if it is not satisfactory, he would not announce the date.
Choves Loh, Regional Chief Cameroon Tribune, NW.
9. Only He And God Know What He Is Afraid Of.
Which date has Biya ever announced? Not even the date of Cameroon football finals are ever known ahead of time. It is announced a few hours to the day. Only he and God know what he is afraid of. This is one more proof if you needed any that his is a government by improvisation. We are used to it, but I think it is high time we got out of this mess.
Wilfred Tassang, Moderator Club2020, Bamenda.
10. Biya Knows What State Secrets Are.
I am very convinced that President Biya knows what State secrets are and until everything is in place his date to Buea remains a secret.
Tamnjong N., Chief of Personnel, Basic Education, Northwest.
11. Biya Is Unsure Of Event.
I am sure that the Head of State is not yet certain that the event will hold and as such no need announcing the date.
Christopher Akunchum, Carpenter, Mbingo.
12. Many Things Must Be Put In Place.
I do not think that President Biya is actually hiding his date of visit to Buea. Before coming to Buea, so many things must be put in place like the roads, hotels, and other infrastructural logistics. Until these factors are put in place he cannot actually give a date for his visit.
John Tendong Esegemu, Consultant, Buea.
13. Biya Needs Rest Like Pope Benedict XVI.
It is not a normal thing and some people may argue that the date is kept secret for security reasons. But Biya is seemingly afraid to move even within his own country. I have the feeling that he feels more at ease out of Cameroon than when he is here. If the date of the visit is announced well ahead of time, the committee members preparing for the visit will work better while contractors working on the development projects will be forced to also work within the time frame
By the way, development projects are supposed to be implemented across the country irrespective of the fact that Biya is visiting an area or not. I can tell you that many people are no longer interested in the visit because of the procrastinations. I think the President needs a deserved rest after working for all this while just like Pope Benedict XVI has done.
Mercy Bilem, Yaounde.
14. He Should Announce The Date.
I am disappointed with him for continuously hiding his visit to Buea. He should announce the date so that the population should prepare to welcome him. If you are the President for the people, elected by the people, you must not hide your visit. When we have an august guest, we must prepare for his visit.
Gwendoline Manka, Journalist Hot Cocoa, Bamenda.
15. Authorities Should Conceal Date.
Many people are anxious to know when the Head of State will be coming to Buea. But it is appropriate for the authorities to conceal the date for security reasons. Knowing how the society is; the President may not tell the people when he will actually come. But he can give them a period say three months or five months, but to give them the exact date will not be possible, for security reasons.
Alfred Meende, Civil Servant, Buea.
February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment
The Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, has reshuffled the Shadow Cabinet of the party, with about 85 percent of Ministers and Vices being new comers. This was done at the end of the National Executive Committee (NEC), of the SDF meeting in Bamenda over the weekend.
The greatest casualty of the shake up is Madam Chantal Kambiwa, who was dropped from her position as Chairperson of Gender Issues. The position has been modified to Gender Issues and The Physically Challenged, now headed by Miss Judith Zama. Meanwhile, old names like Hon Cyprian Awudu Mbaya was maintained as Chairperson of Foreign Affairs, and Legal and Judicial Affairs by Prof. Kofele Kale.
Other members of the new shadow cabinet are:
- Agriculture and Rural Development, Chairperson: Mathias Ofon,
- Defence and National Security: Colonel Chi Ngafor,
- Economy, Finance and Commerce, Chairperson: Evariste Fopoussi,
- Education and Training, Chairperson: Jean Takoungang,
- Health, Chairperson: Prof Joseph Nelson Fomulu,
- Information and the Media, Chairperson: Jean Robert Wafo,
- Industrial Development, Chairperson: Jean Claude Kuete,
- Internal Affairs, Chairperson: Mochiggle Vanigansen,
- Posts and Telecommunications, Chairperson: Chief Paul Nji Tumasang,
- Science and Technology, Chairperson: Gabriel Wato,
- Social Affairs, Sports and Youth Development, Chairperson: Prof. Paul Kwi,
- Tourism and Culture, Chairperson: Ebelle Din Dobel,
- Public Works and Transport, Chairperson: Johnas Achah Mbah,
- Mining, Water and Energy, Chairperson: Alexander Mulango Forteh,
- Urban Development and Housing, Chairperson: Prof. Ajaga Nji.
