Power to the People
Pouvoir au Peuple
Cameroon/ Cameroun

Social Democratic Front

Front Social Démocratique /

NESPROG II (2011-2021)

PREFACE. (Chairman)

1 INTRODUCTION TO THE NESPROG

1.1 What is the NESPROG?
1.2 Why CAMEROON needs a NESPROG?
1.3 The basic principles of the NESPROG
1.4 The key programmes of the NESPROG
1.5 Conclusion

2 MEETING BASIC NEEDS

2.1 Problem statement
2.2 Vision and objectives
2.3 Creating Jobs
2.4 Land reform
2.5 Housing
2.6 Water and sanitation
2.7 Energy and electrification
2.8 Telecommunications
2.9 Transport
2.10 Environment
2.11 Health care
2.12 Nutrition

2.13 Social security and social welfare

3 DEVELOPING OUR HUMAN RESOURCES

3.1 Problem statement
3.2 Vision and objectives
3.3 Education and training
3.4 Arts and culture
3.5 Sport
3.6 Youth development

4 REVAMPING THE ECONOMY

4.1 Problem statement
4.2 Vision and objectives
4.3Economic Planning and Regional Balance
4.4 Amélioration de l’environnement des affaires
4.5 Assurer la sécurité juridique des investissements
4.6 Mastering Monetary Instruments
4.7 Reform of the financial sector
4.8 Involving Diaspora Communities
4.9 Promoting Efficient Economic governance

4 10 Boosting Investments

4 10 1 Strategic measures

4 10 2 Judicial Taxation System

4 11 Efficiency and Transparency in Budgetary Management

4 12 Upgrading Infrastructures

4 13 Modernizing of Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery

4 13 1 Agriculture and Livestock Policies

4 13 2 Fisheries

4 13 3 Forestry

4 14 Developing Industry

4 15 Trade

4 16 Tourism

4 17 Science and Technology

4 18 Mining and Minerals

4 19 Regional integration

4. 20 DEMOCRATISING SOCIETY AND BUILDING A STATE OF LAW

4 20.1 Problem statement
4 20 2 Vision and objectives

5. IMPLEMENTING THE NESPROG

5 1 Problem statement
5.2 Vision and objectives
5.3 Implementing and coordinating structures
5 4 Planning frameworks
5 5 Financing the NESPROG

6. CONCLUSION

PREFACE: (Chairman)

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 WHAT IS NESPROG?

Published in 1996 at the time when the country swore only by IMF and World Bank Structural Adjustment Programmes, NESPROG was an integrated, coherent socio-economic policy framework. It sought to mobilise Cameroonian people and the country's resources towards the final eradication of poverty and the building of a democratic and developed society.

NESPROG was supposed to be updated, at least, every seven years, in order to be in step with changes in the global economy as well as the national policy timeframe which provides for presidential elections at the end of this period. Unfortunately, the lack of means and the blocking of the democratic process that gave priority to exclusively political considerations did not make it possible. The update, today, that comes more than ten years after, takes on a completely new form, a new draft, with regard to upheavals that the global economy has witnessed for sometime as well as the immense damage that the ill-adapted structural adjustment policies and chronic poor governance caused to the economic and social fabric of the country. Within the framework of the NESPROG, the SDF will develop when time is right detailed positions and a genuine programme of government.

The NESPROG has been drawn up by the SDF in consultation with other key political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Many university lecturers and researchers assisted in the process. This process of consultation and joint policy formulation must continue. In that line key sectors of our society such as the business community and churches must be consulted and encouraged to participate as fully as they may choose.

Those organisations within civil society that participated in the development of the NESPROG will be encouraged by an SDF government to be active in and responsible for the effective implementation of the NESPROG.

1.2 WHY NESPROG?

  1.2.1 Need to put an end to illusions

The catastrophic situation of the Cameroonian economy is certainly the result of failure in the management of its governing elite till date; however it took a turn for the worse over the last twenty years by way of a series of illusions. The first illusion is to think that democracy has no place in the economic development of a country.

The second illusion is to believe that the path to development must necessarily come from abroad.

The third illusion consists in giving priority to palliative solutions to poverty whereas it shows simply an absence of development.

 

1.2.2   Democratic preconditions and institutional reforms

For a long time donors wallowed in the illusion that it was possible to turn-around the economy of a country without meddling in local politics in general. Particularly, they have for a long time been reluctant mounting pressure on governments to be more democratic. It was only from 1999 as we would see subsequently when they realized the havoc that poverty was wreaking that they came to terms with the slippages of poor governance whose main characteristic is the complete absence of democratic practices in the management of human and physical resources. In the case of Cameroon, for example, if from 1987, the year of the first programme with IMF and the World Bank, donor institutions had mounted pressure on Mr Biya to lead the country to the path of greater democracy, there would have been a reinforcement of the State of law and consequently less impunity and particularly less corruption, elements that rubbish most efforts at turning around the economy of the country.

When the situation of African countries under structural adjustment is examined on a case by case basis, we realize that the wealth of these countries in question depend in large measure on the quality of governance.

Thus, in countries where a particularly antidemocratic form of governance obtains like Cameroon, the Congo Democratic Republic or Chad, there is an explosion of numerous perversions like corruption, cronyism, nepotism and tribalism that hamper the building of viable States and the putting in place of solid and efficient political and economic institutions.  Hence, a constant incapacity to formulate efficient strategies to put the economy on track.

On the other hand, where significant efforts are made to reinforce the State of law, to institutionalize democratic practices and to promote good governance, there is more rationality in approaches to issues of development and in actions aimed at promoting the general well-being. Countries like Botswana, Mauritius Island, South Africa, Morocco, Ghana, Benin, Mali or Senegal are examples.

It has been proven that contrary to certain outdated believes, democracy and good governance are more enabling to development than autocracy. 

   

1.2.3 Need to go beyond structural adjustment programmes

In order to square up to the global economic crisis set in motion by the oil crises of 1973 and 1977 and which began to hit Cameroon from 1985, the government after hesitating for a long time embarked from 1987 on structural adjustment programmes with the IMF and the World Bank, that were presented as veritable magic recipes to resolve all the economic problems of the country. Immediately, the government dropped development planning that was so dear to President Ahidjo and reduced its economic policy to a frantic race to meet the requirements of international donor institutions.

From one failure to another, due partially to their inappropriateness to the context and, on the other hand, to the impossibility of government to respect commitments taken vis-à-vis donors, these programmes led to such a dilapidation of the economic and social fabric that poverty spread in an exponential manner. 

As from 1999, the Bretton Woods institutions tried to adopt a new approach by adding to their programmes an important social component based on poverty alleviation. This was the birth in 1999 of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) in place of the Reinforced Structural Adjustment Facility (RSAF). The latter was replaced in 2000 with the highly indebted poor countries initiative (HIPC) aimed at totally or partially reducing the debt of poor countries that qualify for the initiative, including the commitment to use the reduction gains to alleviate poverty.

The admission of Cameroon to this programme led it to attain in 2006 the famous completion point that enabled it to obtain a significant reduction of the stock of its debt and a promise of financing amounting to more than CFAF 2000 billion over twenty to fifty years.

The great hopes raised by this success were quickly dashed because more than three years later, there is no improvement in the living conditions of Cameroonians. Worst of all, poverty is witnessing an upward trend in the country to a point where half of the population find themselves below the poverty line.

The SDF economic programme is thus an alternative to both the management failure of the Biya regime and the inappropriateness of structural adjustment policies imposed till date on our country by international donor institutions.

1.2.4 Poverty alleviation

Cameroon history during the last twenty seven years has been a bitter period of dictatorship, corruption and failed economic policies. The result is the generalisation of poverty and the degradation of the living conditions of Cameroonians.

With the failure of Biya government policies came the structural adjustment plans as shown above followed by the HIPC initiative with aims of alleviating poverty which has become a major concern of the international community. Furthermore, it is one of the millennium objectives adopted by the United Nations during its General Assembly of September 2000 in New York that aims at reducing poverty by half in the world by 2015. (1)

 

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(1) The millennium objectives for 2015 are as follows: (1) Reducing extreme poverty by half, (2) Ensure primary education for all, (3) Promote equality of the sexes and women empowerment, (4) Reduce by two thirds the mortality of children of less than 5 years, (5) Reduce by three-quarters maternal mortality, (6) Fight against the propagation of diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, (7) Ensure a sustainable environment, (8) Install a world partnership for development including aid, trade and debt reduction objectives.

Unfortunately, it is clear that the strategies used till date to combat poverty and meet the millennium objectives are far from providing the results expected. For example, according to the UN Human Development Reports, school enrolment in Cameroon was 55% of school age children in 2005 but dropped to 52.3% by 2007. This can be blamed on the exclusively social approach that guides the action of Mr Biya’s government within the framework of the HIPC initiative of the IMF and the World Bank.

With the NESPROG SDF proposes a radical change of approach with the conviction that poverty is nothing other than the manifestation of a lack of development. The SDF is convinced that to alleviate poverty in a sustainable manner, it is necessary to turn around the national economy in order for it to be on the path of a sustainable and lasting growth.

   

1.3 THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE NESPROG

NESPROG is essentially centred on:

1.3.1 A people driven process

Cameroonian people, with their aspirations and collective determination for change, is the most important resource for NESPROG. It is focused on people's most immediate needs, and it relies, in turn, on their energies to drive the process of meeting these needs. Development is not about the delivery of goods to a passive citizenry. It is about active involvement and growing empowerment.

1.3.2 The building of a state of law

Since its birth in 1990 the SDF has been at the vanguard for the institution in Cameroon of a State of law. The foundation of a State of law entails the existence of a constitution, adopted mutually and accepted by all and which takes precedence over the entire institutional structure. That is why it is called the fundamental law.

The State of law is also characterized by the existence and separation of three traditional powers i.e the executive, legislative and the judiciary as well as an independent judiciary that renders justice dispassionately.

In a State of law, the functioning of institutions provided for by the constitution draws from the source of moral and philosophical principles shared generally by the majority of the population and feeds on a sound and dynamic democratic practice that provides for the free selection of leaders, a constant renewal of executives and constant sanction of their management.

Finally, with the globalization of exchanges, it is now indispensable for a State of law to strive for integration in an always large environment in order to draw maximum profits from coordinated synergies and to be a major actor in international cooperation.

We have not reached this stage in Cameroon. And yet, only such a State can guarantee to Cameroonians the possibility to formulate in the long-term effective development strategies to alleviate poverty, boost the economy in a sustainable manner, promote its competitiveness in order to enable it win the globalization battle.

Consequently, the SDF commits to undertake all necessary reforms to reinforce the State of law including above all the organization of a constitutional conference in charge of amending the present constitution, rewriting of the electoral law and the putting in place of an independent electoral commission and the organization of free and transparent elections at all levels in order to endow the country with legitimate leaders capable of steering the country to the path of recovery.

      

1.3.3The need of federalism and the principle of subsidiarity

The SDF thinks that the most appropriate way to embark on a self-reliant economic development is the putting in place of a highly decentralized state structure. The most elaborated form of political decentralization lies in a state structure of a federal nature. Generally, most developed countries and even those that record a rapid economic development are highly decentralized states.

 

1.3.4 The defence of social democratic values

The SDF stands for social liberalism which, while promoting the law of the free market considers that the latter must be exercised under the authority of a regulatory State which ensures fairness of general rules and the pre-eminence of the spirit of national solidarity and social justice. The economic policy of the SDF must protect private property, encourage private initiative and free competition. The role of the State is to regulate the market, to regulate it when there are dysfunctions and to ensure that the progress and fruits of growth should be distributed fairly. It must particularly in the first place be concerned with social justice, create conditions for an adequate robust economic growth that would steer the entire country on the path of progress.

The economic and social liberalism of the SDF is based on a certain number of basic principles:

-Trust in man. The SDF thinks that man must be at the base of any development policy, both as a driving force and purpose. In this light, it accords a fundamental importance to free enterprise. It commits to grant all necessary facilities and to protect all those who want to set up shop that would create wealth and jobs.

