Sceptics who considered the old but recurrent assertion of youth as leaders of tomorrow being a mere political grandstanding seeking solely to cajole the youth to continually carry the bags of the old in government may need to rethink. Multiple gestures by the Head of State for quite some time now suggest that those who hoped against hope for the youth with regards to leadership as well as some who thought they could repeatedly control the youngsters and sit on them for as much as possible would need to sit up. Youth are increasingly in the limelight.
As a matter of fact, the March 2, 2018 Cabinet reshuffle likewise other previous Presidential actions clearly demonstrate the determination to give youth a chance to prove their mettle. Gone are the days when ascending a ministerial position or any high office in the administration had an unwritten age criterion-Half a century and above. Cameroonians of both sexes and from all social and linguistic backgrounds now conveniently rub shoulders with their seniors in all strata of the administration. Directors, General Managers, Board Chairs and Ministers.
From his position as Head of State, like he told the youth in his February 10, 2018 National Youth Day speech, President Paul Biya said he, “perceives signs of your growing interest in public affairs.” Actions on the ground thus show a programmed and progressive promotion of youth to contribute in shaping the affairs for a better tomorrow. For instance, 43-year-old Galax Yves Landry Etoga today commands as the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie.
The Presidential act that lifted the product of the International Relations Institute of Cameroon on March 2, 2018 equally brought other youngsters to the fore. 46-year-old Oswald Baboke as Deputy Director of the Civil Cabinet and Elung Paul Che, in his late forties, as Minister, Deputy Secretary General, all at the revered and challenging Presidency of the Republic, are a clear pointer to the fact that age is no barrier in Cameroon’s administration, at least anymore.
Keen observers of the public administration can testify of the strides of the youthful Modeste Mopa Fatoing as the Director General of Taxation.
Ever since he got to the helm of the strategic Directorate General, successive reforms have been undertaken and fruits on the ground in terms of revenue collection for the State coffers are telling of what well-groomed and entrusted youth can do. The appointment of Malegho Joseph Aseh as pioneer Secretary General of the Constitutional Council is another glaring illustration of youth promotion.
These appointments are, to say the least, unprecedented. The promoted all got into the shoes of people who surpassed them in age by at least ten years. A strong indication that President Paul Biya judges youth not on their years on earth but by their characters and contents of their heads. High-level trust indeed on those whose hands tomorrow’s Cameroon lies.
The country, no doubt, needs a blend of exuberance and experience to attain set development objectives. As they settle down to work; ensuring continuity of public administration and obviously innovating where and when necessary, it goes without saying that their appointments herald hope of better days for their peers, some of who are regrettably focusing too much in the past.
Observably, those called to the mantle today painstakingly crossed their academic stages, remained loyal with the little responsibility at the early stages of their careers and have today been conferred bigger ones. A free lesson indeed for others! Refusing to go to school or crusading against education whatsoever; can only compromise their ability to lead tomorrow.
President Biya’s request on February 10, 2018 that, “The Cameroon of tomorrow, which is being forged before our very own eyes, will differ almost entirely from that of yesteryear. You will be its key beneficiaries. You will need to prove yourselves worthy of it,” and the March 2 acts are indicative of a Presidential hand of fellowship to the youth.
Efficiency is thus non-negotiable for those promoted today as it would open more doors for others and as well encourage he who has the yam and knife to increase the slice for the youth in future moves.