Cameroon in the Spotlight

January 4, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Edouard TAMBA photo

 

By

Joseph Besong

 

Cameroon is a relatively small nation in Central Africa. The world knew little about them until they beat great footballing nations as Argentina and Brazil at the FIFA organized games. Cameroon came onto the world stage when she reached the quarter final stage of the World Cup, the first team in Africa to reach that level in the prestigious tournament. Politically and economically Cameroon was not well known until last year with the Anglophone crisis.

Cameroon is blessed with both natural and human resources. Cameroon has oil, forest that brings in timber of all sizes, and a lot more. The country is also fortunate to have men and women who are hard working but unfortunately due to poor governance the best grain are not in the management team of the government.

Cameroon is no doubt among the most corrupt nations of the world. The country is trying to erase this vice with the imprisonment of top government officials. Many critics in the country feel the method does not work because mostly the stolen money doesn’t come back into the state treasury. It’s a big problem not just in Cameroon but the whole of Africa.

Because of corruption, education and health care in the country have not improved a great deal. Many educational programs are not professional in nature, the result being that many graduates leave school without the tools to be creative. Every school leaver in Cameroon looks to the government for employment. That explains why so many Cameroonian are unemployed. The government in practical terms can’t employ every graduate. It has never happened anywhere in the world.

The private sector is in deep problems because of the high taxes. Many foreign industries left because the government was heavily taxing them. The few local industries cannot handle the huge number of students leaving school each year. Unemployment is a big social crisis in Cameroon. Today, more than half of the young people want to travel abroad as a means of making a living. This is a sad episode in the country. The economy is really not the best and little is being done to solve it.

Politically, Cameroon used to be a peaceful nation with little or no strike actions. But things changed last year when the lawyers and teachers of Anglophone extraction went to the streets demanding reforms in their specific areas. The strike soon turned political with pressure groups joining in and hijacking the movement. The teachers’ union called for school closures in Anglophone Cameroon until their demands were met. The government dispatched government officials to the two Anglophone regions, South West and North West regions for a dialogue but it failed.

The lawyer of these two Anglophone regions also called for court closures. It’s been a year since this happened. There are no effective school and court sessions in Anglophone Cameroon. The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and the Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland all visited Cameroon this year to find a solution on the Cameroon Anglophone crisis. For the secessionist groups like Ambazonia, their visits had no effect. They all called for dialogue between the government of Biya and the Anglophones.

Tension has also risen of late with clashes between military and civilians resulting in deaths on both sides. Some villages in Manyu division are completely empty because the villagers are scared of being assaulted by the military. Recently, the village of Kembong was the target for the government to crack down on those who were responsible for the murder of the military forces. These villagers are now refugees in churches especially the Saint Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral Mamfe. This kind of spotlight is not good at all. The people of this locality don’t have a lot and now life is even harder for them.

Many are of the opinion that dialogue is the best thing at this time for the people of Cameroon especially the Anglophone Cameroonians. As Cameroon journeys into 2018, the best New Year gift will be the dialogue between the government and the people of the South West and North West regions. They long for the peace that used to exist in the country despite the cultural differences.

 

 

 

 

joseph besong

Joseph Besong

I am the editor-in-chief of Kilimandjaro radio. I hail from Africa, precisely from Cameroon in Central Africa.

I did my secondary education at Bishop Rogan College Soppo-Buea located in the South West Region of Cameroon. After graduation, I proceeded to the University of Buea-Cameroon where I read English minor in Journalism and Mass Communication. I later worked in Cameroon as a broadcaster with Two radios namely Radio Evangelum and CBS Radio all located in Buea.

Presently, I work with Kilimandjaro radio, an online radio station based in Canada.

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