-Development of creativity. The spirit of creativity is the base of any progress. Also, the role of a responsible government is to ensure the creation of all conditions that enable the development of the creative genius of citizens.

-Defence of wage-earners. As a social democratic party, the SDF thinks that labour is the most important element of capital. Consequently, it is essential that those who put their energy at the disposal of the labour market should have the possibility to group together within the framework of trade unions to ensure the protection of their interests. The existence of independent and responsible workers’ trade unions is indispensable to the development of constant social dialogue between the main social partners that are workers, employers and the State.

-The regulatory role of the State. The role of the State is particularly to prevent excesses of the market by regulating the latter by way of a fair and neutral regulation. Consequently, it must fight against too much bureaucracy, corruption and administrative bottlenecks.

In order not to hamper the free play of competition and endanger productivity and competitivity of the economy, indispensable in this era of prevailing globalization, the State has to withdraw as much as possible from the productive sector except for domains of sovereignty such as defence, water and energy as well as telecommunications where a minimum presence on its part is indispensable.

-Need for a progressive fiscal policy. The best fiscal system is that which is based on a fair evaluation of the capacity to create revenue for the economy. Where citizens are all the more convinced of the need to pay their taxes, the government should show a greater willingness to use their money rationally and in a responsible manner. The SDF is thus convinced that the obligation for each citizen to discharge his/her fiscal duty must be in tandem with that of a responsible management of public funds by the government. Hence, the SDF commits to wage a merciless battle against corruption, administrative bottlenecks and bureaucratic red tape.

- Need for constant concertation between the Government and private sector.

The economic downturn under the Biya regime is partially due to the fact that the government shows a manifest hostility towards the business community. A hostility that is manifested through several obstacles and intimidation of all sorts particularly an unprecedented fiscal harassment that has frustrated businessmen to the point where they manifest less and less desire to invest. (1)

Public authorities instead of being the indispensable complement of the private sector in promoting development have often passed for resolute adversaries. Their secular arm which is the public service has thus become the main hindrance to development by paralysing the economic machine through its mismanagement, prebendary and corrupt comportment as well as its sheer size that is a heavy burden to the budget of the State that is meagre by the day.

The SDF resolves to establish an atmosphere of trust between the government and the business world by way of a constant concertation and the systematic involvement of the latter in taking all decisions concerning the economy. Finally, it commits to downsize the public service in order to make it a better trained and motivated corps exclusively at the service of the economic and social development of the Nation for the well-being of all citizens.  

 

1.3.5 The mobilization of the youth and women for development

Women represent more than 51% of the population of Cameroon whereas 60% of this same population is less than twenty years. On the other hand, land which represents the greatest potential for the creation of wealth and jobs in the country is cultivated for the most part by women and the youth.

Finally, the youth have a greater capacity to imbibe innovations and progress generated today by great scientific and technological advances.

The SDF thus commits to place the youth and women at the centre of its development policy.

 

1.3.6 The protection of the environment

The environmental wealth of Cameroon is immense be it at the level of biodiversity, fauna or flora. It is, however, threatened by the uncontrolled exploitation by man, the vagaries of nature like in the Grand North or climate change.

The environment is also at the centre of the development strategy of the SDF. The State has the duty to protect it while obtaining the maximum profit from it notably in the domain of tourism and research. To this end, the SDF proposes the creation of an independent national commission made of experts of national and international repute in charge of advising the government on the implementation of a dynamic policy on the protection of the balance of the ecosystem. It would particularly have as mission to evaluate the impact of any development project on the environment.

 

1.4 THE KEY PROGRAMMES OF THE NESPROG

The proposals, strategies and policy programmes contained in the NESPROG can be grouped into five major policy programmes. They are:

  • meeting basic needs;
  • developing human resources;
  • revamping the economy;
  • democratising the state and society, and
  • implementing the NESPROG

2. MEETING BASIC NEEDS

2.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

Poverty is the greatest burden of Cameroon people, and is mainly the direct result of the dictatorship, the mismanagement and the corruption of the Biya regime. Poverty affects millions of people, the majority of whom live in the rural areas and are women. It is estimated that there are at least 50% of Cameroonians surviving below the Minimum Living Level, and of these at least 70% live in rural areas.

As already said it is not merely the lack of income which determines poverty. An enormous proportion of very basic needs are presently unmet. In attacking poverty and deprivation, the NESPROG aims to set Cameroon firmly on the road to eliminating hunger, providing land and housing to all our people, providing access to safe water and sanitation for all, ensuring the availability of affordable and sustainable energy sources, eliminating illiteracy, raising the quality of education and training for children and adults, protecting the environment, and improving our health services and making them accessible to all.

With a gross national product (GNP) of more than 10 000 billion francs CFA and given its resources, Cameroon can afford to feed, house, educate and provide health care for all its citizens. Yet dictatorship,mismanagement, corruption of the Biya regime and economic exploitation by foreign interests have created the gross and unnecessary inequalities among people. Unlocking existing resources for reconstruction and development will be a critical challenge during the process of reconstruction.

2.2 VISION AND OBJECTIVES

The NESPROG links reconstruction and development in a process that will lead to growth in all parts of the economy, greater equity through redistribution, and sustainability. The NESPROG is committed to a programme of sustainable development which addresses the needs of our people without compromising the interests of future generations. Without meeting basic needs of the population, no political regime can in the future survive in Cameroon.

2.2.1 Attacking poverty and deprivation is the first priority of a SDF government, and the NESPROG sets out a facilitating and enabling environment to this end. The NESPROG addresses issues of social, institutional, environmental and macro-economic sustainability in an integrated manner, with specific attention to affordability. SDF acknowledges the crucial role of regional and local governments in adopting and implementing what are described here mainly as national-level programmes to meet basic needs. The NESPROG is also based on the premise that user charges will take into account socio-economic circumstances.

2.2.2 The central objective of our NESPROG is to improve the quality of life of all Cameroonians, and in particular the poorest and most marginalised sections of our communities. This objective should be realised through a process of empowerment which gives the poor control over their lives and increases their ability to mobilise sufficient development resources. The NESPROG reflects a commitment to grassroots, bottom-up development which is owned and driven by communities and their representative organisations.

The strategy for meeting basic needs rests on four pillars, namely:

- creating opportunities for all Cameroonians to develop to their full potential;

- boosting production and household income through job creation, productivity and efficiency, improving conditions of employment, and creating opportunities for all to sustain themselves through productive activity;

- improving living conditions through better access to basic physical and social services, health care, and education and training for urban and rural communities, and

- establishing a social security system and other safety nets to protect the poor, the disabled, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

Through these strategies the NESPROG aims to meet the basic needs of the Cameroonian population in an integrated manner, combining urban, peri-urban and rural development processes.

A programme of affirmative action must address the deliberate marginalisation from economic, political and social power of women, and rural communities. Within this programme particularly vulnerable groups such as farm workers, the elderly and the youth require targeted intervention.

2.2.3 The role of women within the NESPROG requires particular emphasis. Women are the majority of the population and mainly the poor in Cameroon. Mechanisms to address the disempowerment of women and boost their role within the development process and economy must be implemented. The NESPROG must recognise and address existing gender inequalities as they affect access to jobs, land, housing, etc.

2.2.4 The issue of population growth must be put into perspective. The population growth rate today is about 2.8% with a gross domestic product GDP growth rate under 2.5%. Such a situation exacerbates the basic needs backlog our society faces. Raising the standard of living of the entire society, through successful implementation of the NESPROG, is essential over the longer term if we are to achieve a lower population growth rate. In particular, the impact of any programme on the population growth rate must be considered. A population committee should be located within the national NESPROG implementing structure.

2.3 CREATING JOBS

In the short term, the NESPROG must generate programmes to address unemployment. These measures must be an integral part of the programme to build the economy, and must also relate to meeting basic needs.

All short-term job creation programmes (public works, agriculture, industry) must ensure adequate incomes and labour standards, link into local, regional or national development programmes, and promote education, training and community capacity and empowerment.

Although a much stronger welfare system is needed to support all the vulnerable, the old, the disabled and the sick who currently live in poverty, a system of 'handouts' for the unemployed should be avoided. All Cameroonians should have the opportunity to participate in the economic life of the country.

2.4 LAND REFORM

Plus de 80% de camerounais vivent de la terre. Celle-ci est surtout travailler par les femmes que le système foncier actuel écarte de la propriété foncière. Ce système présente beaucoup d’insuffisances. Bien qu’il sacralise le droit de propriété symbolisé par le titre foncier, ce qui représente une avancée notable, sa procédure d’obtention est trop centralisée, coûteuse et ne tient pas compte des multiples droits coutumiers qui régissent encore la majeure partie du territoire national.

Ensuite, le titre foncier camerounais ne protège pas suffisamment les droits d’usufruit, une carence qui pénalise la majorité des exploitants de la terre comme précisé plus haut.

Pour revenir aux formalités d’accès au titre foncier, leur complication conduit au résultat paradoxal que seule une minorité de fortunés (fonctionnaires, hommes politiques, hommes d’affaires) qui n’a pas besoin de la terre pour subsister, accède facilement à la propriété.

Une enquête réalisée pour le compte du Ministère de l’Agriculture en 1992 (1) donne les statistiques suivantes : dans les provinces du Nord-Ouest et du Sud-Ouest, plus de 50% de ceux qui ont enregistré des terres pendant les dix premières années d’existence du système d’enregistrement (1974-1985) sont des fonctionnaires, suivis des hommes d’affaires (32%). Alors que 65% de camerounais vivent en zone rurale et s’adonnent principalement à l’agriculture, seulement 5 % d’entre eux possèdent des titres fonciers.

De la même manière, les femmes représentent 51% de la population et assurent plus de 75% du travail agricole. Pourtant, d’après la même enquête, seulement 3,2% d’entre elles ont eu des titres fonciers sur des superficies qui représentent à peine 0,1 de la superficie totales des terres enregistrées. Il ne fait aucun doute que ces tendances dans la province du Sud-Ouest se retrouvent nécessairement dans le reste du pays.

Le NESPROG se propose de reformer cette législation non seulement pour corriger les disparités ci-dessus relevées mais aussi pour garantir des actifs sociaux fiables aux exploitants de la terre, en particulier les femmes, indispensables pour leur accès au système financier moderne

A national land reform programme is the central and driving force of a programme of rural development. And in implementing the national land reform programme, and through the provision of support services, the SDF government will build the economy by generating large-scale employment, increasing rural incomes and eliminating overcrowding.

In order to encourage youth to endorse agriculture, NESPROG proposes the acquisition by the State of land in priority action zones that it would give to youths in order to enable them undertake modern agricultural activities, since areas exploited till date are very small for mechanization, indispensable to reduce costs and increase competitiveness and productivity. In this regard, the SDF proposes to redeploy in the field the plethora of engineers and other agro-technicians who occupy offices in central departments in order to supervise and speed-up modernization.

2.5 HOUSING

The lack of adequate housing and basic services in urban townships and rural settlements today has reached crisis proportions.

A mass housing programme can help generate employment, skills and economic activity, both directly and indirectly, and should help ensure peace and stability. A single national housing department should help to consolidate the previously fragmented approach. The private sector and civil society also have important roles to play in expanding housing delivery and financing capacity. The development of small, medium-sized and micro enterprises owned and run by Cameroonians must be incorporated into the housing delivery programme.

2.6 WATER AND SANITATION

Water is a natural resource, and should be made available in a sustainable manner to all Cameroonians. Today, less than 10% have access to clean drinking water and a huge majority do not have adequate sanitation (toilets and refuse removal). Access to water resources is dominated by a privileged minority while the majority of the population enjoy little or no water security.

The fundamental principle of our water resources policy is the right to access to clean water - 'water security for all'. The NESPROG recognises the economic value of water and the environment, and advocates an economically, environmentally and politically sustainable approach to the management of our water resources and the collection, treatment and disposal of waste.

Because of geographic limits to the availability of water in some regions, there must be very careful attention paid to the location of new settlements. The long-term environmental costs of sourcing water must be given greater consideration.