- I Will Run For Senatorial Election – Fru Ndi (lebs295.wordpress.com)
- SDF Chairman reacts to President Biya’s address (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
February 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Thus began the bewildering spread of apocalyptic winds of “purification” of society throughout the expanse of Europe with a cold, chilling, iron fist and draconian message from the low lying Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in Marx’s classic,:das kapital”;”A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of COMMUNISM.” The very essence of Western Civilization was being put to a hard and destruction laden test. The Bourgeoisie had to go; destroyed and buried forever. The message that grew like a seed planted in the hearts of Marx and Engels bore fruit in London, England where the grave of Marx lies instead of Germany his adorable homeland, Deutschland.
The impending ideas of ideological attacks on the fortress of Europe became a murderous reality in the Russia of the Czars. Successive battles of wills and grabbing of power from the Czars and royalty structured with numerous Counts and Countesses, bourgeoisie,and the middle class finally boiled down to the rise of the proletarians under Lenin. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [USSR] was born. The consolidation was brutal as millions perished. Vladimir Lenin,born in 1870 died in 1924 after leading the revolutions that consequently overthrew the reign of the Czars and ushered in a new concept of an Empire of classless society. The false idea of creating a new Kingdom of God on earth was now taking a structurally veil shape.
Joseph Stalin took over and even went further in his efforts to consolidate his overwhelming powers. He led the USSR in smashing the rise of Hitler and his advancing evil empire. He embarked on a great purge that saw the killings of his countrymen reach the staggering numbers of more than twenty millions people. The scourge of Europe had stated in hellish deed. He did in 1953. He had industrialized the Soviet Union and created political prisons in the Gulag Archipelago.
When Nikita Khrushchev took over the alluring magnetism had started taking hold of many rising intellectuals all over Europe. Paris was the epicenter of discourses, pamphleteer a tradition once dominated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the advent of the French Revolution. The great World war II had come and gone and leaving many European nations impoverished and a shadow of what mighty powers they were before. The United States of America found herself the most dominant power unscathed from the horrors of the wars that engaged them from European theaters to the diminished Empire of the Sun-god after they had attacked Pearl Harbor on the Roosevelt’s famous day of Infamy in 1941. General Eisenhower was the most powerful man in the world. Africa was on the rise as the few intellectuals groomed in Europe started clamoring for Independence.
In 1956 The English and the french attacked Egypt and reclaimed the Suez Canal from Gamal Abdul Nasser who had overthrown the King. He immediately nationalized the canal in his country but controlled by the English and the French[the French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps had built the Suez Canal]. President Eisenhower had called on the British and the french to liquidate their Empires, he even told Winston Churchill that though the British thought and declared that their Empire would never perish the peoples in the Empires would answer Patrick Henry’s declaration,”Give me liberty or give me death”…
In the seemingly calmness of the tutorials, conferences, discussions, discourses, exchange of ideas, meetings and the highly effective Socialist International assemblies in Paris a new vision for the creation and independence of African states by Africans was being discerned. Richard Wright, Frantz Fanon, Ho Chi Minh, George Marchais, Francois Mitterrand, Salvatore Allende, Enrico Berlinguer, and many others met for days on end. Young Cameroonian intellectuals joined the fray and became converts to the great fiery ideas of Karl Marx and Lenin. The ideas at hand became ideas of Marxism-Leninism. In time Dr. Felix Moumie and the firebrand, young and powerfully laden with ever flowing ideas of the rising Socialists everywhere, coupled with the thoughts so true of Frantz fannon’s “Wretched of the Earth”, Um Nyobe met several times over many days, weeks and years to form the Union des Populations du Cameroun. Patrice Lumumba had been swept through by Dr.NKrumah’s dream of a United Africa as he declared that the Independence of Ghana will never be complete without the total liberation of Africa. Lumumba then embarked on the total liberation of the Congo from the greedy hands of king Leopold of Belgium and her supporters in the West. Jomo Kenyatta was fighting the British to free Kenya from the shackles of Colonialism while Kaunda was bellowing hard against the British in “Zambia[Southern Rhodesia] Shall be Free”. The Portuguese enclaves of Guinea Bissau, Angola, Mozambique were gathering the storms of rebellion. All Africa was on fire. Algeria was bleeding the French and Ho Chi Minh was waging a war of attrition on the French in Vietnam finally dealt them a death blow in Dien bien phu….another Waterloo and Trafalgar. The British had imprisoned Kwame Nkrumah of the Gold Coast and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya for their violent activities against the hegemony of her majesty’s Government. The controlled organisation of elections were held and the Prisoners [Nkrumah and the great Jomo] won. At independence the Gold Coast became Ghana.
