Road Companion to Democracy and Meritocracy
264 Pages
English
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Road Companion to Democracy and Meritocracy

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Gain access to the library to view online
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264 Pages
English

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Each of the essays in this book is marked by a certain simplicity and clarity, a seriousness tinged with humour, masking a profundity that are unmistakably characteristic of Godfrey B. Tangwa alias Rodcod Gobata, one of the leading critical minds amongst Cameroonians. The essays are centred on the theme of democracy and meritocracy which the author believes to be the pre-conditions for genuine development in Africa. The immediate focus of these essays is Cameroon, a country remarkable for experimenting with French/English bilingualism and for having a political dictatorship which claims, wrongly or rightly, to have transformed itself into a democracy; but they are equally relevant to other countries in Africa and beyond. Each of the essays stands alone but they are all telling various aspects of the same story from various angles at various times using different modes of expression. Anyone who seeks a glimpse of understanding of the trouble with Africa and particularly with Cameroon, 10 years into the 21st century, would read this book with great profit.

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Published 26 August 2010
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EAN13 9789956578375
Language English
Document size 10 MB

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GODFREY b TANGWA
ROAD COMPANION to DEMOCRACY and MERITOCRACY
EACH OF THE ESSAYS IN THIS BOOK IS MARKED BY A CERTAIN
SIMPLICITY AND CLARITY, A SERIOUSNESS TINGED WITH HUMOUR,
MASKING A PROFUNDITY THAT ARE UNMISTAKABLY CHARACTERISTIC
OF GODFREY B. TANGWA ALIAS RODCOD GOBATA, ONE OF THE
LEADING CRITICAL MINDS AMONGST CAMEROONIANS. THE ESSAYS
ARE CENTRED ON THE THEME OF DEMOCRACY AND MERITOCRACY ROAD COMPANION to
WHICH THE AUTHOR BELIEVES TO BE THE PRE-CONDITIONS FOR
GENUINE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA. THE IMMEDIATE FOCUS OF
THESE ESSAYS IS CAMEROON, A COUNTRY REMARKABLE FOR DEMOCRACY and EXPERIMENTING WITH FRENCH/ENGLISH BILINGUALISM AND FOR
HAVING A POLITICAL DICTATORSHIP WHICH CLAIMS, WRONGLY OR
RIGHTLY, TO HAVE TRANSFORMED ITSELF INTO A DEMOCRACY; BUT
THEY ARE EQUALLY RELEVANT TO OTHER COUNTRIES IN AFRICA MERITOCRACY
AND BEYOND. EACH OF THE ESSAYS STANDS ALONE BUT THEY
ALL ARE TELLING VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE SAME STORY FROM further essays from an african perspective
VARIOUS ANGLES AT VARIOUS TIMES USING DIFFERENT MODES OF
EXPRESSION. ANYONE WHO SEEKS A GLIMPSE OF UNDERSTANDING
OF THE TROUBLE WITH AFRICA AND PARTICULARLY WITH
CAMEROON, 10 YEARS INTO THE 21ST CENTURY, WOULD READ
THIS BOOK WITH GREAT PROFIT.
GODFREY B. TANGWALECTURED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IFE, FROM 1978-1986, AND JOINED THE
UNIVERSITY OF YAOUNDE IN 1987 AS A SENIOR LECTURER. HE IS CURRENTLY PROFESSOR AT THE
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY WHICH HE HEADED FROM 2004 TO 2008.
Langaa Research and Publishing
Common Initiative Group
PO Box 902 Mankon
Bamenda
North West Region
Cameroon
GODFREY b TANGWARoad Companion to Democracy
and MeritocracyRoad Companion to
Democracy and Meritocracy
(Further Essays from an African Perspective)
Godfrey B. Tangwa
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG
Mankon,BamendaPublisher:
Langaa RPCIG
Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group
P.O. Box 902 Mankon
Bamenda
North West Region
Cameroon
Langaagrp@gmail.com
www.langaa-rpcig.net
Distributed outside N. America by African Books Collective
orders@africanbookscollective.com
www.africanbookscollective.com
Distributed in N. America by Michigan State University Press
msupress@msu.edu
www.msupress.msu.edu
ISBN: 9956-616-70-2
© Godfrey B. Tangwa 2010
First published by Kola Tree Press, Bellingham, USA, 1998
DISCLAIMER
All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and
do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.Content
Dedication .............................................................................................. ix
Acknowledgement ................................................................................... xi
Preface .................................................................................................. xiii
Part One
1. Democracy and Development in Africa: Putting the Horse
before the Cart.............................................................................. 3
2. The Medium and Long Term Lessons of the Lake Nyos
Natural Disaster ......................................................................... 21
3. X For All by the Year 20001..................................................... 27
4. Letter to the Dean ...................................................................... 31