Water management has three main goals: meeting every person's health and functional requirements, raising agricultural output, and supporting economic development. Decisions on water resources must be transparent and justified so as to reduce conflict between competing users. The use of water must be balanced with a realisation of the dangers of overuse and inappropriate disposal. Community organisations must also receive training in water management and must ensure such management is integrated into overall planning.

2.7 ENERGY AND ELECTRIFICATION

Although energy is a basic need and a vital input in the standard of living, the vast majority of Cameroonians do not have access to electricity. Business and industry suffer from an insufficient availability of energy. Rural inhabitants in particular face a heavy burden collecting wood which is an inefficient and unhealthy fuel. Urban households face high costs for gas.

L’insuffisance de l’offre d’énergie est considéré par de nombreux observateurs comme l’un des handicaps majeurs à la relance des investissements au Cameroun. Bien que disposant du deuxième potentiel énergétique du continent après la République Démocratique du Congo, soit environ 20 gigawatts pour une capacité de production de 115 térawatts, le Cameroun n’en exploite que 6%. Il a actuellement une capacité de production de 1337 mégawatts. Mais, la vétusté de ses installations ne permet à l’AES-SONEL, la société américaine qui détient le monopole de la production et de la distribution de l’énergie, de fournir que 750 mégawatts pour une demande de 870 mégawatts. D’où un déficit énergétique de 120 mégawatts qui handicap autant les activités économiques que la consommation des ménages.

Le NESPROG se propose d’augmenter substantiellement l’offre énergique par la construction d’un certain nombre de barrages comme Lom Pangar, Natchigal et Mentchum ainsi que des centraux électriques à gaz de soutien à Kribi et à Douala. En les réalisant, le NESPROG est en mesure de porter l’offre de l’énergie à environ 1019 mégawatts, une véritable bouffée d’oxygène pour l’économie nationale. Consider liberalisation to enable other suppliers to enter the market.

2.8 TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The telecommunications sector is an indispensable backbone for the development of all other socio-economic sectors. An effective telecommunications infrastructure which includes universal access is essential to enable the delivery of basic services and the reconstruction and development of deprived areas.

Telecommunications is an information infrastructure and must play a crucial role in Cameroon health, education, agricultural, informal sector, policing and safety programmes.

The NESPROG aims to provide access for all to telephone and internet as rapidly as possible; to develop a modern and integrated telecommunications and information technology system that is capable of enhancing, reducing the cost of and facilitating education, health care, business information, public administration and rural development.

In terms of the NESPROG, internet must be provided to 50% of schools and clinics within five years and 100% in twenty years.

2.9 TRANSPORT

Le développement du Cameroun est handicapé par le mauvais état du secteur des transports. Les quelques infrastructures existantes construites pour la plupart sous Ahidjo sont en très mauvais état. Les moyens de communications sont à la base de tout développement. C’est pourquoi on dit généralement que quand la route passe le développement vient.

L’ambition du NESPROG est de doter le Cameroun d’un secteur de transport viable et moderne

Il compte construire au minimum 10 000 kilomêtres de routes praticables pendant dix ans. Le programme des routes prévoit de relier toutes les capitales provinciales entre elles et avec les chefs lieux des départements par des routes goudronnées. Il en est de même de toutes les principales voies reliant le Cameroun aux pays voisins.

Le NESPROG se propose de moderniser le chemin de fer existant, de le prolonger de Douala à Limbé et à Kribi, de Yaoundé à la frontière de la République Centrafricaine, de Kribi aux frontières du Congo, du Gabon et de la Guinée Equatoriale.

2.10 ENVIRONMENT

The SDF government must ensure that all Cameroonians have the right to a decent quality of life through sustainable use of resources. To achieve this, the government must work towards:

- equitable access to natural resources;

- safe and healthy living and working environments, and a participatory decision-making process around environmental issues, empowering communities to manage their natural environment.

The SDF government must revise current environmental legislation and administration with a view to establishing an effective system of environmental management. It must make use of environmental auditing, with provision for public disclosure. It must monitor those activities of industry which impact on the environment.

Strategies should include:

- a system of waste management with emphasis on preventing pollution and reducing waste through direct controls, and on increasing the capacity of citizens and government to monitor and prevent the dumping of toxic wastes;

- participation of communities in management and decision-making in wildlife conservation and the related tourism benefits;

- environmental education programmes to rekindle our people's love for the land, to increase environmental consciousness amongst our youth, to coordinate environmental education with education policy at all levels, and to empower communities to act on environmental issues and to promote an environmental ethic.

2.11 HEALTH

The health care and social services in Cameroon have been deeply affected by 27 years of Mr Biya’s mismanagement. Health services are depredated, inefficient and corrupt, and resources are grossly mismanaged and poorly distributed. The situation in rural areas is particularly bad.

Health is an important factor for economic improvement by increasing citizen productivity, national prosperity and the quality of life.

A fundamental objective of the NESPROG is to improve health of all Cameroonians by building and equipping more hospitals.

Il lui revient également de mettre en place un système de d’assurance maladie accessible à tous les citoyens afin de leur garantir l’accès aux soins de santé.

Le NESPROG garanti également une politique de formation et de recyclage du personnel de la santé.

2.12 NUTRITION

A great majority of Cameroonian children and many thousands of adults are malnourished and/or stunted. Millions of people, young and old, mainly in northern regions live in constant fear of starvation.

The NESPROG must ensure that as soon as possible, and certainly within ten years, every person in Cameroon can get their basic nutritional requirement each day and that they no longer live in fear of going hungry.

The most important step toward food security remains the provision of productive employment opportunities through land reform, jobs programmes and the redynamisation of the economy.

The SDF government must ensure that VAT is not applied to basic foodstuffs, improve social security payments and reintroduce price controls on standard bread. It must enhance the efficiency of marketing so that farmers receive good prices while consumers pay as little as possible. To that end, the government should curb the powers of marketing boards and monopolies, and review the effects of tariffs.

The NESPROG should establish institutions to collect and monitor nutritional and other key socio-economic and agricultural data.

2.12 SOCIAL SECURITY AND SOCIAL WELFARE

The NESPROG aims to put in place a social security system in order to protect workers and to ensure them basic welfare rights.

Social welfare includes the right to basic needs such as shelter, food, health care, work opportunities, income security and all those aspects that promote the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of all people in our society, with special provision made for those who are unable to provide for themselves because of specific problems.

3. DEVELOPING HUMAN RESOURCES

3.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

3.1.1 The education system in Cameroon is in a state of total collapse. A trend inversely proportional to the continuous increase of budgets allocated to education and number of pupils since independence. If we consider only the first fifteen years of independence for example, primary school enrolment has tripled, that of secondary school has increased fivefold and that of higher education fourfold. As regards public funds allocated to national education, it moved up from CFAF 125 million i.e. 6% of the budget in 1960 to CFAF 246 billion all categories taken together in 2005 i.e. 13% of the budget including an annual progression way above 10%.

Inversely proportional to this trend, i.e. there is a continuous drop in quality. It shot up as from the 80s due to the combined effect of numerous factors of which the economic crisis, austerity policies dictated by donor institutions, chronic poor governance aggravated by corruption, tribalism, loss of bearings and moral values etc. Today, the education system wallows in a doom and gloom as well as generalized mediocrity that is perfectly shaped to churn out unemployed persons.

In developed countries the state of the educational system reflects generally the level of economic development, the socio-political environment as well as the current cultural, moral, philosophical and scientific standards. There exists a direct link between quality of education and the level of economic development of a country.

On the other hand, a more learned active population is synonymous with increased productivity, the most rapid factor of economic growth. It earns more income, consumes more and thus contributes to a vibrant economy. It is more open to scientific and technological innovations, main factors of creativity.

Generally, the failure of the Cameroonian school system illustrates perfectly the precarious nature of its political situation as well as the decay of its social and economic fabric.

Thus, education falls out of step completely with the national economy and does not reflect in its major orientations and programmes neither its level of development nor its requirements. For example, general education has priority to the detriment of technical education, a phenomenon that orientates the youth towards public service functions that a large and overstaffed administration particularly provides to the detriment of creative activities that are less attractive and less gratifying. Consequently, a sector like agriculture that has more potential in terms of creation of wealth and employment declines due to lack of new blood.

Even though specialized schools like the National School of Agriculture, the Ecole Polytechnique, National Public Works School, Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques for example have been training youths in technical fields for more than fifty years, they are oriented on graduation to office work and thereby lapse into bureaucratic platitude. At the end of the day, education in Cameroon serves only to churn out certificate holders, the only gateway to high remunerative office jobs. It does not cater for technical skills that are indispensable for the development of the country.

It emerges from the foregoing that the Cameroonian education system is completely devalued because it is ill-adapted and unproductive. 

The SDF resolves to reform the education system in a radical manner.

This chapter of NESPROG deals with education from primary to tertiary level, from child care to advanced scientific and technological training. It focuses on young children, students and adults. It deals with training in formal institutions and at the workplace.

A particular attention is paid to the challenges posed by the restoring of the priority of technical education and ethics, the restructuring of programs and the training and motivation of teachers.

On the other hand national economy should be restructured in order to chime with the education system.

An arts and culture programme is set out as a crucial component of developing our human resources. This will assist an SDF government in unlocking the creativity of Cameroonian people, allowing for cultural diversity within the project of developing a unifying national culture, rediscovering our historical heritage and assuring that adequate resources are allocated.

The problems facing the youth are well known. If we are to develop our human resource potential, then special attention must be paid to the youth. SDF human resource policy should be aimed at reversing youth marginalisation, empowering youth, and allowing them to reach their full potential. Programmes for training, education and job creation will enable our youth to play a full role in the reconstruction and development of our society.

The challenge that a SDF government will face at the dawning of a democratic society is to create an education and training system that ensures people are able to realise their full potential, as a basis and a prerequisite for the successful achievement of all other goals in this NESPROG Programme.

3.2 VISION AND OBJECTIVES

Human resources, unlike other resources, think for themselves! People are, and must remain, the architects of the NESPROG as it unfolds in the years to come. The provision of opportunities for people to develop themselves in order to improve the quality of their own lives and the standard of living of their communities is a central objective of the NESPROG, alongside ensuring that basic needs are met, the society is democratised and the economy grows.

The opportunities that must be provided include a massive expansion and qualitative improvement in the education and training system, artistic and cultural expression, and sport and recreation all over the country.

Human resource development must address the development of human capabilities, abilities, knowledge and knowhow to meet the people's ever-growing needs for goods and services, to improve their standard of living and quality of life. It is a process in which the citizens of a nation acquire and develop the knowledge and skill necessary for occupational tasks and for other social, cultural, intellectual, and political roles that are part and parcel of a vibrant democratic society.

3.3 EDUCATION AND TRAINING

We must develop an integrated system of education and training that provides equal opportunities to all irrespective of geographical location. It must address the development of knowledge and skills that can be used to produce high-quality goods and services in such a way as to enable us to develop our cultures, our society and our economy.

Education must be directed to the full development of the individual and community, and to strengthening respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It must promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all Cameroonians.

The SDF government has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that our human resources are developed to the full. Education, training and development opportunities must be provided in accordance with national standards. However, private sector must be encouraged to play an active part in the provision of learning opportunities as part of the national human resources development strategy.

Success in rebuilding and expanding education and training depends on having an effective and responsive organisation to manage change. The education and training bureaucracy must be reorganised at national, sectoral and provincial levels through the establishment of:

3.4 ARTS AND CULTURE

Arts and culture embrace custom, tradition, belief, religion, language, crafts, and all the art forms like music, dance, the visual arts, film, theatre, written and oral literature. Arts and culture permeate all aspects of society and are integral parts of social and economic life, as well as business and industry based upon the arts.