Ghana became the high point of reference to the parties with socialist leanings all over Africa. Ben Bella of the Algerian Revolutionary Movement was fast becoming a star of liberation movements all over Africa South of the Sahara.
Dr. Felix Moumie with his fearless and brave wife, a Bulu lady, Mme Ekemeyong Marthe, Um Nyobe, Mayi Matip, Ernest Ouandie, and many other young and promising Cameroonian students came together and charted the structural and imminent activities of the Union des Peuples du Cameroun. They requested and got the wholehearted support of the elders of all the other Socialist Movements whose commitment made it possible for Um Nyobe to address the United nations general Assembly. A viable,vibrant,and immensely ideological party was born and ready for action on the operational theaters of Cameroon and her peoples. The list of members included hundreds of surprisingly pro-French Cameroonians. The future of Cameroun had never been brighter with the UPC than it was at the time. Dr.Moumie’s aim of ushering in a Cameroun without the creation of a bourgeoisie class was fast becoming the ultimate lifetime of bliss for him. The wretched of the earth in Cameroun whose lands were being pillaged, exploited, and desecrated had to stop…..and echoing the words of the great American activist, Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death” he embarked on the next step…the fight to wrest independence from the French.
July 17, 2012 § 15 Comments
Marafa Hamidou Yaya was arrested and put on “preventive detention” in April 2012, with Ephraim Inoni, a former Prime Minister.
In the process, we are learning again that it is not free, independent state institutions that are playing their role of investigating, arresting and detaining suspects; it is all at the pleasure of one all powerful man, Paul Biya, President of the Republic. Reason why motions of support to Paul Biya are with us again, praising him for the arrest of Marafa and Inoni – from CPDM MPs, the National Youth Council, Mfoundi CPDM, and more, probably, to follow in the days ahead.
Like for many political parties, “democracy” is also the pet “slogan” of the CPDM, which they included it in the name of their party, but their militants seem to have very little idea of what it means. Party solidarity cannot be allowed to endanger the rights of the individual member whose free will must remain realised and promoted by the party.
Since Marafa published his letters, the CPDM has promoted the politics of personal destruction – visceral, mean-spirited campaigns to destroy him in public opinion – which I find disheartening and bad for the present and future of the country. I know in the jungle of the politics Cameroonians play, the importance of putting one’s self in the place of another – empathy – to experience what they were feeling and to understand their motives and desires, is never as strong in us as in other societies.
In Africa, the individual is not yet liberated from the traditional bonds of community and from the representation of the world as an organic hierarchical totality. This is why we usually hear appeals, like we are hearing from the CPDM to ethnic, religious, traditional or party bonds of solidarity to dampen society’s self-interrogation and self-critique, as characterised by the Marafa letters. To those who spend their time asking why Marafa is only making his revelations today, there is no privileged standpoint from which such revelations can be made; and there is no appropriate moment.
Marafa’s letters indicate that the official political expression we discern in public – motions of support and all – does not necessarily represent popular sentiments. It is those who lost sight of this that were surprised at the speed at which the Marafa letters emerged in the wake of his arrest.
Without focus on the underlying meaning of the behaviour of individuals, it will always be difficult to predict the evolution of a political system like Cameroon’s. I have always known that individuals might find it advantageous to hide their true political sentiments from officialdom, so political values should never be judged on the basis of publicly observable and quantifiable measures of support, since the mere existence of motions and rallies of support do not infer popular support, especially for aging leaders that have spent too much time in power! Indeed, in a regime like ours, true political values are hardly ever expressed in public; the landscape usually looks calm and tranquil when it is rife with subterranean discord.
Newspapers are reporting that, following Marafa’s letters, Paul Biya instructed the SG at the Presidency to open investigations into the bribery allegations linked to the CAMAIR maintenance contract. But the documents on which these instructions are based were available to him since 2001 because they were provided to Cameroon by Advanced Technics Trust Ltd to enable Cameroon to win its case against South Africa Airways, as per the agreement signed between the two parties on 26/06/2001.
