One Year After Major National Dialogue: Achievements, Way Forward
The Major National Dialogue, MND which till date remains a historic moment that resulted in a compass to negotiate the path to peace in the North West and South West regions held one year ago.
Since that gathering that grouped living forces from across the 10 regions of Cameroon, the state through members of government, local administrative authorities, civil society, population and other international partners of good will have been focused on mutations across the two English-Speaking regions.
It has been a year of high expectations, albeit the successes recorded this far on the ground, truth be told there have been challenges and the road ahead points to a long, but promising journey to restore order in the North West and South West regions.
The major national dialogue is again under public scrutiny, particularly its impact in appeasing the tension across the two English-Speaking regions. These public debates for the most parts have been for the right reasons except for some all-knowing stakeholders who will not accept the palpable achievements emanating from the dialogue.
Before Cameroonians started revisiting the achievements of the dialogue, it is president Biya who first ordered a committee put in place to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the dialogue that triggered the public discuss.
Just like everyone who is craving to see peace return to the North west and South west regions, the President directed his Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute to meet in session with the committee.
These recommendations described by Cameroonians as rich and great enough to assuage the plight of the citizens of the North West and South West regions have animated political debate.
President Biya’s blueprint in building the new Cameroon he announced during his 2019 end of year address is an offshoot of the Major National Dialogue. The country has gone through thick and thin throughout these 12 months of post-dialogue era, but has shown resilience in recording successes which are not a given in such arid circumstances.
The Dion Ngute led dialogue caravan has left nothing to chance as all efforts remain positive and vibrant. That the committee to follow up implementation of recommendations met is testimony of government’s repeated announcement that, dialogue is a process and not an event. The process is on and the state machinery has been accelerated for the good of all.
Following recommendations at the Major National Dialogue, much was expected to change in the socioeconomic, judiciary and educational domains across the two English-Speaking regions.
Quite a few recommendations have been fully implemented while a good number of suggestions are currently under execution.
So far, key actions taken in the right direction include;
The recruitment and absorption into the judiciary of the first batch of common law trained magistrates, the creation of a common law section at ENAM and at the Supreme Court, the special recruitment of 500 translators and translators-interpreter into the civil service, the promulgation of the law on official languages and that on the general code of decentralized authorities, the Presidential plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West regions, PPRD, transformation of CEFAM into a National School of Local Administration, NASLA, the disarmament commission with centres in Buea and Bamenda, and the list is long.
Following the holding of the maiden session of the follow up committee on the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue it is probable that much renewed speed will be added to actions already on course in these two regions.
The granting of a Special Status to the North West and South West is expected to enter full gear following the formation of the electoral college for the imminent holding of regional election.
This special context will redefine the socioeconomic and political life of citizens of these two regions. The rebirth of the House of Chiefs and the setting of two regional assemblies for both regions will mark a great turn in the way of governance in these regions.
It is well calculated that the coming of this special status will transform the status quo and give the population of the two regions the desired local autonomy in the management of their affairs.
These Palpable steps now set the pace for the return of peace to the North West and South West regions.
Last week’s meeting also saw discussions for the creation of an industrial zone to create 9000 jobs for internally Displaced persons, IDPs and refugees of the crisis.
Stakeholders called for collective action to sustain peace efforts, encourage school resumption, stop ghost towns and ensure people in the affected regions live under acceptable security and social standards.