The NESPROG arts and culture policies aim to:

- affirm and promote the rich and diverse expression of Cameroon culture - all people must be guaranteed the right to practise their culture, language, beliefs and customs, as well as enjoy freedom of expression and creativity free from interference;

- promote the development of a unifying national culture, representing the aspirations of all Cameroon’s people (this cannot be imposed, but requires educating people in principles of non-tribalism, non-sexism, human rights and democracy);

- ensure that resources and facilities for both the production and the appreciation of arts and culture are made available and accessible to all;

- conserve, promote and revitalise our national cultural heritage so it is accessible to all communities (historical and cultural collections, resources and sites must fully reflect the many components of our cultural heritage and, in particular, neglected and suppressed aspects of our people's culture must be conserved);

- place arts education firmly within the national educational curricula, as well as in non-formal educational structures;

- establish and implement a language policy that encourages and supports, financially and otherwise, the utilisation of all the languages of Cameroon.

Arts education should be an integral part of the national school curricula at primary, secondary and tertiary level, as well as in non-formal education. Urgent attention must be given to the creation of relevant arts curricula, teacher training, and provision of facilities for the arts within all schools.

3.5 SPORT

Sport and recreation are an integral part of reconstructing and developing a healthier society. Sport and recreation should cut across all developmental programmes, and be accessible and affordable for all Cameroonians, including those in rural areas, the young and the elderly. The NESPROG must facilitate the mobilising of resources in both the public and private sectors to redress inequalities and enhance this vital aspect of our society.

It is important to ensure that sporting and recreational facilities are available to all Cameroonians.

Particular attention must be paid to the provision of facilities at schools and in areas where there are large concentrations of unemployed youth. Sport and recreation are an integral and important part of education and youth programmes. In developing such programmes it should be recognised that sport is played at different levels of competence and that there are different specific needs at different levels.

The SDF government must work with all the national and international associations and NGO’s operating in the sector in developing and implementing a sports policy.

3.6 YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

The high levels of youth unemployment require special programmes. A national youth service programme is already giving young people structured work experience while continuing their education and training. The programme should not just be seen as a job creation measure, however, but as youth development and capacity building. Care must be taken to ensure that the programme does not displace or substitute workers in permanent employment.

Youth development more generally must focus on education and training, job creation, and enabling young people to realise their full potential and participate fully in the society and their future. It must restore the hope of our youth in the future, and in their capacity to channel their resourcefulness and energy into reconstruction and development.

4. REVAMPING THE ECONOMY

4.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

The Cameroonian economy is in a bad shape in spite of twenty six years of autocratic political rule propped up by twenty years of structural adjustment programmes conceived by the IMF and World Bank. Poverty became widespread like in most African countries under structural adjustment, up to the point where it caused donors to make poverty alleviation one of the main aspects of their aid policy. The Biya government whose economic policy since the advent of structural adjustment programmes consisted in the implementation of conditionalities related to such programmes blew the same trumpet by making poverty alleviation the only leitmotiv of its economic policy; though without succeeding in stopping the meltdown.

To compound matters, an unprecedented economic crisis caused by the international financial crisis that emanated from the United States of America poses a threat to the global economy with the first repercussions on the national economy being the drop in demand of our main exports such as oil and cash crops in the world market without forgetting a likely drastic drop in external financing.

The present SDF economic programme comes as a challenge both to the prevailing fatalism that haunts the present regime and the unsuitability of structural adjustment programmes that international donors propose till date. It is inspired by a triple conviction:

1-   Cameroon has the means to promote in an independent manner its economic development

2-     The only means to effectively alleviate poverty is to promote an adequate robust economic growth in order to kick-start the creation of wealth and jobs;

3-    The best and most adequate economic growth is that which is driven by endogenous potentialities.

Twenty years of structural adjustment has not succeeded in putting the Cameroonian economy on the rails. Can one draw the conclusion that it is the venality of the principle of structural adjustment or is it simply a poor utilization of a good instrument?

It is not the principle itself that is the problem. It is its orientation and particularly the manner in which it is conducted. At the beginning of the 80s when this instrument was put in place, the intention of the IMF and the World Bank was not to speed-up the development of the countries concerned. It entailed simply ensuring that they orientate their budget management in such a way that they can reimburse their external debt that they could no longer service.

In broad terms, the programmes are based on two aspects. On the one hand, macro-economic stability i.e. price liberalization in the short-term, increase in tax burden, tightening up of credit and the fight against inflation. On the other hand, structural reforms whose purpose is to reduce to the maximum State influence: liberalization of trade, banking system, privatization of public enterprises, reduction of public service manpower and freezing of recruitments, reduction of the lifestyle of the State etc.

It concerns a set of measures with negative connotation that is at variance with an economic recovery policy. It is not surprising that these measures led to a generalized recession and an expansion of the phenomenon of poverty.

Nevertheless, it is not the principle that is the problem. Any government that is faced with budgetary difficulties is bound at a given moment to adjust in order to put its needs in consonance with its revenues. The purpose of adjustment is not solely to repay external debt; a country can also adjust in order to give momentum to its economic machine that has grounded.

It thus concerns a fundamental management requirement that can be realized without the intervention of a third party.

All this is to say that the SDF is not against the principle of structural adjustment. It contests simply the manner in which it is executed till date.

On the other hand, the SDF does not question in any way the cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank. The Bretton Woods institutions have acquired since 1945 a position that is so fundamental in the financing of development and the regulation of international financial cooperation that cannot be gainsaid.

Nevertheless, in order to cooperate with them it is not obligatory to go through their humiliating structural adjustment programmes.

That is the reason why the SDF commits to continue collaborating with the IMF and the World Bank, but on a sound basis that does not compel Cameroon to lose hold of the mastery of its economic policy and on condition that the main purpose should be the recovery of the national economy.

It is in this spirit that the SDF commits to embark on a major reform of the national economy whose main orientations are the promotion of efficient economic governance, reform of the agricultural sector, the boosting of investments and the promotion of workers rights.

A central proposal in this chapter is that we cannot build the Cameroonian economy in isolation from its Central African neighbours. Such a path would benefit nobody in the long run. If Cameroon strengthened Central Africa integration can develop a large stable market offering stable employment and common labour standards in all areas.

The pressures of the globalisation of the world economy and the operations of international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and WTO, affect our country in different ways. It is essential that Cameroon combines to develop effective strategies for the Central African Region.

4.2 VISION AND OBJECTIVES

The fundamental principles of NESPROG are to eradicate poverty and to put Cameroon economy to the path of growth. As a social democratic party, SDF is convinced that neither a command central planning system nor an unfettered free market system can provide adequate solutions to the problems confronting us. Development will be achieved through the leading and enabling role of the state, a thriving private sector, active involvement by all sectors of civil society and active participation of the population which in combination will lead to sustainable growth.

Our central goal for reconstruction and development is to create a strong, dynamic and balanced economy which will:

- eliminate the poverty, and thus ensure that every Cameroonian has a decent living standard and economic security;

- address economic imbalances and structural problems in industry, trade, commerce, mining, agriculture, finance and labour markets;

- address economic imbalances and uneven development within and between Cameroon’s regions;

- ensure that no one suffers discrimination on the basis of religion, tribe or gender;

- develop the human resource capacity of all Cameroonians so the economy achieves high skills and wages;

- democratise the economy and empower the historically oppressed, particularly the workers and women by encouraging broader participation in decisions about the economy in both the private and public sectors;

- create productive employment opportunities at a living wage for all Cameroonians;

- develop a prosperous and balanced regional economy in Cameroon based on the principles of equity and mutual benefit, and

- integrate into the world economy in a manner that sustains a viable and efficient domestic manufacturing capacity and increases our potential to export manufactured products.

It is only by addressing the above that our economy will be capable of sustained growth.

To carry out programmes to meet these objectives, as well as those outlined in previous chapters, the SDF government must play a leading and enabling role in guiding the economy and the market towards reconstruction and development. Legislative and institutional reform will be effected to enable the implementation of the NESPROG. We aim to achieve a dynamic balance between government intervention, the private sector and the participation of civil society.

There must be a significant role for public sector investment to complement the role of the private sector and community participation in stimulating reconstruction and development. The primary question in this regard is not the legal form that government involvement in economic activity might take at any point, but whether such actions must strengthen the ability of the economy to respond to the massive inequalities in the country, relieve the material hardship of the majority of our people, and stimulate economic growth and competitiveness.

In restructuring the public sector to carry out national goals, the balance of evidence will guide the decision for or against various economic policy measures. The democratic government must therefore consider:

- increasing the public sector in strategic areas (energy, water, telecommunication, transport);

- reducing the public intervention in productive sector in ways that enhance efficiency, while ensuring the protection of both consumers and the rights and employment of workers.

The NESPROG will foster a new and constructive relationship between the government and the private sector, the people, civil society, key constituencies such as the trade unions and organised business, and the workings of the market.

4.3 ECONOMIC PLANNING AND REGIONAL BALANCE

A proactive policy is necessarily based on a road map that lists current objectives and long-term projections. Formerly, development plans constituted this road map.

4.3.1Ultraliberalism that inspires structural adjustment programmes has led the government to abandon the planning policy that under the Ahidjo regime made it possible to lay the foundations of a modern economy. Thus the SDF commits to restore the practice of economic planning.    

It concerns essentially a strategic formulation of government objectives in space and time, in figures, including precise indications on their financing, based on constant forecasts broken down in short, medium and long-term.

Two requirements justify SDF’s opting for economic planning. The desire to mobilize all national potentials in order to promote a rapid economic growth and the need to restore the notion of balanced development that the slippages of the policy of ethnic quotas have completely distorted.

As a social democratic party, the SDF recognizes the importance of the principle of regional balance so dear to president Ahidjo. Its legitimacy is based on the concept of balanced development that is one of the cardinal values of socialism. It is based on the desire to promote development that benefits the greatest number and all regions of the country so that nobody feels forgotten or abandoned.

Unfortunately, in implementing this policy, the clientelist and clanic considerations of the system, particularly under the Biya regime have corrupted it to the point of transforming it into a mere strategy meant to fatten political supporters of the regime in regions to the detriment of their real development.

In order to put a stop to these slippages, the SDF proposes another more dynamic regional balance policy. It consists in a proactive manner to allocate, in turn, each year or during a determined period to regions that lag behind in development the greatest share of the investment budget or external aid in order to enable them catch-up. The SDF intends to supplement it with two specific actions, a vigorous rural development policy that would stop rural exodus and give birth to regional development poles as well as the putting in place of various incentives in order to encourage private investments and facilitate the redeployment of cadres in these regions.

4.3.2 One of the basic principles guiding NESPROG is the principle of regional balance and the equitable share of wealth amongst the people and the regions. In that case, development must be an integrated process. Such integration must be basic to all economic policy. This is where the public sector must play a major enabling role, since it cannot be expected that the market will make such a structural transformation on its own. Yet without such a transformation democracy will not survive, because socio-economic stability will not be achieved.

4.3.3 In the same line The NESPROG's principles recognise the mutually reinforcing nature of urban and rural development strategies through, for example, the benefits of improved agriculture to the urban economy. Strategies for urban and rural development must be integrated within the NESPROG to ensure that the needs of all Cameroonians are met in a balanced and equitable manner. An integrated strategy is essential for the process of unifying our economy and linking economic growth and development.

In order to foster the growth of local economies, decentralisation must be achieved to let local authorities address local economic development needs

4.3.4 Another NESPROG main objective is to improve the quality of rural life. This must entail a large land reform programme to transfer land from the inefficient, to all those who wish to produce incomes through farming in a more sustainable agricultural system. It also entails access to affordable services, and the promotion of non-agricultural activities. In the 'homelands', where most rural people live, social services and infrastructure remain poorly developed, and this must be remedied.

4.3.5 As far as urban development is concerned it should be noted that the urban areas account for over 80 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), and accommodate approximately 40% per cent of Cameroon's population. Continuing demographic shifts may increase urbanisation to over 70 per cent of the population by 2030.

Even with a strong rural development effort, economic activities will remain concentrated in the cities. Ensuring the quality of life, sustainability and efficiency in the urban areas will thus prove critical for renewing growth and promoting equity. The design of a comprehensive national urban strategy will help serve the cities' rapidly growing populations and address inequities and structural imbalances. The urban development strategy must also be aimed at fostering the long-term development and sustainability of urban areas while alleviating poverty and encouraging economic expansion.

