I placed my previous term of office under the banner of «Greater Ambitions » for Cameroon. The « Greater Ambitions» policy was meant to help take our country out of underdevelopment and into modernity and make it an emerging country in the medium term. Today, all the studies have been conducted and the necessary funds have been secured. It is thus time for us to move on to “Major Accomplishments” by giving Cameroon a fresh impetus.
At the policy level, Fresh Impetus,
- Means pursuing our policy of openness to other political parties and civil society by giving priority to dialogue, consultation and participation in seeking solutions to the Nation’s major challenges.
- Means pursuing the decentralization process by transferring powers from the State to regional and local authorities, which are more conversant with the expectations of the people. Decentralization is already under way with a much greater economic role of regions and the emergence of true local public service that is closer to the people and thus better placed than the national public service to meet their aspirations.
- Means promoting good governance, by stepping up the fight against corruption, without complacency or discrimination and regardless of the social status or political leanings of the persons involved. Never again will anyone consider himself or herself to be above the law.
- Means modernizing our public service and making it more efficient. The public service must be at the service of the public. It must shun the wait-and-see attitude, inertia, conservatism and racketeering, to become more efficient, return to its ethical values, improve its performance to be commensurate with the challenges and resolutely seek to satisfy the general interest.
- Means enhancing the Rule of Law in order to ensure the security of persons and property, improve the business climate and increase the citizens’ access to information.
On the economic front, Fresh Impetus:
- Means consolidating our public finance stability, which has been upset by the adverse effects of the crisis and structural adjustments constraints. This therefore implies maintaining the return to economic stability and to the restored orthodoxy of our public finance.
- Means doing everything possible to accelerate growth.
- Means launching a programme of major projects, namely: Major structuring projects:
In the energy sector:
- the Lom Pangar, Memve’ele, Mekin, Nachtigal, Song Ndockayo, and Birniawarack Hydropower dams;
- the Kribi gas-fired power plant,
- the Yassa thermal power plant,
- the Limbe oil shipyard.
In the transport sector:
- the construction of road infrastructure such as the second bridge over River Wouri,
- the construction of port infrastructure, in particular, the Kribi and Limbe deep seaports,
- the construction of railway transport infrastructure to accompany the implementation of major growth-generating projects, and
- the resumption of activities of a National Air Transport Company with the launching of “Camair Co.”
- Means undertaking the changes required to make our primary sector the leading contributor to our exports. This new policy which was announced at the Ebolowa Agropastoral Show seeks to accelerate the development of our agriculture and livestock sector which constitute enormous sources of wealth for our country but which remain largely under-tapped. As a measure intended to go along with the fresh impetus, the living conditions of our rural population will be improved by strengthening programmes relating to drinking water and electrify access and optimum use of alternative energy sources for rural dwellers.
- Means carrying out all the strategic actions adopted to make Cameroon an emerging country by 2035.
At the social level, fresh impetus,
- Means promoting social housing by building 10 000 low-cost housing units.
- Means increasing the population’s access to quality health care and medication, by pursuing the programme to increase the number of community hospitals coupled with referral hospitals. It also means successfully adopting Social Security for All by modernizing our Social Welfare and Insurance system.
- Means ensuring education for all and youth training by constantly increasing access to basic education and the first cycles of general and technical education by training youths willing to meet the challenge of employment or enter higher education, which is itself undergoing profound reforms through increased professionalism, by improving the match between training and employment through synergy between the school and the world of work.
- Means empowering women to attain equal rights for men and women. This entails increasing the number of actions geared towards promoting women’s entrepreneurship and helping women to find jobs in the civil service, the rural sector, trade, industry and service sector, pursue the process of modernizing our laws to guarantee respect for women’s rights, ensuring that customs and traditions repugnant to women’s rights are abandoned, stepping up measures aimed at fostering the intellectual and economic fulfilment of women and promoting family values.
- Means increasing youth employment opportunities. This will require the State to continue playing its role to ensure the fulfilment of the youth and, where necessary, taking special measures such as the special recruitment of 25 000 young graduates into the public service this year. The State will also have to oversee the implementation of a concrete plan for creating several thousand jobs, based on the putting in place of appropriate incentives for the creation of enterprises of all sizes by the private sector and notably by the youth, in all sectors of the economy (agriculture,art, industry and services). The private sector will equally benefit from incentives for job creation, especially for the youth. A reflection and action framework will be put in place to transform the informal sector into a well-organized formal sector that is more consistent with the constraints of young people. The youth will be further encouraged and better guided to invest in job-creating sectors such as, the rural world, cultural and sports economy, tourism and ICTs. Lastly, the revival of the National Civic Service for Participation in Development will be pursued at a faster pace and our ultimate goal will be to include the youth in our leadership systems.
At the environmental level, Fresh Impetus:
- Means ensuring the sustainable management of our forest heritage without however compromising the timber revenue, notably by protecting our forest, considered one of the lungs of the earth, by formulating a « new forestry policy », and enabling the population to exercise their rights to benefit from the redistribution of forest revenue.
Lastly, Fresh Impetus,
- Means living in peace within our borders and with our neighbours; peace is a sine qua non for development. Peace, unity and solidarity are values on which we cannot compromise.
- Means promoting a diplomacy based on principles by continuing to have confidence in the international instruments which States have freely adopted, by continuing the struggle for equity in international relations through equitable sharing of responsibilities among all continents.
This explains our efforts to secure a permanent seat for Africa on the United Nations Security Council. This will also mean continuing to advocate and work for greater solidarity between peoples: solidarity in the fight against poverty and precariousness, solidarity in the face of new environmental challenges, solidarity in the face of threats to peace and, in particular, solidarity in the face of terrorist threats.
- Means fully playing our role on the international scene, through participation in the activities of the United Nations Organization and the African Union, as well as those of the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, and of course those of sub-regional organizations such as CEMAC.
- Means continuing to promote Cameroon’s image which has improved significantly in recent years. Such credibility and attractiveness are necessary to win the confidence of foreign investors and tourists coming to our country. The Cameroonian Diaspora must contribute to projecting our country’s positive image through behaviour that reflects and defends our values in their host countries.