Cameroon: Reconstruction, Development - Pertinent Recommendations for Conflict Affected Areas

Bafut Palace

The conflict-affected areas are the North West, South West and Far North Regions.

The Head of State, President Paul Biya is certainly now in possession of recommendations from the Major National Dialogue intended to reconstruct and develop the North West and South Regions affected by the ongoing socio-political and security crisis and the Far North Region hit by the Boko Haram terrorist sect insurgencies. The recommendations is the result of brainstorming and reflection work of the Reconstruction and Development of Conflict-Affected Areas Commission chaired by Professor Simon Munzu which was one of the eight Commissions in the Major National Dialogue that took place at the Yaounde Conference Centre from September 30 to October 4, 2019. The dialogue participants urged government to formulate a vast Programme for the Recovery, Reconstruction and Development of the North-West, South-West and Far-North regions, aimed at improving the living conditions of the populations and consolidating social cohesion and national unity. Recommended Actions The actions included: -"The immediate resumption of projects whose works have been suspended over the past three years due to the crisis in the North-West and South-West Regions such as the Babadjou-Bamenda road, the Loum-Tombel-Kumba Mundemba-Akwa Road etc; -The rehabilitation of public facilities and public infrastructure destroyed or rendered obsolete as a result of lack of use because of the crises, particularly in the areas of education, health, transport, energy, water and communications infrastructure; -The reconstruction of priority economic infrastructures in order to provide support or revive productive systems through revamping the public agro-industrial companies in the affected regions (CDC, PAMOL, UNVDA, SEMRY, SODECOTON); -The compensation for losses suffered by private individuals, religious congregations, Chiefs' Palaces, communities and private production and service provision units as well as direct social assistance schemes for victims; -The voluntarist creation of sustainable jobs for young people and women with a special focus on those from the crisis-affected regions." The Major National Dialogue was organised on the heels of a decree signed by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute declaring the North West, South West and Far North Regions with the Status of Economic Disaster Zones. The decree spelt out investment incentives to enterprises that would want to establish businesses in the regions. During pre-dialogue consultations carried out by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute who was the chairperson of the dialogue, the employers associations lauded the creation of the economic disaster zones and called on government to put in place measures to let the daring investors fully benefit from the status. There are high hopes for the recovery, reconstruction and development of the three conflict-affected regions. This is because President Paul Biya during a tweet on the heels of the Major National Dialogue declared, "I can assure you that all of them (recommendations) will be considered attentively and diligently with a view to implementing them, taking into account their relevance and feasibility, as well as the capacities of our country."

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