4.4 AMELIORATION DE L’ENVIRONNEMENT DES AFFAIRES

Les principales dérives du régime Biya comme l’absolutisme politique, l’abus des droits de l’homme, la corruption, les lourdeurs bureaucratiques ou le maquis judiciaire, ont rendu le climat des affaires particulièrement délétère, peu favorable à un redéploiement harmonieux des investissements.

4.4.1 Ainsi, des organismes aussi sérieux que la Compagnie Française d’Assurance Extérieure (COFACE), un organisme public chargé d’assurer les investissements des entreprises françaises à l’extérieur ou la Banque Mondiale citent régulièrement le Cameroun dans leurs rapports comme un très mauvais risque économique. Cette dernière, dans sa publication annuelle dénommée Doing Business, classe depuis des années le Cameroun comme un très mauvais exemple en matière du climat des affaires. Sur un total de 183 états classés, il est respectivement 164e, 154e, 154e et 171 en 2007, 2008, 2009 et 2010.

4.4.2 Par le NESPROG, le SDF se propose d’assainir le climat des affaires au Cameroun en promouvant la démocratie, l’Etat de droit et le respect des droits de l’homme, en menant une lutte sans merci contre la corruption, les lourdeurs bureaucratiques et les tracasseries administratives. Il s’engage à instituer un guichet unique dans tous les chefs lieux de département afin de faciliter les formalités de création des entreprises.

4.5 ASSURER LA SECURITE JURIDIQUE DES INVESTISSEMENTS

4.5.1 L’amélioration de l’environnement des affaires au Cameroun n’est pas uniquement conditionnée par l’élimination des diverses dérives ci-dessus décrites et qui sont les conséquences de la mal gouvernance chronique qui gangrène le gouvernement. Il faut également assurer la sécurité juridique des investissements.

4.5.2 Depuis des années de nombreux investisseurs internationaux se plaignent du climat d’insécurité qui règne au Cameroun, aggravé par :

  • La corruption
  • La dépendance de la justice à l’exécutif
  • Les tracasseries administratives en matière de création d’entreprises
  • Les difficultés en matière rapatriements des fonds
  • L’absence des interlocuteurs sur le plan social (syndicats).

4.5.3 Le gouvernement du SDF à travers le NESPROG se propose de s’attaquer à tous ces maux, non seulement en moralisant l’administration et en assainissant le système judiciaire national dans le sens du respect de l’éthique et de plus d’indépendance, mais surtout à veillant à l’application de tous les traités et conventions juridiques internationaux signés par le Cameroun en la matière.

4.5.4 Il s’agit particulièrement du traité OHADA qui harmonise les affaires dans les pays francophones d’Afrique ainsi que la Guinée Equatoriale, le Code CIMA, le traité CEMAC en général et en particulier le traité COBAC pour les pays de l’Afrique Centrale. On eut également y ajouter les accords de l’OMC ainsi que ceux des APE récemment signés. Ces traités priment sur les lois Camerounaises et doivent être respectés comme tels.

4.5.5 L’attention du gouvernement SDF doit particulièrement porter sur :

  • la création d’entreprise
  • l’octroi des licences
  • l’embauche des travailleurs
  • le transfert des propriétés
  • l’obtention des prêts
  • la protection des investisseurs
  • le paiement des taxes et impôts
  • le commerce transfrontalier
  • l’exécution des contrats
  • la fermeture d’entreprise

4.6 MASTERING MONETARY INSTRUMENTS

4.6.1 Cameroon as well as a certain number of African States is part of the Franc zone. The agreements that gave birth to this zone, signed in December 1945 between France and its colonies, renewed in 1960 when these colonies became independent States and updated several times since then, confine African states in an unbalanced monetary cooperation relationship with France that strips them of any initiative on monetary matters.

4.6.2 The SDF thinks that in order to speed-up their development, African countries that are members of the franc zone must engage in negotiations with member countries of the Euro in order to increase their autonomy in the conduct of their monetary policy. It can take the form of a mere renegotiation of relations between the franc CFA and the Euro in accordance with article 105 of the Maastricht Treaty just as these negotiations can lead to the transformation of the Franc CFA into an autonomous African currency or into two sub-regional currencies at the level of UEMOA and CEMAC. In this regard, the new currency(ies) shall sign cooperation agreements with a basket of foreign currencies like the Dollar, Euro, Yen and the Yuan that are currencies of countries or zones with whom they carry out most of their commercial exchanges.

4.6.3 In case of failure of these two hypotheses, Cameroon can envisage the creation of its currency. It has the means.     

4.7 REFORMER LE SECTEUR FINANCIER

4.7.1 Le secteur financier au Cameroun souffre d’un mal congénital dont les origines remontent à ses racines coloniales. En effet, la plupart des institutions financières, particulièrement les banques sont les succursales des multinationales européennes qui elles sont les héritières des grands groupes financiers qui ont fait les beaux jours de l’économie coloniale.

4.7.2 A l’époque, ces groupes avaient pour seule mission de drainer l’épargne locale vers le soutien de l’économie de la métropole, à travers en particulier le financement des opérations d’import-export.

4.7.3 De nos jours les succursales qui sont chez nous fonctionnent dans le même esprit. Leurs politiques managériales sont exclusivement motivées par les considérations géopolitiques et géostratégiques de leurs maisons-mères et de leurs pays d’origine.

4.7.4 L’intermédiation financière est très faible. Les dépôts bancaires ne représentent que 20% du PIB pendant que plus de 50% de la masse monétaire circule dans l’informel et en espèces.

4.7.5 Depuis la disparition de la Banque Camerounaise de Développement (BCD) il n’existe plus de banque d’investissement capable de financer des crédits à moyen et à long terme. La même pénurie concerne également les banques d’affaires et autres intermédiaires financiers dignes de ce nom.

4.7.6 La BEAC qui fait office de banque centrale est totalement extravertie et fonctionne plus comme un guichet de la Banque de France que comme une véritable banque centrale au service de l’économie de l’Afrique Centrale.

4.7.7 Afin de faire du système financier national un instrument du développement économique du SDF, le gouvernement du SDF se propose de mettre en place les mesures suivantes :

- Une totale maitrise de la politique monétaire telle que proposée ci-dessus ;

- Une réforme du secteur financier afin d’augmenter le taux d’intermédiation bancaire, d’assurer la protection de l’épargne, d’encourager la création de banques d’investissement, de renforcer le marché financier et d’encadrer plus efficacement le secteur de la microfinance.

4.8 INVOLVING DIASPORA COMMUNITY

The Cameroonian Diaspora is large and expanding. The largest out of country Cameroonian populations can be found in: France, USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon etc. The main characteristics of this

Diaspora are:

  • It is a largely young with most below the age of 50.
  • It is mostly first generation i.e. most still have family – parents and siblings in Cameroon.
  • Their average income exceeds significantly that of in-country compatriots.

These characteristics are common across the Diaspora of African countries. It has been estimated that the African Diaspora as a whole executed about $45 billion of recorded and non-recorded remittances to Africa in 2009. These remittances are typically sent to family to support consumption – school and medical bills for example with a small proportion for construction but very little for wealth generating investments. The Biya government has failed to engage with this growing Cameroonian Diaspora. In the implementation of the NESPROG, a future SDF government in its efforts to make Cameroon an attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment will focus specifically on the Cameroonian Diaspora to enlist their participation in development investments through by engaging in continuous dialogue with the Diaspora; giving the Diaspora the right to vote for example ; setting up a specific and well resourced service within the ministry economy and finance ministry and at our embassies abroad to facilitate Diaspora investments in Cameroon.

4.9 PROMOTING EFFICIENT ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE

4.9.1 A good economic governance depends on the existence of robust and credible economic institutions.

4.9.2 One of the causes of ineffectiveness of all development strategies formulated by the Biya regime till date resides in the dilution of responsibility of the economic policy between a plethora of institutions (ministers and others) for solely clientelist and prebendary considerations.

4.9.3 In addition to being expensive, they make no head way and overlap constantly in a total dilution of functions and responsibility. Hence, the ordeal of business operators in general and persons who have investment projects in particular who do not know to whom to turn and are often compelled to run after several signatures and initials before obtaining the least decision.

4.9.4 A good economic institution is characterized by its competence, technical nature and efficiency. It must set precise objectives to be realized with maximum efficiency and in record time.

4.9.5 The existence of economic institutions makes it easier to formulate sound economic policies and particularly their implementation.

In this spirit the SDF intends to put in place the following institutions:

   -a central bank with the required powers to manage currency and propose monetary policies capable of boosting the national economy;     

   - a super ministry of the economy and finance in charge of the economic policy of the country;

   - a modern and efficient banking system;

   - a dynamic financial market;

4.9.6 Then, it commits to encourage the growth of community institutions particularly at the level of Central Africa Region, the emergence of a strong employers’ association and a representative and responsible trade unionism.      

4.9.7 The economic programme of the SDF translates the will of Cameroon to conceive by itself an endogenous policy capable of steering its economy to the path of growth.

4.9.8 The main orientations include return to economic planning, mastery of monetary policy.

4.10 BOOSTING OF INVESTMENTS

4.10.1 Strategic measures. There is no economic growth without increase in investments. However, in the past ten years the rate of growth of investments remained very low.

In order to increase this rate, the SDF envisages, on the one hand, a reform of the financial system and, on the other hand, specific actions.

4.10.1.1 The reform of the financial system is concomitant with the control of monetary policy. The following measures will be adopted:

- Creation of a development bank with part of the gains of debt reduction that would have as overriding mission to assist the private sector;

-Putting in place of an appropriate financing system for the agricultural sector and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises/Industries;

- Sanitization of the micro-credit sector in order to speed-up the formalization of the informal sector;

- Institution of a system on the protection of bank deposits.

4.10.1.2 As regards specific actions, in order to stimulate investments, the SDF commits to:

- Fight fiercely against corruption and administrative bottlenecks;

- Boost public investments particularly infrastructure, telecommunications and public equipment;

- Restore the policy of public subsidies particularly in priority sectors like agriculture, energy and water;

- Provide incentives in order to encourage households and enterprises to invest particularly in the fiscal domain, supply and price of energy and water, price of money as well as the quality of infrastructure. .

- Encourage the Cameroonian Disapora to invest in development projects.

- Increasing the offer of energy has declined backward.

4.10.1.3 Small businesses, must form an integral part of the national economy and economic policy. Micro producers should develop from a set of marginalised survival strategies into dynamic small enterprises that can provide a decent living for both employees and entrepreneurs. Policies to that end must focus on women and youth, who are represented disproportionately in this sector, especially in the rural areas and the Cameroonian Diaspora.

4.10.1.4 SDF government must provide infrastructure and skills to raise incomes and create healthier working conditions in small businesses. They must protect the rights of workers, both family members and others, and provide training in productive and managerial skills.

4.10.1.5 Experience shows that four major constraints face small and micro enterprise: the lack of access to credit, markets, skills and supportive institutional arrangements. In collaboration with small-scale entrepreneurs themselves, the SDF government must develop an integrated approach to all four problems. It must streamline administrative and fiscal formalities relating to the creation and management, simplify the tax system and fiscal procedures, facilitate access to credit and call for tender.

4.10.1.6 A specific programme must be established to ensure government support for women and youth entrepreneurs. It must be easily accessible and include skills training and access to credit.

4.10.1.7 The NESPROG commits to tackle the threat that constitutes the exponential growth of the informal sector.

Widespread poverty has switched a good section of the economy to the informal sector which has become a veritable lifeline for millions of victims of the economic crisis and the ill-adapted structural adjustment policies.

4.10.1.8 Hotbed of creativity and dynamism, it takes on, more and more, the form of a major economic lever vis-à-vis the quality of social actors that animate it (1) as well as the volume of its activities.

4.9.1.9 The SDF commits to particularly look into it through the mastery of related statistical data as well as the formulation of suitable strategies on supervision and civic education of its actors. Its ambition is to formalize this sector progressively in order to reduce by half the weight of the informal sector in the constitution of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the next ten years.

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(1) We know for example that in a city like Douala, more than 80% of motorbike drivers attended university.     

