Regional Balance and National Integration in Cameroon

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This book presents a series of reflections by Cameroon scholars on a variety of topics associated with regional balance and national integration. The different reflections look for answers to some burning questions of the day such as: Where are we coming from? Where are we going? How are we going where we are going? Have the different state ideologies offered appropriate solutions to the quest for a strong, united, stable and prosperous nation-state? If not, what has gone wrong and why? What can be done to shape the future and accommodate the aspirations of the men and women of Cameroon and of their progeny? The book addresses the issue of national unity and national integration within the context of different political perceptions and visions. It examines the merits and demerits of the policy of regional balance of the Ahmadou Ahidjo years (1960-1982). Focus is also on the underlying flaws of this doctrine and philosophy. The debate also addresses some critical questions of the national integration policy and practices of Paul Biya, President since November 1982. The policy has failed to achieve its stated goals and has ended up in the ethnicisation and polarisation of national life. The future of the Cameroon nation-state, with its rich ethnic and cultural diversity, seems to be in jeopardy as internal forces question the management of civil society by leaders who have lost the sense of justice and equity. Why are there several voices singing the song of destitution and disappointment with the state? Have regionalism and the rhetoric of national integration and balance emerged as untenable polities within a nation-state in search of an identity and responsible leadership? These are some of the questions and issues Cameroonian and Cameroonist scholars have tried to address in this collection of 28 well-researched and outstandingly argued essays.

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Published 26 September 2011
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EAN13 9789956726059
Language English
Document size 3 MB

