In his end of year message to the nation, President Paul Biya appraised the efforts of his administration in the overwhelming tasks of nation building amid global challenges and spelt out what should be tackled to forge ahead.
I. HEALTH (Covid - 19 nightmare).
- The virus tends to adapt to our environment over time, as evidenced by the emergence of new variants, thus making control of the pandemic particularly challenging.
- I am confident that we will overcome the corona virus in the same manner as pervious epidemics.
- I will spare no effort in ensuring that the requisite measures to stem its spread in our country are actually implemented.
- Hence, the need to stay alert and to continue observing the rules of hygiene and preventive measures such as wearing a mask in all public places or physical distancing.
- I urge each and every one to get vaccinated and not to pay heed to the conspiracy theories that abound on social media about the corona virus vaccine.
II. ECONOMIC SUSTENANCE.
- Despite its adverse impact on the economic fabric, we have relentlessly continued implementing our transformational projects, thanks to the sustained mobilization of non-oil revenue, the implementing of domestic budget consolidation measures and support from our development partners.
- Works are ongoing to interconnect the Northern and Southern electrical grids. The implementation of this project will contribute to a sustainable reduction of the energy deficit in our country's northern regions.
- There was a need to continue ensuring private sector competitiveness in a macro-economic environment severely disrupted by the COVID -19 pandemic.
- A ware of the huge sacrifices made by national economic operators to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, I instructed the government to reduce by 80% the sea freight transportation cost to be included in calculating customs duties.
- The credibility of Cameroon's signature thus helped to successfully refinance the Eurobond and to conclude a new Economic and Financial Programme with the International Monetary Fund.
III. PEACE AND SECURITY.
- The trust Cameroon enjoys among our partners is the result of our constant efforts to ensure that the country remains the haven of peace and stability that it has always been.
- We have stepped up our efforts to maintain peace and security nationwide.
- Boko Haram's sporadic incursions into the Far-North Region in recent months have been met with stiff resistance from our defence forces. Once more, I wish to pay them a well-deserved tribute for their courage, commitment and professionalism.
- I would like, once again, to reiterate Government's firm determination to restore peace in the regions that are under security threats.
- It should be clearly understood that wherever the perpetrators and sponsors of such acts are hiding, they will be relentlessly tracked down and will face the full force of the law.
- In this fierce fight against barbarism, I urge the Cameroonian people to step up collaboration with our defence and security forces in order to neutralize the fanatics of armed violence and to preserve the integrity of our territory.
IV. PATRIOTISM AND THE MEDIA.
- Lately, we have witnessed an upsurge in unpatriotic behaviour, the proliferation of hate speech and the posting of violent, obscene and shameful videotapes which shocked the nation's collective conscience.
- The persistent publication of "fake-news" in the mainstream or social media has contributed towards sustaining falsehood, thus preventing many of our fellow citizens from getting the right information on key issues.
- I appeal to your sense of individual responsibility and urge each of you to promote the culture of peace.
V. REGIONAL BALANCE.
- It is unacceptable that some regions should feel forsaken, while others are progressing.
- That is why I decided to create State Universities in the three regions of our country that do not yet have one, namely the East, North and South Regions. Other infrastructure will follow, particularly in the airport, industrial and road sectors, in order to make each region a real development hub.
VI. DEMOCRATISATION AND DECENTRLISATION.
- Overall, regionalization is being implemented countrywide and contributes towards increasing our fellow citizen's participation in the management of local affairs.
- These democratic strides very clearly demonstrate that our country is irreversibly and resolutely engaged in the methodical perfection of its democratic process, in order to further meet the legitimate aspirations of the Cameroonian people.
- However, we must avoid any kind of haste that may undermine our country's unity and our republican ideal. Surely, we will carefully and patiently do whatever needs to be done.
VII. FINANCIAL SANITY
-We must enhance public finance management governance by fighting corruption and embezzlement of public funds.
- Therefore, all those found guilty of financial malpractice or illicit enrichment will face the consequences before the competent courts.
VIII. AFCON 2021 AND NATION'S IMAGE
-We want it to be a great moment of brotherhood. It therefore behoves us to extend a warm welcome to the 24 spots delegations, officials and all those who will be staying in our country during the tournament.
- Let us offer our guests the rich cultural diversity that has earned our country the nickname "Africa in miniature". Let us extend to them the hospitality they rightfully expect from us, and which is part and parcel of our traditions.
- We have the duty and opportunity to remind the world that we are a united and indomitable people, capable of displaying this fighting spirit that has enabled us in the past to win great battles.