4.10.2 A JUDICIUS TAXATION SYSTEM

4.10.2.1 Le NESPROG reconnait que la principale source des recettes publiques est l’impôt. L’obligation fiscale est par conséquent un devoir civique.

4.10.2.2 Néanmoins l’activité économique étant extrêmement sensible au poids de l’impôt, il y a paralysie lorsque l’impôt est trop lourd.

4.10.2.3 Pour résoudre ses difficultés de trésorerie, le régime Biya a jusqu’ici choisi a voie de l’alourdissement de la pression fiscale sous le prétexte que celle-ci estimée à 12% est très faible.

4.10.2.4 En réalité, il s’agit d’un faux prétexte qui lui donne l’occasion de faire de l’impôt un instrument de pression et de répression, au point qu’il constitue aujourd’hui le principal frein à l’accroissement des investissements.

4.10.2.5 L’estimation de la pression fiscale à 12% ne reflète pas la réalité pour un certain nombre de raisons :

4.10.2.6 Selon la Banque Mondiale, 50% de l’argent qui sort de la poche du contribuable est siphonné par la corruption. Par conséquent, l’estimation officielle de 12% ne reflète pas la réalité du poids de l’impôt sur les citoyens.

4.10.2.7 Ensuite, le secteur informel fiscalement insaisissable représente près de 50% du Pib. Le secteur formel qui fournit les autres 50% contribue pour plus de 80% dans les recettes de l’Etat. Il en résulte qu’il supporte tout le poids de l’impôt et la pression fiscale réelle qui pèse sur ceux qui paient correctement leurs impôts est en réalité largement au delà de 25%.

4.10.2.8 Enfin, dans beaucoup de pays à l’instar de la France, le calcul de la pression fiscale intègre tous les prélèvements obligatoires. Ce n’est pas le cas au Cameroun où elle laisse de côté une pléthore de prélèvements tout aussi lourds et tracassiers comme les contributions patronales à la CNPS ou aux syndicats, les redevances Crtv et Crédit Foncier, les contributions aux communes, les taxes pour la dégradation de la chaussée, l’utilisation du trottoir etc.

4.10.2.9 Lorsqu’on y ajoute les affres de la mauvaise gouvernance (tracasseries diverses, lenteurs administratives, corruption), on découvre que l’impôt est devenu un simple instrument de répression. Une situation qui conduit à une pression psychologique bien plus lourde que le poids réel de l’impôt, susceptible d’influencer les décisions d’investissement autant que cette dernière.

4.10.2.10 Le NESPROG propose par conséquent une fiscalité de développement basée principalement sur la productivité de l’économie, l’adhésion citoyenne des populations aux options du gouvernement et la prise en compte des impératifs de la mondialisation de l’économie internationale.

4.11.3 EFFICIENCY AND TRANSPARENCY IN THE BUDGETRY MANAGEMENT

4.11.3.1In spite of twenty years of the IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programmes, the management of the budget by the Biya regime is characterized by laxity and endemic corruption.

4.11.3.2 The SDF government must make of budget management sanitization one of its main priorities.

4.11.3.3 Sanitization will comprise among others an efficient and transparent management of the Public Treasury and the looking for a definite solution to the debt burden.

4.11.3.4 The SDF commits to reduce lavish expenditure of the State like the purchase of luxury vehicles, pointless missions and seminars abroad.

It commits to also downsize the public service vis-à-vis development requirements and the means of the State.

4.11.3.5 In 2006 in Cameroon, there were about two hundred thousand functionaries for about sixteen million inhabitants i.e. a ratio of 1.25%, one of the highest in the world. As regards the wage bill, if we take 2006 as base year for example, it stands at CFAF 309 billion out of a budget of CFAF 1 861 billion, i.e. a rate of 17 % (1). It emerges that 1/1000 of the population takes up almost one fifth of the budget. This is particularly outrageous with regards to the insignificant impact, if not negative, of the public service on the development of the country as shown above.

4.11.3.6 In order to render the public service more efficient and more productive, the SDF commits, on the one hand, to reduce its size and on the other hand increase significantly the general level of remunerations so as to make up for the 1993 and 1994 levels.

4.11.3.7 Redundant functionaries will be redeployed to other departments or parastatal structures that request manpower or will be encouraged to set up their own enterprises with substantial support from the State. The financing of such an operation should not pose many problems since it satisfies the wishes of international donors who have always recommended such an action and who will not hesitate to lend their support.

4.11.3.8 The attainment in 2006 of the HIPC completion point constitutes a significant progress. (2)

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(1)   In 2008, with the increase in salaries following the events of the month of February, the wage bill moved up to CFAF 550 billion, i.e for a budget of CFAF 2 276 billion, a rate of 24.16%.

(2)   Till date the countries that have attained this point are as follows: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

4.11.3.9 As already underscored, it opens the way to a reduction of the debt of Cameroon amounting to about CFAF 2000 billion i.e almost half the stock of its external debt.  

4.11.3.10 However, the level of stock still remains high. Hence, the need to find a definite solution. Since the search for such a solution can only come from a fruitful international cooperation, the SDF intends to pursue good relations with international donors in general and the IMF and the World Bank in particular.

4.11.3.11The SDF government will do it on sound and balanced bases. On this score, it will never accept any new programme that may block the emergence of a national will for development. Hence, it will refuse any financing offer based on conditionalities or any international programme without financing.

4.11.3.12 Where the international community does not propose a satisfactory solution, the SDF government can propose like Nigeria or Zimbabwe an early repayment of all or part of its external debt including the repatriation of funds embezzled and stashed in foreign banks by the barons of the Biya regime.

   

4.12.4 UPGRADING INFRASTRUCTURE

4.12.4.1 Le développement du Cameroun est freiné l’insuffisance de ses infrastructures routières ainsi que la dégradation du réseau routier l-gué par la colonisation et le régime Ahidjo. Des régions entières sont ainsi isolées des principaux centres de décision et d’activité économique que sont Douala et Yaoundé. La grande majorité des zones rurales reste coupée des villes pendant la saison des luies.

4.12.4.2 Plus scandaleux, plus de cinquante ans après l’indépendance, aucune route goudronnée ne relie le sud du pays du grand nord.

4.12.4.3 A part Yaoundé, le gouvernement Biya a laissé le réseau routier dans les grandes villes se dégrader totalement. Ainsi la grande métropole économique Douala qui regroupe 80% de l’activité économique nationale a vu 90% de ses infrastructures routières

4.12.4.4 Comme déjà dit dans le chapitre TRANSPORT, le gouvernement SDF fait de la construction de nouvelles infrastructures et de la remise à jour des infrastructures existantes sa priorité des priorités.

4.13 MODERNIZING OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES

4.13.1 Agriculture and livestock policies.

4.13.1.1There is a common view which holds sway today that a country can only develop rapidly through industrialization. However, a dispassionate observation shows that like the entire African continent, the future of Cameroon lies above all in the modernization of the countryside which with its enormous human and economic potential constitutes the only true launch pad for rapid development.

4.13.1.2 A vibrant and expanded agricultural sector is a critical component of a rural development and land reform programme. 70% of Cameroonians live from agriculture while it contributes fifteen per cent of GDP and over 70% per cent of employment. The revival of the Cameroonian economy thus depends on the modernization of its rural economic activities.

4.13.1.3 In the first place, Cameroon rural economic activities suffer from ageing technology as well as the obsolete nature of farming practices and methods that for the most part have not changed for centuries. Thus, output is very low and quality is poor.

Thus modernization is our main challenge.

4.13.1.4 Modernization comprises a certain number of requirements that range from mechanization to hooking up farming practices and methods with the present level of technological and scientific evolution and with the requirements of globalization as far as quality, productivity and competitiveness are concerned. This holds same for the requirement on the systematization of the use of fertilizers, preferably organic in view of the low purchasing power of farmers, reorganization of the distribution and commercialization circuits and the putting in place of an appropriate financing system.

4.13.1.5 In this modernization endeavour, the SDF proposes a progressive approach in order to avoid the danger of rejection and resistance related to considerations of a cultural and environmental nature. Priority should be given to simple technologies, preferably manual or mechanical that, though obsolete elsewhere have the advantage of being less costly and do not require very qualified personnel. The advantage with such an approach is that it better prepares the populations with low level of education to have access in a progressive manner to more sophisticated technologies.

4.13.1.6 In order to speed-up modernization, the SDF proposes to amend land legislation in order to facilitate access to land to those who are more prepared to exploit it i.e. the youth and women as explained in chapter Basics Needs.

4.13.1.7 NESPROG proposes the putting in place of an appropriate financing system and the restoration of direct aid from the State to agriculture. 

4.13.2 FISHERIES.

4.10.2.1The marine resources along the Cameroon coastline form the basis of the fishing activities in the country. It exploitation, unfortunately, is concentrated in the hands of foreigners (Nigerians, Ghanaians). As far as processing and marketing are concerned they are into the hands of some few majors companies whose interests are not the same that those of local populations.

4.13.2.2 The primary objective of NESPROG fisheries policy is to empowered, educate and equip the coastal communities such as they get access to marine resources and manage them sustainably through appropriate strategies.

4.13.2.3 Policies must also enhance the potential for inland fisheries to improve the livelihood of rural communities through fish farming.

4.13.3 FORESTRY

4.13.3.1 La forêt constitue l’une des plus grandes richesses naturelles du Cameroun. Elle fait partie du bassin du Congo qui est le deuxième réservoir forestier mondial après l’Amazonie.

4.13.3. 2 Au cours de ces dernières années, les camerounais ont assisté impuissants à une exploitation anarchique de cette forêt par des opérateurs véreux, souvent d’origine étrangère, avec la complicité de hauts responsables de l’administration. Le bois est ainsi devenu le deuxième poste d’exportation de l’économie après le pétrole sans que cela se sente dans le niveau de développement des zones exploitées, le peu de redevance que les compagnies exploitantes consentent à verser aux communes disparaissant dans les poches des barons du régime.

4.13.3.3 Par contre cette exploitation sauvage débouche sur un véritable désastre écologique qui a fini par ameuter la communauté internationale ainsi que sur la dégradation du réseau routier des zones exploitées.

On assiste également à une fraude à grande échelle sur les quantités et la qualité avec la complicité de l’administration, sans publier une grande contrebande des grumes vers le Congo dans la région de Mouloundou.

4.13.3.4 Le SDF à travers le NESPROG, veut faire de la politique forestière un instrument de développement, mais à travers une approche écologique. Elle se décline ainsi qu’il suit:

  • surveiller strictement la qualité des bois exploités dans le sens de la protection des essences rares et du reboisement automatique des zones exploitées ;
  • limiter la quantité de bois exporté sous forme de grume afin de promouvoir la transformation sur place du bois et l’exportation des produits dérivés à forte valeur ajoutée ;
  • promouvoir l’utilisation du bois dans le bâtiment et la construction afin de réduire l’importation des matériaux de construction.

4.14 DEVELOPPING INDUSTRY

4.14.1 Dans le guerre de la mondialisation actuelle et de la conquête des marchés, l’industrialisation se révèle comme une voie obligée. Elle doit s’orienter en particulier vers la transformation sur place des ressources naturelles ainsi que des produits agricoles en produits finis afin d’accroître leur valeur ajoutée sur le marché. L’industrialisation va également favoriser un meilleur transfert de technologie et de capitaux extérieurs.

4.14.2 Pour réussir une industrialisation performante, il faut au préalable promouvoir de gros investissements dans les infrastructures de base ainsi que dans les projets structurants, soutenir les efforts de modernisation des instruments de gestion des entreprises et mettre en place un système de financement des investissements à moyen et à long terme.

4.15 TRADE AND COMMERCE

4.15.1 NESPROG trade policy aims to regulate internal market and to promote exports of national products, mainly manufactured goods. As far as external market is concerned it must support and strengthen those internationally competitive enterprises that emerge on the basis of stronger internal linkages, meeting the needs of economy reconstruction and raising capacity utilisation.

Specific policies aim to strengthen the competitivity of industries that lie at the core of the economy and which provide the bulk of the country's foreign exchange.

