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Regional Balance and National Integration in Cameroon

Lessons Learned and the Uncertain Future

Paul Nchoji Nkwi, Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Publication Year: 2011

This book presents a series of reflections by Cameroon scholars on a variety of topics associated with regional balance and national integration. The different reflections look for answers to some burning questions of the day such as: Where are we coming from? Where are we going? How are we going where we are going? Have the different state ideologies offered appropriate solutions to the quest for a strong, united, stable and prosperous nation-state? If not, what has gone wrong and why? What can be done to shape the future and accommodate the aspirations of the men and women of Cameroon and of their progeny? The book addresses the issue of national unity and national integration within the context of different political perceptions and visions. It examines the merits and demerits of the policy of regional balance of the Ahmadou Ahidjo years (1960-1982). Focus is also on the underlying flaws of this doctrine and philosophy. The debate also addresses some critical questions of the national integration policy and practices of Paul Biya, President since November 1982. The policy has failed to achieve its stated goals and has ended up in the ethnicisation and polarisation of national life. The future of the Cameroon nation-state, with its rich ethnic and cultural diversity, seems to be in jeopardy as internal forces question the management of civil society by leaders who have lost the sense of justice and equity. Why are there several voices singing the song of destitution and disappointment with the state? Have regionalism and the rhetoric of national integration and balance emerged as untenable polities within a nation-state in search of an identity and responsible leadership? These are some of the questions and issues Cameroonian and Cameroonist scholars have tried to address in this collection of 28 well-researched and outstandingly argued essays.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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Contents

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pp. iii-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

We are deeply indebted to a number of persons whose contribution to the production of this book has been enormous. Special thanks go to Dr. Flavien Tiokou Ndonko for coordinating the entire desktop publishing activities. Equal tribute goes to Antoine Socpa and to Celine Ottou Ndanga for their secretariat and technical ...

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Foreword

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pp. ix-x

This book is the outcome of a conference held at Yaounde from 13 to 18 October 1995, organized by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Yaounde I and the African Studies Centre at Leiden. The conference was made possible by the highly appreciated financial support of African Studies Centre ...

Part One: General Introduction

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1. An Introduction

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pp. 3-18

This book presents a series of reflections by Cameroon scholars on a variety of topic associated with regional balance and national integration. The different reflections look for answers to some burning questions of the day. Questions such as: Where are we coming from? Where are we going? How are we going where we are going? ...

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2. The Political Economy of Regional Imbalances and National “Unintegration” In Cameroon

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pp. 19-40

The story of Cameroon is a concrete demonstration of the Biblical verse. “To those who have more shall be given and from those who have not, shall be taken away, even that which they have.” (Matthew 25:29). This is precisely what has been happening in Cameroon. And the consequence of this is regional inequalities, strikes, ...

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3. Redressing Regional Imbalance in Cameroon: The Lessons from the Past

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pp. 41-58

Regional balance and National Integration for any country is a Herculean task. For Cameroon, the task is doubly difficult considering its complexity. Cameroon is Africa in miniature. It is a land of hills and valleys; a land of rivers and lakes. It is a land of forests and grassland. It is a land of torrential rainfall and of scorching sunshine. ...

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4. The Effectiveness of Legal Instruments in Achieving Regional Balance and National Integration in Cameroon

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pp. 59-68

The Code was designed to achieve a dual purpose: attract investment and assist in achieving the development objectives of the state. It offered four categories of incentives to business enterprises (Schedules A, B, C and D), corresponding to the activities of sectors where the government wanted to attract investments. ...

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5. La Création du Territoire National Camerounais a l’Épreuve de la Crise et de sa Gestion

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pp. 69-90

Le territoire national n’existe pas en soi; il se construit et se détruit en permanence, même dans les plus anciennes nations stabilisées sur une longue période. Au Cameroun, ce qui fait office de territoire national dans le discours ne peut être considéré que comme un objet virtuel que chacun s’emploie à construire ...

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6. The Government Social Policy and National Integration

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pp. 91-98

In Cameroon, the 1960s through to the mid 1980s were periods of rapid economic growth supported by high agriculture and petroleum production. The gross domestic product grew at an average rate of 8.5 %; this was far above the population growth rate of below 3%. The good economic performance provided the government ...

