10.06.2014

Cameroon Benefits From Commonwealth Expertise

By Godlove BAINKONG
ct041014.jpgFruits of the country’s belonging to the ‘Gentlemen’s Club’ are visible in varied sectors.
As the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference officially kicks off in Yaounde this Monday on the theme, “Repositioning the Commonwealth for the post-2015 development agenda,” Cameroon has a lot to show as achievements in its 19 years of belonging to the Gentlemen’s Club.  The country can go chest beating with strides in varied sectors of the economy that have advanced its democracy and socio-economic development as well.

Democratisation
The Commonwealth’s principle of constructive partnership has been demonstrated by its direct involvement in the democratisation process in Cameroon. Commonwealth teams have observed most of the elections in Cameroon since 1995, like the legislative election of 1997, presidential election of 2004, the twin municipal and legislative elections of 2002 and 2007, the presidential election of October 9, 2011 and the 2013 legislative and municipal elections.
In an exclusive interview granted Cameroon Tribune during the 2014 Commonwealth Day in Cameroon, External Relations Minister, Prof. Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo said, “the Head of State, President Paul Biya, on 14 December 2002 created the Cameroon Commonwealth Presidential Commission on political reforms, on the recommendations of a special envoy of the Commonwealth Secretary General to Cameroon.” The Commission, which is the point of reference in the political dialogue between the two parties, the Minister added, was mandated to promote reforms in four areas; the electoral process, the judiciary (including the prisons), decentralisation and human rights.
As such, the creation of the National Anti-Corruption Commission by the President of the Republic in March 2006 and the adoption by the National Assembly in June 2005 of the new Criminal Procedure Code are palpable fruits of the commission. The creation of an independent body charged with the organization and management of elections in Cameroon (ELECAM), and the continuous commitment of the Commonwealth to strengthen the country’s electoral process are there to show for the institution’s largesse.
Judicial Reforms, Scholarisation, Sports
There is also the computerisation of the judiciary, capacity building for judges of the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court, the creation of a database of detainees in Cameroon and the technical audit of the judicial system in Cameroon all credited to the Commonwealth.
It is also on record that thanks to Cameroon’s admission into the gentlemen’s clubs, over 500 scholarships have so far been granted to Cameroonian students and researchers, with professionals from various sectors benefitting technical support from the institution. Two investment forums organised in Cameroon by the Commonwealth Business Council have built bridges between investors of the Commonwealth Council and Cameroon>>>

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