4.15.2 Given the foreign-exchange constraints Cameroon must rapidly restructure the relationships with neighbouring African countries. In that case, it will gain a lot by entering CEDEAO in addition of CEMAC.

4.16 TOURISM

4.16.1 L’industrie du tourisme a connu un grand ralentissement parce que le secteur n’ jamais fait parti des priorités du régime Biya. Pourtant, le potentiel touristique du Cameroun est considérable, sans oublier le retentissement des performances de ses sportifs à l’extérieur

4.16.2 Le gouvernement du SDF a l’intention de faire du Cameroun une grande destination pour le tourisme mondial. Son ambition est d’attirer 1000 000 de tourismes dans les dix années à venir.

4.16.3 Pour le faire, le NESPROG se propose de :

- améliorer les voies de communications vers les zones touristiques ;

- renforcer les capacités hôtelières du pays en accordant des avantages aux promoteurs ;

- combattre la corruption, faciliter les visas pour les touristes et éliminer toutes les tracasseries policières qui contribuent pour beaucoup à éloigner les touristes du Cameroun ;

- profiter de l’auréole des sportifs et artistes pour organiser des compétitions sportives et des manifestations culturelles internationales ;

- encourager la diaspora camerounaise à venir régulièrement au pays ;

- ouvrir le ciel camerounais pour permettre aux tours operators d’affréter des vols low cost sur les aéroports camerounais ;

4.17 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY.

4.17.1Technology policy is a key component in both industrial strategy and high-quality social and economic infrastructure. It is critical for raising productivity in both small- and large-scale enterprise.

4.17.2 Science and technology policy should pursue the broad objectives of developing a supportive environment for innovation; reversing the decline in resources for formal science and technology efforts in both the private and public sectors; enabling appropriate sectors of the economy to compete internationally; ensuring that scientific advances translate more effectively into technological applications, including in the small and micro sector and in rural development, and humanising technology to minimise the effect on working conditions and employment.

4.17.3 Technology policy must support inter-firm linkages that facilitate innovation. In research and development, the SDF government should finance research and support precompetitive collaboration between local firms and public-domain efforts combining enterprises and scientific institutes and universities.

4.17.4 Youth should be encouraged to obtain technical and scientific skills. In that case, privilege should be given to technical education as outlined below.

4.17.5 Universities and research institutes should link up with technological advance in industry, commerce and services and in small and micro production. In particular, there must be research into appropriate and sustainable technologies for the rural areas.

4.18 MINING AND MINERALS.

4.18.1 Cameroon is one of the Africa's richest countries in terms of minerals. Up to now, however, this enormous wealth has not been yet exploited. Only oil is exploited, officially since 1978, but only for the benefit of some western companies and a tiny minority of regime barons.

4.18.2 The minerals in the ground belong first of all to Cameroonian people, including future generations. Moreover, the current mineral legislation doesn’t go in that line. NESPROG pleads for the full rights of Cameroonian people on its minerals in full consultation with foreign partners.

4.18.3 NESPROG principal objective is to exploit and transform our minerals locally. This goal can only be achieved by a legitimate government through energic government interventions in the sector. To coordinate this intervention SDF government will create a National Minerals Authority under the control of the Parliament in charge of auditing both government and private sector intervention in the mining. The SDF government must guaranty that the management and marketing of our mineral exports is done in the interest of Cameroonian people. In that case, it must impose a quota, about 30% to be allocated to the local population for their development.

4.18.4 Minerals and mineral products are Cameroon most important source of foreign exchange and the success of the NESPROG will in part depend on the ability of this sector to expand exports to avoid balance of payments constraints in the short to medium term.

4.18.5 Funds from mineral and mineral products export will feed The National Investment Fund in charge of financing the NESPROG.

4.18.6 Programmes in mineral sector must be established to allow financial participation by workers in mining companies in a meaningful way (including measures to influence the policies of financial institutions, especially insurance companies and pension funds, which hold significant stakes in the mining sector and in which our people have substantial investments).

4.19 REGIONAL INTEGRATION

4.19.1 In the long run, sustainable development in Cameroon requires sustainable development in the African region surrounding Cameroon. Not only Central Africa Region, but Nigeria and ECOWAS. The SDF government will negotiate both with CEMAC and ECOWAS to forge an equitable and mutually beneficial programme of increasing cooperation, coordination and integration appropriate to the conditions of the region. In this context, the NESPROG must support the goals and ideals of African integration as laid out in the Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Declaration.

4.20 DEMOCRATISING THE SOCIETY AND BUILDING A STATE OF LAW

4.20.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

4.20.2 The efficiency of a policy depends not only on the quality of men that formulate it but also on the institutions that implement it.

4.20.3 The quality and robustness of institutions are indispensable pre-conditions in the implementation of effective economic policies. Having good democratic institutions, the less bad government model to paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, supposes the existence of a State of law and a sound practice of the game of democracy.

4.20.4 The Biya regime has been unrepresentative, undemocratic, highly oppressive and corrupted. It is inappropriate for a sustainable development. It lacks capacity to deliver services, it is inefficient and out of touch with the needs of ordinary people. It lacks coordination and clear planning.

4.20.5 The SDF government will undertake all necessary reforms to reinforce the State of law including:

- organization of a constitutional conference in charge of amending the present constitution, rewriting of the electoral law and the putting in place of an independent electoral commission and the organization of free and transparent elections at all levels in order to endow the country with legitimate leaders capable of steering the country to the path of recovery.

4.20.6 The SDF government ambition is to build a decentralised and democratic society and a viable state of law defending social democratic values.

4.20.2 VISION AND OBJECTIVES

4.20.3 Power to the People. Democracy requires that all Cameroonians have access to power and the right to exercise their power. This will ensure that all people will be able to participate in the process of building the state of law and revamping of the development of the country. It can only be done through free and fair elections

4.20.4 Democracy requires that elected structures conduct themselves in an answerable and transparent manner. Clear Codes of Conduct must be established and

4.20.5 Democratisation requires modernising the structures and functioning of government in pursuit of the objectives of efficient, effective, responsive, transparent and accountable government.

4.20.6 Democracy for ordinary citizens must not end with formal rights and periodic one-person, one-vote elections. Without undermining the authority and responsibilities of elected representative bodies (the national assembly, provincial legislatures, local government), the democratic order we envisage must foster a wide range of institutions of participatory democracy in partnership with civil society on the basis of informed and empowered citizens (e.g. the various sectoral forums like the National Economic Forum) and facilitate direct democracy (people's forums, referenda where appropriate, and other consultation processes).

5. IMPLEMENTING THE NESPROG

5.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT

5.1.1 For twenty seven years, Biya regime has failed to meet the needs of the majority. Dictatorship, abuse of human rights and outright corruption have characterised government. To implement the NESPROG, a thorough going reform will be necessary to address the structural weaknesses detailed above.

5.1.2 Implementation of any development programme under circumstances of injustice and corruption or tribalism is extremely difficult.

5.2 VISION AND OBJECTIVES

5.2.1 The basic principles of the NESPROG are that it is a coherent programme that will eradicate poverty and build a developed nation. NESPROG is people-driven and will provide progress, peace and security for all. Its social democratic approach has never been attempted in Cameroon, and is a fundamental break with neo-colonialist system practices. This imposes major new challenges in how to implement such a programme.

5.2.2 Accordingly, specific structures are necessary to implement the NESPROG; their functions will be:

- to manage policy and the ability to determine spending priorities within a strategic perspective;

- to coordinate resources and actions;

- to incorporate all major stakeholders in establishing, implementing and evaluating policy;

- to establish legislative, procedural, institutional and financial frameworks that ensure that policies can be implemented;

- to ensure adequate funding of integrated programmes and that resources reach the targeted communities;

- to facilitate the management of potential conflict over limited resources and differing needs, and

- to ensure a macro-economic policy environment that is stable.

5.2.3 Financing the NESPROG presents both a challenge and an opportunity to revive our economy and set it on a path to sustained development. SDF government must finance the NESPROG in ways that preserve macro-economic balances, especially in terms of avoiding undue inflation and balance-of-payments difficulties. This requires a strategic approach that combines public and private sector funding, taking into account the sequence and timing of funding sources and programmes.

5.3 IMPLEMENTING AND COORDINATING STRUCTURES

5.3.1 To implement the NESPROG will require the establishment of effective NESPROG structures within national, regional governments and councils. These structures must monitor the implementation of the NESPROG, including the elaboration of planning frameworks and coordination between departments and tiers of government.

5.3.2 The NESPROG national coordinating body, a great Ministry of economy and finance for example, will permanently be in contact with business sector bodies, civil society, and NGO’s to be sure that they are involved in the programme.

5.4 PLANNING FRAMEWORKS

5.4.1 The intention of the NESPROG is to establish a national framework that guides the SDF government, regional and local authorities in the implementation of the programme. This requires considerable interaction and coordination between national, regional and local structures. The objective is to establish a framework to which statutory authorities should relate, and to guide both public and private investment decisions to ensure the best cumulative results.

5.4.2 The SDF government will reduce the burden of implementation which falls upon its shoulders through the appropriate allocation of powers and responsibilities to lower levels of government, and through the active involvement of business community and organisations of civil society. By providing a coherent framework it will be able to mobilise considerable energy behind the NESPROG and ensure that it meets the practical requirements of designing programmes in different areas.

5.4.3 NESPROG frameworks must be tied to the budgeting process, and revised, updated and tabled in parliament annually.

5.5 COUT DU NESPROG

5.5.1 Evaluation. La philosophie du SDF qui a présidé à la confection du NESPROG, est qu’un pays doit être le moteur de son propre développement. Il ambitionne par conséquent de financer le NESPROG en grande partie sur les ressources nationales.

Néanmoins, profitant de la nouvelle crédibilité que le pays va acquérir sur la scène internationale en s’engageant résolument sur la voie de la démocratie et en promouvant un Etat de droit, le gouvernement SDF ira sur le marché financier national et international pour rechercher des financements complémentaires pour les grands travaux d’infrastructures ainsi que les équipements dans les zones d’investissements prioritaires.

Les ressources nationales provenant en grande partie des impôts, l’objectif du SDF est surtout de mettre en place un système fiscal dynamique qui concilie la rentabilité avec le souci de ne pas augmenter une pression fiscale dont le poids, bien que essentiellement psychologique constitue jusqu’ici l’un des freins au développement du pays.

D’un autre côté, le SDF tient sur tout à éviter le syndrome hollandais, c'est-à-dire l’overdose que provoquerait un déversement massif des investissements que les capacités de l’économie nationale ne lui permettent pas d’absorber.

Il ressort de tout ce qui précède et partant du constat que les investissements publics pendant les dix dernières années oscillaient autour d’une moyenne de 400 milliards l’an, financés par le budget d’investissement public pour environ 300 milliards et des apports extérieurs pour environ 100 milliards, le SDF compte dans un premier temps, pour ce qui concerne l’effort budgétaire, multiplier ce montant par dix ainsi que nous le verrons un peu plus loin. Ce qui donne 4000 milliards l’an.

Les financements attendus du marché financier seront négociés compte tenu des capacités d’endettement du pays et des nouvelles possibilités de financement des infrastructures qu’offre actuellement la marche financier international.

Le cout final du NESPROG est par conséquent largement supérieur à l’effort budgétaire ci-dessus évalué. Cependant, la réussite de la mobilisation de l’effort national garantit automatiquement la levée des fonds sur le marché financier.

5.5.2 Affectation de l’effort budgétaire.

Dans l’ordre des priorités économiques et sociales du SDF, l’affectation se fera de la manière suivante:

  • agriculture, élevage, pêche et environnement 30% soit 1200 milliards l’an ;
  • industrie, commerce et tourisme 25% soit 1000 milliards ;
  • infrastructure (communication et télécommunication) 15% soit 600 milliards ;
  • éducation 15%, soit 600 milliards ;
  • santé 10%, soit 400 milliards ;
  • recherche 5%, soit 200 milliards.

5.5.2 Les 1200 milliards affectés l’agriculture, l’élevage, la pêche et l’environnement seront répartis de la manière suivante :

- 50% pour l’activité vivrière ; soit 600 milliards ;

33% pour l’agro-industrie et les cultures de rente, soit 400 milliards ;

 17% pour l’environnement, soit 200 milliards.