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7. Contested Meanings: Rulers, Subjects and National Integration in Post-colonial Cameroon

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pp. 99-118

An emphasis on colonial difference, a tool for self-defence, between the colonial rulers and the colonized people was a marked characteristic in the struggle for independence in Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon. Independence gave rise to juridical statehood and the task of constructing an empirical state29 devolved on the leadership ...

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8. Anglophone Liberation Journalism and National Deconstruction in Cameroon

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pp. 119-138

In Cameroon the public service journalist is little more than a public relations (PR) man for the government. He/she is committed much less to the truth and the public than to building a positive image, selling the ideas and promoting the interests of government and the ruling elite. In general any journalist who plays a PR role, ...

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9. Regionalism and National Integration in Cameroon: Psychocultural Perspective

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pp. 139-154

The story of regionalism and the integration of people begins with the oldest human survival activities, the gathering of fruits and the hunting of game. But discourse on regionalism and the integration of people in the geopolitical expression subsumable, for convenience of discourse, under the name Cameroon ...

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10. Anglophone-Francophone Divide and Political Disintegration in Cameroon: Psychohistorical Perspective

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pp. 155-176

Before 1884, the region which later became the Protectorate of Kamerun comprised a multiplicity of ethnic groups and polities varying in size and administrative system. While the former were not cohesive in character, the latter were highly jealous and protective of their political independence (Chem-Langhee 1990:6), ...

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11. Assessing the Impact of Tribalism and Regionalism on the Development of Cameroon

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pp. 177-194

Probably the most profound archaeological discoveries so far about the origin of the human species remain those of the late Dr Louis Seymour Bazzet Leakey (1903-1972) and his family. In July 1959, Louis and his wife, Mary Leakey, unearthed primitive tools and an almost complete skull in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania ...

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12. Equilibre Regional, Replis Identitaires et Fragilisation Croissante de l’Intérêt National: Vers un Effet ‘‘Boomerang’’ de la Politique des Quotas au Cameroun

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pp. 195-216

La problématique de l’intégration nationale est certainement au Cameroun l’une des questions les plus préoccupantes et délicates qui s’est posée et se pose même encore, au-delà d’une quelconque quiétude qu’afficheraient les gouvernants dans leurs discours officiels. ...

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13. Regionalisme, Integration Nationale et Education

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pp. 217-228

Le régionalisme est la tendance à conserver ou à favoriser certains traits particuliers d’une région, d’une province. Le nationalisme ethnique équivaut ainsi à l’exclusivisme, a l’ethnocentrisme qui est, en fait, l’exclusion sur la base de la culture ou de la langue fondée sur l’idée selon laquelle il y aurait des niveaux différents ...

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14. Balanced Rural Development in Cameroon within a Democratic Context

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pp. 229-246

The purpose of this paper is to explore the prospects for regions serving as growth poles for rural development within the democratic dispensation. During the first three decades after independence, power, policy-making, planning and the implementation of development, were concentrated at the centre. ...

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15. Ethnicity and Party Politics in Cameroon: The Politics of Divide and Rule

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pp. 247-268

The socio-political climate in Cameroon on the morning of democratic opening (19 December 1990) can be described as characterized by the euphoria of political pluralism and newly found freedom. The Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) which succeeded the Cameroon National Union (CNU), ...

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16. Elites et Intégration Nationale au Cameroun sous le Régime du Renouveau

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pp. 269-280

De son accession a l’indépendance le 1er janvier 1960 a l’avènement du Régime du Renouveau le 6 novembre 1982, le Cameroun a été gouverne sur la base d’une politique centraliste a parti unique dans une perspective multirégionale ou multiethnique. Ainsi, pour canaliser les tensions et les inégalités sociales ...

Part Two: Gender And Empirical Regional Issues

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17. Decision-making Accessibility to Resources and National Integration of Women in Cameroon

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pp. 283-296

Cameroon’s population was estimated to be eleven million in 1987. Women do not only make up about 51 % of the population, they reproduce the whole population. A greater proportion of this population lives in rural areas since Cameroon is largely rural. About 7.5 millions of its inhabitants live in rural areas, ...

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18. Women between Chiefs and the Law: Competition for Power and Land in North Cameroon

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pp. 297-318

The recent interest in regionalism (as exemplified in the theme of this conference) can be considered a reaction at the failure of the Cameroonian State to forge a national integration as a solution for regional imbalances. One of these regional imbalances can be found in the Extreme North, where people are struggling ...