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Regiona Baance and Nationa Integration in Cameroon Lessons Learned and the Uncertain Future
Edited by PAUL NCHOJI NKWI and FRANCIS B. NYAMNJOH
Regional Balance and National Integration in Cameroon: Lessons Learned and the Uncertain Future Editors Paul Nchoji Nkwi & Francis B. Nyamnjoh Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.com www.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com ISBN: 9956-726-26-5 ©Paul Nchoji Nkwi & Francis B. Nyamnjoh 2011
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
Table of Contents Acknowledgments............................................................................................ Foreword............................................................................................................ .....
Part One: General Introduction...................................................................
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1.An Introduction byPaul Nchoji Nkwi & Francis B. Nyamnjoh..................... 3 2.The Political Economyof Regional Imbalances and National  “Unintegration” in Cameroon, byTatah Mentan.........................................19 3. RedressingRegional Imbalance in Cameroon: The lessons from  the Past byEmmanuel M Chiabi................................................................41 4.The Effectiveness of Legal Instruments in achievingRegional  Balance and National Integration in Cameroon byC.N Ngwasiri................59 5. La Création du Territoire National Camerounais a l’épreuve de  la crise et de sa Gestionpar George Courade................................................69 6.The Government Social Policy and National Integration  byAloysius Ajab Amin...................................................................................91 7. Contested Meanings: Rulers,Subjects and National Integration  in Post-colonial Cameroon byNantangJua................................................99 8.Anglophone LiberationJournalism and National Deconstruction  in Cameroon byFrancis B. Nyamnjoh................................................................119 9. Regionalism and National Integration in Cameroon: Psycho- cultural Perspective byBame Nsamenang.....................................................139 10.Anglophone-Francophone Divide and Political Disintegration in  Cameroon: Psychohistorical Perspective byBongfen Chem-Langhee...............................................................................................155 11.Assessingthe Impact of Tribalism and regionalism on the  Development of Cameroon byTatah H. Mbuy..............................................177 12. Equilibre regional,replis identitaires et fragilisation croissante de  l’intérêt national: vers un effet ‘‘boomerang’’ de lapolitique des quotas au CamerounparZambo BelingaJoseph Marie.................................195 13. Regionalisme,Integration Nationale et Education parDorothee Kom........................................................................................217 14. Balanced Rural Development in Cameroon within a Democratic  context byEmmanuel Yenshu.......................................................................229
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15. Ethnicityand PartyPolitics in Cameroon: The Politics of Divide  and Rule byPaul Nchoji Nkwi and Antoine Socpa.......................................247 16. Elites et Intégration Nationale au Cameroun sous le Régime  du renouveau parKengne Fodouop...............................................................269 Part Two : Gender And Empirical Regional Issues..................................281 17. Decision-making accessibility to resources and national  integration of Women in Cameroon byAmin Rebecca Ntongho...................283 18.Women between Chiefs and the Law: Competition for Power  and land in North Cameroon byAdri van den Berg....................................297 19. Regional Balance in Northern Cameroon byKees Schilder.........................319 20. Marketing of Food Crops in the Central Province of Cameroon:  Some preliminary results byAnke L. Bergsma...........................................347 21. Responses to Socio-Economic and Conjunctural changes in the  Central Province and the consequences for the Town-hinterland  relationshipbyAli deJongand Annelet Harts Broekhuis..............................373 22. Land Disputes and the Impact on Disintegration in  Contemporary Western Grassfields: Case Study of the Ndop  Plain Chiefdoms byJohn A. Mope Simo......................................................399 23. Regional Balance and National Integration: A historical  overview of Mafa Integration in National Politics: An Imbalance along religious lines by 1.C.M van Santen...........................427 24. Ethnicite et divergences entre le pouvoir central et les forces vives locales sur la régionalisation au Cameroun: L’exemple du  Nord Cameroun parJean-Louis Dongmo......................................................457 25. Relations interethniques, problématique de l’intégration  nationale et de la securite aux abords sud du Lac Tchad par Thierno Bah et Saibou Issa............................................................................467 26.Agro-industry and regionalism in the South West Province of  Cameroon during the National Economic and Political Crisis by Piet Konings................................................................................................505 27. Le royaume Bamoum, les Chefferies Bamiléké et L’Etat au  Cameroun parIbrahim Mouiche...................................................................518
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28. Regionalism: A strategy for Self-help: The Case of Manyu Women in a ChangingSocietybyMargaret Niger- Thomas..........................565 AppendixesNotes on the Authors....................................................................................... 583
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Acknowledgments
We are deeply indebted to a number of persons whose contribution to the production of this book has been enormous. Special thanks go to Dr. Flavien Tiokou Ndonko for coordinating the entire desktop publishing activities. Equal tribute goes to Antoine Socpa and to Celine Ottou Ndanga for their secretariat and technical support during the preparatory phase. We also want to thank the authors of the different articles for sharing their ideas with fellow countrymen and other scholars through this modest publication. Without the financial support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Yaounde, neither the conference nor this publication would have been possible. This is certainly an excellent example of North-South co-operation. We are indeed, very grateful and we pay special tribute to Ambassador Max Damme whose support was an eloquent testimony of his desire to promote Cameroon studies through this collaborative effort between Dutch and Cameroon researchers. Mrs Anna W.E. Donners, second Secretary of the Royal Dutch Embassy also deserves our special thanks. Without her sustainable efforts, this work would never have come to fruition. Finally, we are deeply indebted to Professor Peter Geschiere and Dr. Piet Konings whose untiring efforts to enhance social science research in Cameroon have been exemplary. They have also introduced many Dutch researchers to Cameroon studies thus laying the .groundwork for a long and fruitful future.
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Foreword This book is the outcome of a conference held at Yaounde from 13 to 18 ‘October 1995, organized by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Yaounde I and the African Studies Centre at Leiden. The conference was made possible by the highly appreciated financial support of African Studies Centre and the Dutch Embassy at Yaounde. We greatly enjoyed participating in the organization of this conference together with the dynamic local team consisting of Paul Nchoji Nkwi, Flavien Ndonko, Antoine Socpa and Flora Asah. The conference took place within the framework of the Protocol Agreement of Cooperation in Scientific Matters between the rest while General Delegation of Scientific and Technical Research (DGRST) and the African Studies Centre signed on 7 December 1983. Research cooperation between these two institutions was channelled through the Institute of Human Sciences (ISH) at Yaounde which, regrettably, was dissolved during the economic crisis. A first conference was held at Leiden in June 1988. The Leiden conference eventually resulted in the publication of a two-volume Proceedings (Leiden: African Studies Centre, 1989) and a special volume entitleditineraires d’accumulation au Cameroun(Paris: Karthala, 1993), exploring the rich regional variations in modes of accumulation in Cameroon. The 1995 conference fulfilled the wish expressed by the participants in the successful Leiden conference to hold a follow-up conference in Cameroon. Moreover, it enabled Cameroonian and Dutch researchers to present the results of a decade of research cooperation. It also offered an opportunity to some French and English colleagues within the network of Cameroon studies to share their research findings. The theme chosen for the Yaounde conference‘Regional Balance and National Integration: Lessons learnt and the future’met an enthusiastic response, manifest in the large number of papers presented during the conference. This was not altogether surprising. The conference theme has continued to be particularly relevant to the Cameroonian situation, even acquiring new urgency in the aftermath of recent economic and political changes. The conference offered an occasion, unfortunately quite rare in the country, to Cameroonian participants to ventilate their opinions on this ‘sensitlve’ subject. The growing regional tensions in Cameroon were clearly reflected in the vivid, and sometimes heated, discussions during the conference. These discussions brought to the fore the current vehement conflicts not only ix