5.5 3Pour les 600 milliards affectés à l’activité vivrière, nous avons déjà vu que l’activité agricole est contrôlée à 85% par les femmes et les jeunes. Sur une population de 20 millions d’habitants, 60% ont moins de 20 ans, tandis que 80% sont des femmes. La combinaison de tous ces facteurs, nous donne une population active femmes-jeunes d’environ 6millions. La répartition des 600 milliards entre les 6 millions, nous donne un financement moyen de 100 000 francs par personne, suffisant pour transforme le Cameroun en grenier de l’Afrique.

5.5 FINANCING THE NESPROG

5.5.1The NESPROG will mean nothing if it cannot be financed. Two questions arise: can we afford such an extensive programme, and will people be required to pay more? If the SDF government were to attempt to finance all the proposals contained in the NESPROG then the answer to the first question would be a clear 'no' and to the second a clear 'yes' - in other words, the NESPROG would fail. We must remind ourselves of the basic principles underlying the NESPROG as set out in the preamble. These principles distinguish the NESPROG from all other programmes proposed by political parties up to now.

5.5.2 Restructuring the national budget. Despite the constant increasing of the budget during the twenty seven years of Biwa regime in power, there has been very little development. Such a situation is the consequence of bad budgetary policies such as weak and corrupted management

5.5.3 The NESPROG is, therefore, committed to a programme of restructuring public expenditure to finance the SDF government's contribution to the NESPROG. Given the fiscal malaise left by Biwa regime, careful programmes must be developed around financing increased capital expenditure, increasing the efficiency of consumption expenditure and improving the revenue-recovery capacities of the government.

5.5.4 The existing ratios of government expenditure to the whole budget i.e. 60% against 26% to public investment, should be reversed. batiThose of the deficit, borrowing and taxation to GNP are to be reviewed in the SDF macro-economic vision. In meeting the financing needs of the NESPROG and retaining macro stability during its implementation, particular attention will be paid to these ratios. The emphasis will be on ensuring a growing GDP, improved revenue recovery, and more effective expenditure in order to make more resources available. In the process of raising new funds and applying them, the ratios mentioned above must be taken into account.

5.5.5 The SDF government must end unnecessary secrecy in the use of the petrol revenue. To that end, in addition with the budget, it must put in place a National Investment Fund under the control of the Parliament in order to accelerate the implementation of the NESPROG.

5.5.6 Efficient and open transformation of the budget requires the development of five and ten-year fiscal plans as the framework for multi-year budgets.

5.5.7 By combining all the ministries in charge of economy to form a single economy and finance ministry, SDF government will reduce duplication and streamline decision-making.

5.5.8 The SDF government must make the development of effective and open performance auditing a top priority. Auditing of public institutions must broaden from its narrow focus on financial accountability to assess how well expenditures meet NESPROG targets. The Constitution must give la Cour des Comptes responsibility for performance auditing mandated by Parliament. The priority sectors and agencies should be designated for performance auditing.

5.5.9 Under the control of both the government and the Parliament, in consultation with the private sector mains bodies, a Financial and Fiscal Commission should be put in place to review the tax structure in order to develop a more progressive, fair and transparent structure. Priorities will include:

- reviewing personal income tax to reduce the burden caused by fiscal drag on middle-income people;

- rationalising company tax breaks for health, education, housing and other expenditures which may conflict with NESPROG priorities;

- simplifying the unnecessarily complex tax system, which is biased against small and medium-sized enterprises and leads to low effective tax rates despite a fairly high nominal rate;

- zero-rating VAT on basic necessities.

5.5.10 Mobilising new funds. The National Investment Fund should incorporate all elements of the NESPROG that can generate income streams in the future. The National Investment Fund should include some form of dedicated development bond. In addition, it should draw on specific development levies. The design of development levies will depend on the aims of the NESPROG as a whole, especially in terms of promoting development and growth, but could include levies on capital transfers, land and luxury goods.

5.5.11 There is a need for an overall foreign debt strategy as said above. The NESPROG must use foreign debt financing only for those elements of the programme that can potentially increase Cameroon’s capacity for boosting the productive economy. Relationships with international financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must be conducted in such a way as to protect the integrity of domestic policy formulation and promote the interests of Cameroon population and the economy. Above all, we must pursue policies that enhance national self-sufficiency and enable Cameroon to reduce dependence on international financial institutions. Further, we must introduce measures to ensure that foreign governmental and non-governmental aid supports the NESPROG.

5.5.12 Private sector participation. The SDF government cannot fund the NESPROG without support from the private sector. Financial institutions must assist both by funding individual programmes to meet basic needs, especially modernizing agriculture and housing, and by improving their services to small-scale producers. The SDF government must modify regulations and support innovative financial institutions and instruments that will fund the NESPROG. It must attempt to mobilise a significant proportion of contractual savings, within an appropriate regulatory and financial framework, for socially desirable investments, without affecting the risk profile or decreasing the returns on investment. If the major financial institutions do not take up socially desirable and economically targeted investments, the SDF government should consider some form of legislative compulsion such as prescribed assets.

5.5.13 Other resources. The power of women in production and in community structures must be fully acknowledged and rewarded. Only through such grassroots-oriented development initiatives can the NESPROG be brought to its logical fruition as a successful programme for all Cameroonians.

5.5.14 En application de tout ce qui précède, les prévisions du SDF sont les suivantes :

5.5.14 Evaluation chiffrée de l’effort budgétaire

Depuis 2006 que le Cameroun a atteint le point d’achèvement de l’initiative PPTE, son budget se répartit globalement entre une moyenne de 60% pour le fonctionnement, 25% pour l’investissement et 15% pour le service de la dette.

Dans l’optique d’une accélération du développement du pays, le SDF se propose à long terme de renverser cette tendance, du moins en ce qui concerne les budgets de fonctionnement et d’investissement.

Cependant, dans le cadre du NESPROG, l’objectif est limité à 45% pour le fonctionnement et 50% pour l’investissement. Si on prend pour référence le budget 2010 qui est de 2570 milliards répartis entre 1525 milliards pour le fonctionnement et 676 milliards pour l’investissement, en appliquant ce ratio, le gain obtenu pour le budget d’investissement est de 1285-676 = 609 milliards. Pour le financement du NESPROG, le SDF retient 500 milliards.

D’un autre côté, l’analyse du budget 2007 qui figure en annexe démontre que 85% du budget est consommé par la bureaucratie administrative à Yaoundé et seulement 15% sur le terrain. C’est une orientation qui favorise la corruption qui aux dires de la Banque Mondiale absorbe plus de 50% des ressources budgétaires.

Le SDF estime par conséquent qu’avec une lutte farouche contre la corruption et une décentralisation politique poussée le gain théorique est au moins égal à 1000 milliards, sur lesquels le SDF retient 500 milliards pour le financement du NESPROG.

La restructuration du budget à elle seule, va contribuer pour 1000 milliards au financement du NESPROG.

5.5.15 Mobilisation des fonds de l’extérieur

Pendant les cinq dernières années dont on possède les données chiffrées sur la réalisation du budget, les financements extérieurs effectivement obtenus se présentent ainsi qu’il suit en milliards de francs CFA:

2005 2006 2007 2008

139 143 231 254

Quant aux investissements directs étrangers (IDE) pendant la même période, on peut les évaluer à une moyenne annuelle de 50 milliards.

L’ensemble donne une moyenne annuelle d’environ 300 milliards.

Compte tenu de le nouvelle attractivité dont va bénéficier un Cameroun démocratique et bien géré, le SDF pense qu’il peut collecter un minimum de 500 milliards de financements extérieurs par an.

Selon les estimations les plus fiables, les divers transferts de la diaspora à destination du Cameroun s’élèvent au minimum à 50 milliards de francs CFA par an. Le SDF pense que dans un environnement plus sain il peut les porter à 100 milliards.

5.5.16 Participation du secteur privé

Pour les cinq dernières années, la contribution du secteur pétrolier aux recettes budgétaires est en moyenne de 300 milliards l’an. Mais tout le monde sait que ce montant représente moins de la moitié des vrais revenus de ce secteur qui sont gérés de manière opaque par la Présidence de la République à travers la SNH (Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures. Le SDF compte par conséquent porter cette contribution à 900 milliards.

Pendant la même période, le secteur bancaire a financé l’économie pour une moyenne de 1000 milliards de francs CFA par an dont environ 300 milliards représente des financements à moyen terme. Compte tenu de la surliquidité des banques, le SDF pense qu’une bonne réorganisation du secteur financier peut permettre de porter cette participation à au moins 2000 milliards, avec la moitié, soit 1000 milliards, représentant des financements à moyen et à long terme.

Enfin, l’autofinancement des entreprises, soit par elles-mêmes soit par les maisons mères, tourne autour d’une moyenne de 200 milliards par an. Le SDF pense qu’il peut le porter à 500 milliards.

Nous arrivons ainsi à un total de 4000 milliards l’an pour ce qui est de l’effort budgétaire.

5.6 OBJECTIFS STRATEGIQUES DU NESPROG II

Non seulement le NESPROG II compte faire du Cameroun un pays émergent, mais plus, le SDF en tant que parti social démocrate, a l’ambition de faire du Cameroun un pays où il fait bon vivre, avec à la clé certains objectifs économiques et sociaux spécifiques.

Ce sont :

1 – atteindre l’autosuffisance alimentaire dans toutes les régions.

2 – porter l’espérance de vie de 53 ans pour les femmes et 52 ans pour les hommes aujourd’hui, respectivement à 73 et 72 ans. Action phare : institution d’une assurance maladie universelle et transformation de la CNPS en une caisse d’assurance sociale gérée par les partenaires sociaux.

3 – réduire le taux de pauvreté de 50% de nos jours à moins de 20%.

4 – porter le taux de scolarisation de 70% à 90 : actions phares, gratuité de l’école et ré institution de la bourse.

5 – porter le taux d’accès à l’eau potable de 10% en zone rurale et 23% en zone urbaine à 50% en zone rurale et 70% en zone urbaine.

6 – porter le taux d’accès à l’électricité de 5% en zone rurale et 45% en zone urbaine à 50% en zone rurale et 70% en zone urbaine.

7 – amener la production industrielle de 29% du PIB à au moins 50%.

8 – porter les routes bitumées de 4000 à 40 000 kilomètres.

9 - porter les rails de 900 kilomètres à 2000 kilomètres.

10 – construire 1000 d’autoroutes (Douala- Yaoundé, Douala- Limbé, Douala- Bafoussam- Bamenda, Yaoundé-Bafoussam, Yaoundé- Ebolowa- frontière Gabon, Ngaoundéré- Maroua).

11 – construire des ports en eau profonde à Kribi et à Limbé et des ports fluviaux à Garoua et à Yabassi.

12 – faire de Bakassi une zone d’investissement prioritaire.

13 – réaliser la transafricaine – route ou rail - Douala- Mombassa au Kenya.

Les objectifs de 8 à 13 seront en grande partie financés par des fonds recherchés sur le marché financier.

6. CONCLUSION

6.1 Throughout this document, SDF has stressed that the NESPROG is a people-driven programme. People have been part of drawing up the NESPROG and they must now take the process forward. How can this be done in concrete ways? A number of processes must now begin.

6.2 The NESPROG will now be used to consult widely, in order to get comment and further input. Any party, organisation that share the same values as SDF and that wishes to make such a contribution can do so in writing, or contact the SDF to arrange a meeting. Any organisation that feels that it can make a specific contribution to the implementation of the NESPROG should do likewise.

6.3 SDF welcomes written comment from any organisation, expert or person with knowledge about any of the areas covered in the NESPROG. Clearly SDF will not be able to use every comment, and the comments will need to be written within the spirit of the basic principles outlined in the preamble.

6.4 Material is being produced that will popularise the NESPROG and allow for its discussion throughout the length and breadth of the country. However, this must not be a process of telling people what the new SDF government will do for them, but of encouraging people to play an active role in implementing their own NESPROG with government assistance.