This is why another contribution of Marafa’s revelations is the further exposure to the rest of us of the manner the country has been run since Paul Biya took over from Ahidjo in November 1982; he has kept recycling corrupt people in his governments, in spite of his knowledge of their dirty files, and so emboldened them to turn Cameroon into a corruption fraternity in 30 years of his reign. In doing this, he turned government from an expression of leadership, to the service of slaves to a master, as so aptly put by one of his sycophantic university don! He failed to follow the advice that a party leader, like an army officer cannot expect to impose discipline on his subordinates unless he is capable of accepting and working to the same discipline himself; he cannot successfully fight corruption within the ranks of his party and regime, unless he is an example of the incorruptible. This is why we witness daily a curious discrepancy in the behaviour of the CPDM: what they say and what they do seem to always exist in separate compartments!
The CPDM Newspaper, l’Action No. 254 of July 11, 2012, waded into the 32.5 billion case against the government, “after several weeks’ investigation on the whereabouts of the money.” Their conclusions reveal the blurred mindset of the CPDM related to corruption. The paper writes: “Following negotiations, Transnet SAA accepted to pay the sum of 26 million US$ (14 billion FCFA), which Cameroon accepted. The 14 billion were naturally deposited in the account of Cameroon in SGBC central branch in Paris. Part of the money served in the payment of the results allowance, part served to pay bailiffs and other witnesses that helped the commission to assemble its evidence, the rest was transferred to government coffers…”
L’Action further informs the rest of us that account no 00078013914 was opened in SGBC central branch in Paris in the name of the Republic of Cameroon to take care of legal fees. The Cameroon Government obviously put money (how much?) into the account even before the money from SAA was deposited into it. What was the total sum in the account following the deposition of the money from SAA? We need these details of how taxpayer’s money was spent, but l’Action newspaper that carried out investigations “for several weeks,” failed to give us, hoping to clean the image of the CPDM Government and regime without much effort!
The crash of Cameroon Airlines Boeing 737-200 (Nyong) is related to the commissions (bribes) given to Cameroon Government officials to derail the purpose of the contract of maintenance of Boeing 737 and 747 of Cameroon between CAMAIR and Transnet South African Airways because it was effectively the non-maintenance of the planes that led to the crash, and the loss of lives. Indeed, it is the crash and loss of lives that brought the bribery crimes to the fore and caused Cameroon to pursue South Africa Airways for non-execution of contract!
L’Action newspaper does not seem to know that the 32.5 billion have become the microcosm of the budget of Cameroon, and Cameroonians are interested in knowing how each franc of the money was spent. If l’Action newspaper is interested in answering the question “What happened to the 32.5 billion” which constituted the purpose of the “several weeks” investigation, they should know that by now, the rest of us want to know the exact amounts that served each purpose.
Mental health is the ability to adapt to the stresses and misfortunes of life; the ability to cope with anxiety and depression in a healthy way. An outstanding feature of successful adaptation is that it leaves the way open for future growth. Marafa has shown himself to be totally on top of such afflictions; his response through his letters is virtually an exhortation to some of his colleagues who are suffering the same fate as himself to stand up and play the man. He has shown that just as it is usually necessary to sacrifice peace if freedom and justice are to prevail, it may usually be necessary to sacrifice loyalty for freedom and justice to prevail. He has shown us all that in the arduous task of building a new Cameroon, there are many who should not be pigeon-holed; and he has shown that he is a man for all seasons and all reasons.
- Hearing Of Marafa Hamidou Yaya, Yves Michel Fotso Adjourned To July 24 (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
- Has Marafa Jump-started The National Conference in Cameroon (newuh.wordpress.com)
- Corruption In Cameroon: A State of the Art (chiefnwaco.wordpress.com)
- Journalist asylum-seeker attempts suicide hours before planned deportation (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
April 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
Plans by the controversial traditional ruler of Balikumbat, Fon Doh Gah Gwanyin III, to contest the next parliamentary elections are causing disquiet among senior CPDM militants and officials in the special constituency.
This was very evident during recent celebrations marking the 27th anniversary of CPDM party in Balikumbat. They were characterised by accusations and counter accusations, witch- hunting and insults among the Balikumbat CPDM militants including their member of parliament, Emmanuel Mbanme, Mayor Augustine Wasom, and Fon Doh.
