Cameroonian defied all pessimists to hold two major historic elections and build hope for a better future.
Each passing day, week, month or year brings in new challenges and so do recurrent events like elections, social tension and others in the life of a nation. When such events occur, they may hardly mean the same to different people, yet solutions have to be provided for the country and its people to move on in harmony. Cameroon in 2018 had her fair share of political and social upheavals, but the desire of the population to face hurdles in a collective manner has so far proven to be stronger and citizens may never be soothsayers to divine what 2019 holds for them. Yet, everyone keeps hoping for a better tomorrow irrespective of the existence of issues to tackle at each turn and twist of the road.
When President Paul Biya announced in his state-of-the Nation speech on 31 December, 2017 that 2018 will be an election year, many could not place a finger on the exact situation given that Parliamentary, Municipal, and Presidential elections were all expected unlike the 2 March, 2018 cabinet shake-up.
The country opened the electoral year with a presidential decree on 7 February, 2018 summoning the Electoral College for the election of Senators on Sunday 25 March 2018 at all administrative centres of all divisions. It also turned out to be a moment for other key national concerns like the putting in place of the Constitutional Council and the appointment of those to man the institution. It marked a milestone in the effective implementation of parts of the Cameroon Constitution created by Law N° 96/06 of 18th January 1996 to amend the Constitution of 2nd June 1972. The country now has a structure to rule on the regularity of laws in Cameroon.
By July another decree signed by the Head of State convened the electorate for the Presidential poll on 7 October, 2018 while another decision of President Paul Biya postponed the election of Members of the National Assembly and local council elections for the year 2019. The decrees finally gave a clearer picture of what would have been a rather charged electoral calendar for the country.
While the political events continue to evolve, tension has not abated in the South West and North West Regions added to the Boko Haram insurgency which has over the past two years kept the country on constant alert. The situation has left the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism headed by former Prime Minister, Peter Mafany Musonge, busy and the creation by the Head of State last 30 November, 2018 of the National Committee for the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration in response to some of the raging crises in the country.
Although the situation remained tensed in some parts of the country, meaningful achievements like the Kribi Deep Seaport going operational and the effective announcement of work on the Nachtigal Dam, a single book policy in the country to avoid parents from having too many textbooks as was the case in the past, the National Arts and Culture festival, FENAC in Bertoua, the near hundred of births at the CHRACRH have continuously alternated with fake news, stripping of Cameroon from the Africa Cup of Nations hosting rights to demonstrate the up and down movements in the nation.
To capture the various events for the year 2018, Cameroon Tribune has opted to throw a spotlight on the high moments in the life of the country without avoiding shocking topical issues and those that raised hope in the minds of the population for a better future. Due to the fact that the events have been numerous, ten key dates have been identified to accompany each segment of the national and international events covered by the newspaper throughout the year while experts knowledgeable in specific domains have been invited to cast a perspective look at the issues as they affected Cameroon this year and how they could impact the life of the nation in 2019.