5. Fonlon’s Socratic Life: Its Relevance to our Political
Culture and Contemporary Situation...................................... 39
6. The Sasse Motto Fide Quaerens Intellectum......................... 47
7. The Plight of the Ex-seminarian and Ex-religious in
Modern Cameroon ............................... 53
8. Bernard Fonlon Evening Monday 19th November 1990 .... 59
9. Fale Wache, Lament of a Mother ............................................ 63
10. On The Television Programme “The Debate” ...................... 65
11. Is There Really an Anglophone Problem in Cameroon? ...... 69
12. The Beginning of the End ........................................................ 77
13. Our Book of Revelations.......................................................... 81
14. Cameroonians are Unshockable ............................................... 85
15. From Unshockability to Exaggerated Credulity .................... 89
16. For the Attention of my Students............................................ 93
17. Revelations Chapter 3................................................................ 97
18. Our Mungo Bridges (Or What Separates West
Cameroonians From East Cameroonians Most Tellingly).................... 101
vPart Two
In the Spirit of GOBATA
1. The Stuff Mandela is Made of ............................................... 111
2. Of Prof Ngwafor’s Practical Jealousy and Ambition’s
Sterner Stuff ............................................................................... 115
3. Struggling Non-violently: The Case of the SCNC ............. 119
4. Western Democracies and African Dictatorships ............... 123
5. Wester
(Continued) ................................................................................ 127
6. Tenth Anniversary of a Horrible Year .................................. 131
7. Where we Should Be Heading ................................................ 135
8. In the Spirit of a Zealous Disciple ........................................ 139
9. A Rich Harvest of Peters by Paul ......................................... 145
10. The Collapse of the French Empire in Africa ..................... 149
11. Between Mvondo and Mvodo; The Emergence of
Victor Ayissi ..............................................................................153
12. Corruption Fights Cameroon .................................................. 157
13. Rumours of Dangerous Manoeuvres and Machinations.... 161
14. Politics of Back Scratching ..................................................... 165
15. For the Attention of All Potential Ethnic Cleansers .......... 169
16. Independent Electoral Commission, an Absolute
Necessity .................................................................................... 173
17. How to Demystify John Fru Ndi ........................................... 177
18. If You Saw The Shah Escaping… ......................................... 181
19. On Behalf of a College Room-mate ..................................... 185
20. Mixed Signals of the Emerging Shape of Things................ 189
21. Address to the Youth ............................................................... 193
22. Registering on the Electoral List............................................ 197
23. In Provisional Praise of Paul Biya ......................................... 201
vi24. Constitutional Council: Why we Are Worried ..................... 205
25. For Every Mobutu a Kabila .................................................... 209
26. Killing an Innocent Person Can Never Be Justified ........... 213
27. On the Threshold of a Democratic Breakthrough .......... 217
28. Yielding Place to a New Order .............................................. 221
29. Mola Njoh Litumbe’s Concept of Home .............................. 225
30. As a Participant Observer....................................................... 229
31. Waiting for Kabila .................................................................... 233
32. Kleptocracy and Mendacity as Identification Marks .......... 237
33. Non Dimittis, Domine ............................................................. 241
viiDedication
In affectionate memory of Bernard Nsokika Fonlon
(1924-1986) – ‘‘the genuine intellectual’’ – who did his
best to bring rationality into public affairs in Cameroon.
ixAcknowledgement
I would like to thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and my
German academic friends and collaborators, Professors Eckhard
Breitinger of the University of Bayreuth and Wilhelm Vossenkuhl
of the University of Munich, for their continued interest in and
encouragement of my work. I am inexpressibly grateful to Ulli and
Georgia Beier and Elizabeth (Sally) M. Chilver for their incessant
and multifarious help and encouragement. I thank GRAPHICAM,
Yaounde, and especially Tobias Neba, for preparing a camera-ready
copy for the publisher. I also thank KOLA TREE PRESS,
Bellingham, USA, and especially Judith and Milton Krieger, for
providing the context within which this publication became viable
and particularly for their boldness in experimenting with
unconventional publishing methods.
xi