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Maurice KAMTO: My Governance Program for Cameroon - Bringing about change

"I will fire in the winner from this historic penalty; my foot won’t shake".

Fellow Cameroonians, Dear Compatriots,

Over the past five years, I have patiently toured the country to meet you, to better listen, observe, understand and especially learn from you.

Five years to encounter the suffering of young people in disarray, without qualifications or unemployed graduates, an unemployed Cameroonian youth, and without a future. They have no alternative but to brave the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea at the risk of losing their lives and destroying the infinite hope of their parents.

Five years to meet courageous women, endowed with an unsuspected capacity for creativity and whose endurance in the face of life’s hardships continues to force my admiration; they suffer but never give up.

Five years to read on the faces of proud parents, worries and despair of having to face on the daily basis the accumulation of multifarious burdens created by a system of education in disarray, a health system that gives more death than life, increasing insecurity and, to top it all, the road to Calvary to collect the always-so-rare meagre retirement pension, despite a long and difficult professional career.

In short, I travelled again across Cameroon, my country, our country, cities as well remote areas, villages without a drop of clean water and a glow of electricity. I have often blended into the population of the most modest strata and had a hands-on experience of their extreme suffering, the weight of social injustice and the abject poverty they endure. It is a devastated country that, 60 years after independence, is on the wrong direction, is doing very poorly and is off-track.

But, my journey in the remote areas of Cameroon also allowed me to note that, despite this dramatic situation, most Cameroonians remain confident in the future. Their situation has strengthened me in the fight for change. The Cameroon they dream of is a united Cameroon, strong in its rich diversity, a peaceful Cameroon with shared prosperity; a country brought back to these women and men of great dignity, who are very hard-working, who have the thirst for justice and the love of the shared homeland.

To offer this alternative to our country, we cannot do without questioning the reasons that plunged Cameroon into the current disaster.

We got here because a handful of selfish compatriots, aloof to the fate of Cameroon and the future of the country, have transformed a country of peace and stability into a country of uncertainty, undermined by a dirty war in which Cameroonians kill other Cameroonians; they make their fortune on the misfortune of our brothers and sisters in the English-speaking regions and have no interest in resolving the serious crisis that is shaking these regions.

The development model that we have known for decades cannot stop the fracture that exists today between a few healthy people living mainly in urban areas and the overwhelming mass of low-income and unemployed, those who rise very early and go to bed very late, but they cannot make ends meet.

Current governance has broken the prosperous cooperative societies of the 1970s-80s, destroyed the social, industrial and banking fabric inherited from the beginning of the construction of a modern Cameroonian State, to set up a system of rent-seeking, enjoyed by the members of a small circle who take control of everything.

Our economic model no longer creates jobs and wealth for its development because it is not productive enough. Our wealth benefits a tiny minority who lead a lavish lifestyle that wealthy people in developed countries could envy them. As a result, they cause the entire country to live beyond its means, and to embark on unreasonable debt. Thus, the country lives on credit and overloads future generations with the burden of a debt that never stops growing.

Our model of society has exacerbated tribalism, nepotism, clientelism, corruption and the heritage of State positions and resources. This must change. I propose a future that will give all our children equal opportunities and a better life than us. There is a long way to go; the challenge is gigantic and complex in view of the disaster caused by nearly forty years of politics without vision and without ambition for the country, mismanagement and national regression. But I set to work with the absolute confidence of one who knows that he does not work alone, because together, with determination and perseverance, we will win the battle for the development of our country.

It is with this conviction that we come to bring about change in order to create the conditions for national renaissance and to engage with you in the modernisation of our country. This modernisation is organised into five major projects.