CAMEROON : DECENTRALISATION ON THE MOVE

 

ON JANUARY 8 1996, THE CONSTITUTION OF CAMEROON GAVE BIRTH TO DECENTRALISATION. ARTICLE ONE OF THE CONSTITUTION STIPULATES THAT CAMEROON IS A UNITARY DECENTRALIZED STATE, WHICH MEANT THAT DECENTRALIZED COLLECTIVITIES WOULD BE DELEGATED SOME DEGREE OF POWER AND RESOURCES TO MANAGE THEIR AFFAIRS. THAT CONSTITUTION HAS BEEN GRADUALLY IMPLEMENTED: REGIONS WERE CREATED, THE SENATE REPRESENTING COUNCILS WAS SET UP, THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND FUNCTIONAL AUTONOMY OF COUNCILS HAS BEEN ASSURED.

IN 2010 THE THE FIRST TRANSFER OF COMPETENCE AND RESOURCES TO COUNCILS WAS DONE. BY DECEMBER 31 2015, COUNCILS WERE GIVEN FULL POWER TO CARRY OUT 60 OUT OF THE 63 FUNCTIONS THEY HAVE AND THE PRIME MINISTER’ S TEXT OF DECEMBER 16 2016 GRANTED THEM THE OTHER 3. ON FEBRUARY 24 THIS YEAR THE PRIME MINISTER SIGNED A TEXT WHICH MAKES EFFECTIVE TRANSFER OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO LOCAL COUNCILS ACROSS THE COUNTRY- A GROUND- BREAKING DECISION FOR AN EFFECTIVE DECENTRALISATION PROCESS. TO THIS EFFECT, THE SALE OF AUTOMOBILE STAMPS, WINDSCREEN LICENCES, LOCAL DEVELOPMENT TAXES NOW PERTAINS TO COUNCILS. PART OF FOREST REVENUES AND FUNDS COLLECTED BY THE TREASURY HAS BEEN GIVEN TO COUNCILS THROUGH THE RURAL ASSISTANCE FUND KNOWN BY ITS FRENCH ACCRONYM, FEICOM. MAYORS AND MUNICIPAL COUNCILORS NOW RECEIVE REMUNERATION THANKS TO A PRESIDENTIAL DECREE.

HOWEVER MANY HAVE DESCRIBED THE DECENTRALISATION PROCESS AS SLOW PACED. REASON WHY THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATION ISSA TCHIROMA BAKERY GRANTED A PRESS CONFERENCE ON APRIL 12 THIS YEAR TO EXPLAIN THAT THE DECENTRALISATION PROCESS WAS ON THE MOVE AND ALMOST COMPLETE. HE SAID 97 PERCENT OF COMPETENCES IN THE LAW APPLICABLE TO COUNCILS HAS BEEN HONORED AS PLANNED, AND THAT THE STATE WAS ACCELERATING THE PROCESS EVEN MORE. THE NATIONAL DECENTRALISATION BOARD CHAIRED BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE INTER- MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE OF LOCAL SERVICES AND THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR LOCAL SERVICES ARE ALL FOLLOWING UP STEPS TAKEN. THE STATE HAS AND CONTINUES WORKING ON IMPROVING MANAGEMENT SKILLS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES. GOVERNMENT IS PRESENTLY WORKING ON DEMARCATING THE COMPETENCE OF REGIONS AND THAT OF THE STATE AND PUTTING IN PLACE SOME LEGUSLATIVE DISPOSITIONS TO FILL IN MANAGEMENT GABS.
BEATRICE LAWSAMBA

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