The Rational Way to Genuine Emergence

Restoring security, enhancing economic growth and significantly improving the living conditions of the population, are the three key tasks President Biya sees as trump

From every indication, Cameroon is already in the final lap of its bid to attain emergence. This is the interpretation one can make from President Paul Biya's end-of-year's address to the nation, 31 December, 2018 . How better can one understand this? "In the face of adversity, we designed a three-phase development strategy: greater achievements, major accomplishments and great opportunities. We hope that this last phase will steer us to the threshold of emergence", he said. We are talking here about the last phase; in fact, a decisive phase for Cameroon to reach the doorsteps of an emerging country or what experts refer to as emerging economy. Even though the whole issue is no longer understanding what an emerging economy is, the Head of State in order to buttress his point came back on the definition of what he sees as emergence. "Generally, the term refers to an improvement in a situation. As commonly understood, it means the transition from an underdeveloped to a developed country. This is our meaning of the term and that is why I instructed that it should be considered as a “national cause”. In the same vein, experts talk of emerging economies when referring to nations in the process of rapid growth and development with lower per capita incomes and less mature capital markets than developed countries.


All that it takes to attain emergence seem to have conceptually been put in place within the framework of programmes and projects. If stakeholders involved in the implementation of these concepts are true to themselves, they must accept that the whole blockage has been their inability to translate these lofty ideas on the ground. That, in effect, is where the shoe pinches; and President Biya has pointed at this on several occasions. We are talking here of inertia, corruption, abandoned projects, poorly executed projects and many other vices. All these, in addition to "unforeseen difficulties"  have pulled back the strings of development as we move toward the final lap. This is why the Head of State describes it as "decisive." The question then is, what extra thing do we need to do to overcome the hurdles of this final lap. This is not a question to be taken lightly. According to President Biya, there are three major tasks awaiting all those involved in the whole process; "restore security, enhance  economic growth and significantly improve the living conditions of Cameroonians." Surely, the list is far from being exhaustive but can cover a greater part of the challenge.

How then will this happen should naturally be the question on every lip and not whether or not this will succeed. President Biya sees the restoration of security as an important prerequisite to building up an economy. As a matter of fact, the crisis that have been rocking Cameroon, notably those that have affected four of the country's ten regions, the Far North with the Boko Haram insurgency, the East Region with the spillover of the war in neighbouring Central African Republic and the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West Regions constitute a serious deterrent factor for investment.  Some measures have already been taken to bring back peace but from the look of things, more still has to be done  in the area of exploring all peace-friendly avenues for the target to be reached, The second task awaiting Cameroon has to do with enhancing economic growth. This, according to him passes through; modernization of agriculture, implementation of major industrial projects in line with the "orientations of our Master Plan", boosting of energy infrastructure to meet the needs of various industrial sectors, and intensifying the construction of transport infrastructure among others. Once security has been restored and growth revived, President Biya says, democracy will be given  the "social dimension its deserves." This entails building a society that ensures equal opportunities and decent living conditions for the entire population. This concerns high quality education that focuses on professionalization, improving the health system, access to potable water and electricity and solving problem of low-cost housing among others.



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