Cameroon-Commonwealth; Stakeholders Assess Governance Programmes

Visiting Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland yesterday held a joint working session with five control structures operating in Cameroon.

Cameroon’s good governance policy has come under review with the hope that Cameroon- Commonwealth partnership could be further deepened to right noticeable wrongs for a just, inclusive and equitably developed country. On day three of her fiveday official visit to Cameroon on the invitation of the country’s Chief Executive, Paul Biya, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, yesterday December 20, 207 held a joint working session with five control structures operating in the country.

The working session at the Conference Room of the National Anticorruption Commission (CONAC) grouped top officials of CONAC, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), National Good Governance Programme, National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms and the National Communication Council. A rare moment for officials of the different structures to present what they are out for, path covered and shortcomings impeding their efficiency.

According to the Chairman of CONAC, Rev. Dieudonne Massi Gams, who spoke on behalf of the good governance structures, they play an important role in ensuring justice for inclusive sustainable development. He told the visiting Commonwealth SG that, “you may not have a magic wand to the problems we face but together, I think we can move mountains.” A view shared in CONAC’s presentation which highlighted the stakes and challenges of combating corruption in the country.

Going by the presenter, Irene Tche Morikang, of the Communication department of CONAC, the Commission works with the gentlemen’s club through the Commonwealth Anti-corruption Agency thanks to which networking and benchmarking are enhanced.

She said although the political will in the fight against corruption has been shown at the supreme level of the country, the popular will still lacks. Reason why CONAC, she said, petitioned the Commonwealth through the Ministry of External Relations for an installation of a hotline through which acts of corruption can be denounced at no cost as well as an electronic governance system to greatly limit corruption- tempting manual work.

To the Chairman of ELECAM Board, Enow Abrams Egbe, the mutations the elections and referenda organising structure has gone through over the years made better its functioning. He disclosed that a tentative record of the number of registered voters for future elections in the country as at the closure of the registration process for 2017 stood at over 6.5 million potential voters with over five million voters’ cards already distributed.

Meanwhile, to the representative of the National Good Governance Programme, Chi Asafor, they work in synergy with others to consolidate the rule of law and accountability for a business-friendly environment. Whereas to the National Communication Council through its President, Peter Essoka, collaborating with the Commonwealth for better networking and trainings could be a good step in the right direction for the Council. “Our wish is that through the Commonwealth, the Council could be linked up with other media regulatory networks. We would also be grateful if the Council is included in the Commonwealth trainings on responsible media,” Peter Essoka wished.

To the Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, Chemuta Divine Banda, the structure has received a lot of assistance from the Commonwealth in its endeavour to ensure the proper respect of the rights of man by fellow man. In response to the presentations, the Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland opined the association’s determination for partnership with member countries. She said Cameroon is a country rich in diversity and should therefore harness the opportunities for inclusive development.

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