The government of Cameroon has been praised for prioritising decentralisation in the 2019 budget as the key to the country’s development.
Experts at a “budget initiative event” in Yaounde organised by the Nkafu Policy Institute, think tank of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation lauded the government’s initiative to lay emphasis on decentralisation.
This followed a presentation of a solid and objective report evaluating the 2019 budget of Cameroon written by the Nkafu Policy Institute.
The report reveals decentralisation is top on government’s agenda with a budget allocation that has been quadrupled. Other priority areas of the government include public works whose budget has seen an increase of about 58 billion Francs CFA.
However, the think tank pointed out some areas of concerns and called on the government to equally pay particular attention in balancing the development rate of the various sectors of the economy.
“One of the recommendations of our report is improvement of the budget of the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation because research is the catalyst for development. We also think the budget of the Ministry of Health should be improved,” Dr. Hugue Nkoutchou of the Nkafu Policy Institute said.
Praising the government’s decision to lay emphasis on decentralisation, Dr. Peter Masumbe, a Senior Policy Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Office said the onus is now on the local and elected representatives to transform this budget into reality.
“Decentralisation can not come at short notice. It is a progressive drive but elected local officials and their communities have the responsibilities to use these meeans put at their disposal for effective decentralisation that will help the country emerge by 2035,” Dr. Masumbe said.
He pointed at the first ever General Conference on Local Councils that brough together all local elected officials last month as one of the mechanisms put in place by government to see that council executives are drilled on better managing resources for a proper decentralisation that will benefit the local population.