Peace as Veritable Development Trigger

Peace, it is often said, is not necessarily the absence of war but the absence of war is generally interpreted as a measuring rod for existence of peace. Peace in the real sense is the concept of harmonious well-being and freedom from hostile aggression. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. Humanity is being challenged by a number of issues cutting across several sectors of life some of which include; politics and economy.

From every indication, peace remains the underlying factor and instrument that can be used in managing these challenges. This is simply because peace creates the optimum environment in which the other activities that contribute to human growth can take place. In this sense, peace is a facilitator making it easier for workers to produce, businesses to function, entrepreneurs and scientists to innovate and governments to regulate. The benefits brought about by peace can also be measured in economic terms.

It does in fact, have a monetary value independent of the human values associated with it. It can be expressed in terms of the additional value to Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) that would ensue from creating a peaceful environment. The past few years that have witnessed the outbreak of insecurity in some parts of Cameroon have made Cameroonians to really understand the value of peace and how its absence or the presence of violence and sociopolitical instability can paralyze the life of the nation.

A report of the business cartel, well known by its French acronym, GICAM revealed very disturbing figures following the eruption of sociopolitical upheavals in the North West and South Regions. According to the report published September, 2018, two years after the outbreak, the country lost FCFA six billion in tax income and FCFA 269 billion in turnover.

The report equally says 6,434 jobs were sacrificed at the time of the survey and almost 8,000 jobs in the formal sector threatened. Activities at the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), the second employer after the State have virtually come to a halt while most cocoa growers in the South West Region, the hitherto highest cocoa producing zone are said to have abandoned their farms.

Schools remain grounded with very few cases operational. The deployment of defence forces in the Far North Region to combat the Boko Haram Islamist group as well as many more soldiers in the North West and South West Regions have created a big hole in the State coffers. Enormous resources that would have been used to build roads and provide social amenities to the population are being diverted to ensure security. Government is forced to go the extra mile to raise funds to run the affairs of the country.

The consequences will surely be felt several years ahead one of the reasons being that the train of education has been distorted. As the country continues to grapple with the situation, there are additional fears, it could be aggravated by other peace unfriendly factors. One of such is the near absence of justice, which remains an important element of peace.

It goes without saying that there can be no peace without justice and the two factors are serious preconditions for economic growth. The risk becomes higher for any investor attempting to implant his or her business in a country where the courts are corrupt, where the administration is full of unnecessary bottlenecks and where investments are not well protected



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