Fon Doh fired off the ructions when he told the CPDM elite of his Balikumbat constituency that they should not pretend that things were rosy among the militants. According to the fon, the CPDM elite of Balikumbat were not on talking terms with one another including him.
Hear him: “Something is wrong in Ngoketunjia II (Balikumbat) which must be redressed quickly. Let’s not waste our time pretending that all is good”.
Fon Doh regretted that ever since he indicated his wish to contest this year’s parliamentary election, a group of Balikumbat CPDM elite met some ministers in Yaounde pleading with them to block him from contesting the election. “These elite arranged with the ministers to send somebody to provoke me to react so that I will be blocked from contesting the elections,” the controversial fon charged.
He boasted that he had been in parliament before and so is endowed with a wealth of experience.
Fon Doh added that some Balikumbat elites accosted the SDO for Ngoketunjia calling other elites’ names including him as those who sponsored the Bambalang/Balikumbat war “because they want positions by giving some of us a bad name in order for us to be hanged”.
He said these same elite go around telling those who care to hear that he had been in prison and so he is a criminal and will go back to prison. He however enjoined his Balikumbat CPDM elite to create another forum for them to trash out things before the 11th hour.
Earlier, the Balikumbat member of parliament, Emmanuel Banme and Mayor Wasom Augustine, without calling names observed that they were elected by the population and they have been doing their job but unfortunately “some one sits in Balikunbat” calling them thieves. Hon Banme said that he has never stolen in his life.
Fon Doh was jailed some years back by the Ngoketunjia High Court after being found guilty of the murder of the former Balikumbat SDF district chairman, John Konntem. He later regained his liberty after taking an appeal.
Fon Doh’s legal troubles at the time forced the CPDM party to strike his name off the list of candidates for the parliamentary elections, after an international outcry, and that prevented the traditional ruler from going to parliament for a third term. Having been cleared by the appeals court and released from prison, the Balikumbat traditional ruler is this time scheming to contest the forthcoming parliamentary election and campaigning for the electorate to unseat the Balikumbat Mayor, Wasom Augustine, whom he claims has frequently disrespected and abused him in public.
- Kumba City Council Demolition and the Cpdm Wahala! (maxfokwen.wordpress.com)
- 200,000FCFA Tears CPDM Militants Apart (maxfokwen.wordpress.com)
- Cpdm to Spend 20billion for Municipal and Parliamentary Campaigns (maxfokwen.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon: MP for Buea Urban Dies in Germany (erasmodelavega.wordpress.com)
September 29, 2011 § 3 Comments
Twitter’s SMS based messaging service has been banned on MTN Cameroon following an order from the Cameroonian government, Twitter announced yesterday over its own messaging platform. The company advised customers to contact MTN for more details.
There were reports that the country’s political opposition were Planning another series of protests against the long-serving President Paul Biya after earlier Egypt inspired protests were put down by the country’s military last month.
Like many countries facing political uprisings, the Cameroon government has been increasingly clamping down on internet services, especially ones accessible over mobile phones.
Cameroonian blogger Dibussi Tande told Foreign Policy magazine, if President Biya didn’t have a problem with Twitter activism before, he likely does now:
“Before today’s ban, very few Cameroonians were even aware that Twitter was available in Cameroon via SMS, and the majority of those who were did not even grasp its potential as a tool for political activism.”
As he also noted: “Obviously, the government has failed to learn the lesson from North Africa, particularly in Tunisia where the Ben Ali regime was still toppled even though it had banned all social media sites for years and had engaged in a sophisticated cyber-war with Tunisian digital activists.”
President Biya has been in power since 1982. In 2009, Biya was ranked #19 in Parade Magazine’s Top 20 list of The World’s Worst Dictators.
- Breaking News!! Paul Biya declares his candidacy for the 2011 Presidential Elections! (via PRGoretti’s Blog) (lebs295.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon opposition leader says other parties are ‘maggots’ (cnn.com)
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!
- Breaking News!! Paul Biya declares his candidacy for the 2011 Presidential Elections! (via PRGoretti’s Blog) (lebs295.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon opposition leader says other parties are ‘maggots’ (cnn.com)
- Election Rigging Strategy: Biya regime bans Twitter in the Cameroons (ntemfacofege.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon to Hold Elections in October (sahelblog.wordpress.com)