35th Anniversary of New Deal: Time to address the hard issues

06/11/2017It was a Saturday, 35 years ago, President Paul Biya took the oath of office after President Ahmadou Ahidjo resigned. From his early actions it became evident that the President was on a new course.

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The New Deal government’s watch words were “Rigour and Moralisation”.

Thirty-five years after, the situation in Cameroon has witnessed political and economic metamorphosis. The country has advanced in a number of domains though faced with a number of challenges.

Bokom Haram incursions in the Far North Region, armed conflicts caused by the political instability in the Central African Republic and the refugee influx in Cameroon have been a major threat to peace.

Then the recent upheaval in the two english speaking regions. The protests that resulted to many deaths have also threatened the peace and harmony in Cameroon.

This nothwithstanding, Cameroonians do enjoy the liberty that is accompanied by democracy.

President Paul Biya’s anti-corruption drive is another reminder that no one is above the law.

In the economic domain, a number of national development projects and poverty alleviation policies have singled Cameroon as a major driving force in the CEMAC subregion.

The present 35th anniversary is therefore occasion for government to size-up the gains and identify areas where more work is required notably the decentralisation process that began in 2010 .

Pamela Bidjocka

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