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19. Regional Balance in Northern Cameroon

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pp. 319-346

National integration is a concept which is often associated in African studies with political ideals belonging to the 1960s rather than the 1990s. At that time, existed high-strung expectations about the transformation potentials of politics ‘to change things for the better’. The essential task of the politicians of a country ...

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20. Marketing of Food Crops in the Central Province of Cameroon: Some Preliminary Results

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pp. 347-372

The study aims to analyze to which degree the marketing of food crops can lead to economic development in the Central Province in Cameroon. Economic development is defined here in a narrow way: the strengthening of sources of income. In the Central Province fluctuations in marketing of the major cash crops ...

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21. Responses to Socio-Economic and Conjunctural changes in the Central Province and the Consequences for the Town-Hinterland Relationship

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pp. 373-398

The cultural, ethnic, and economic diversity which characterize the Cameroonian situation induced the government in the sixties to adopt a regional approach to planning in order to attain a balanced and integrate development (Ndongko, 1980). Although this objective was repeated pursued ...

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22. Land Disputes and the Impact on Disintegration in Contemporary Western Grassfields: Case Study of the Ndop Plain Chiefdoms

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pp. 399-426

It is indisputable that from May 1990 when multi-party politics was reinstituted in Cameroon and about a year or more after the results of the October 1992 presidential elections were published, the North West Province (NWP) hit the headlines. During the course of the past two years; the numerous reports ...

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23. Regional Balance and National Integration: A historical overview of Mafa Integration in National Politics: An Imbalance along Religious Lines

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pp. 427-456

It is the 20th of May and still quite early in the morning. I’m half awake and hear the noise of my son’s friend making breakfast in the kitchen. He and another friend stayed over for the night as they often do. I hear the others slowly getting up. Then they wake me up, the friend telling me: ‘Here is your breakfast Mama; ...

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24. Ethnicite et Divergences entre le Pouvoir Central et les Forces Vives Locales sur la Régionalisation au Cameroun: L’exemple du Nord Cameroun

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pp. 457-486

Le Cameroun pratique depuis son accession a l’indépendance en 1960, une politique appelée “équilibre régional” dont le but avoue est la gestion harmonieuse et équitable de ses disparités spatiales: et surtout de sa diversité ethnique. En réalité, “équilibre régional” signifie principalement “équilibre ethnique”. ...

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25. Relations Interethniques, Problématique de l’Intégration Nationale et de la Securite aux Abords Sud du Lac Tchad

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pp. 487-504

La partie extrême nord du Cameroun, sous forme de “bec de canard”, s’enfonce dans le lac Tchad. La elle a des frontières communes avec les deux Etats voisins du Tchad et du Nigeria. Le “lac Tchad et ses abords sud constituent une zone marquée par une grande historicité. Nombreux sont les peuples du Cameroun, ...

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26. Agro-industry and Regionalism in the South West Province of Cameroon during the National Economic and Political Crisis

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pp. 505-534

The South West Province of Cameroon was born in 1972. Its birth marked the end of a unique experiment in Africa whereby the political elite of two regions with· different colonial legacies-one French and the other British-had agreed on the formation of a federal state (Ardener, 1967; Johnson, 1970; le Vine, 1971; Benjamin, 1972; Forge, 1981). ...

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27. Le royaume Bamoum, les Chefferies Bamiléké et L’Etat au Cameroun

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pp. 535-564

Le Cameroun postcolonial a été un des cadres par excellence d’expérimentation et d’application du centralisme. Com me Etat-nation, il cumule tous les inconvénients du partage et de la balkanisation arbitraires de l’Afrique aussi bien au plan géographique qu’historico-culturel: les pieds dans la foret équatoriale dense, ...

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28. Regionalism: A strategy for Self-help: The Case of Manyu Women in a Changing Society

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pp. 565-582

Most developing countries in the world today that enjoy some degree of social and economic development, depend on the people themselves, rather than governments, to initiate economic activities that would improve the quality of their lives. Evidence can be got from South East Asia, in countries like Korea or India ...

Appendixes

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pp. 583-584

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956726059
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956726264

Page Count: 596
Publication Year: 2011