Archive | August, 2013

Ethnic Positioning and Power Sharing in Kamerun

25 Aug

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

Fact: Adamawa is the only administrative region out of Cameroons ten regions, not named after its geographic position but rather after its political and religious founder; Modibo Adama. 

The other nine regions are: Far-North, North, Centre, East, West, North-West, South-West, South and Littoral
*Littoral means coastal region.

MODIBO ADAMA: It is because of his jihad wars authorised by the Caliph and sultan of Sokoto, Usman Dan Fodio that we learn of the great south migration of the Tikari and Chamba tribes into the Centre and Western highland to became the Bamenda, Bamum and Bamilike Fondoms. He was great in deed. Adamawa state in Nigeria is named after him, the lamidos of Banyo and Tibati among others in Cameroon still pay homage to the Emir of Yola in Nigeria. He even has a university named after him too.

The British and German colonialists made sure the Adamawa Empire died an unnatural death as did every other city-state and kingdom. That is how the development of the state system in Africa was disrupted and replaced with the Westphalian/Berlin model, which from then until today has failed to create nation-states but has rather lead to secessionist demands and ethnic polarization of politics in the successor states of these colonial creations. Sadly, nations have been divided between and trapped within adjacent states. Endless nationalism and conflict cycles.

Where the union of several pre-colonial nation-states is impossible, let them be able to seek the South Sudan option. In Cameroons case, a degree of non-belligerent coexistence exists already. however the issues that divide our people are more due to imported tongues and ethnic hegemony which manifest them self in the politics of exclusion and marginalization.The cycle of north vs south rebellions in much of Africa could in part be blamed on the OAU charter of 1963 which specifically frowns against the newly independent states doing anything that could change the borders they inherited from colonialism. If the articles of secession, reunification, unification and integration were given consideration in those early days, many states today wouldn’t be what they are. The discovery of natural resources in the later years made a switch to the format of states developing along ethnic geographies as was the case before colonization, very problematic and impossible. since they hold the most vital resources that make Nigeria what it is the way it is, Biafra tried but failed. Nigeria used to be three British protectorates before being merged into one colony. That explains why conflict there in addition to governance failures always becomes a regionalized and ethnic issue.
I believe if the republican institutions of the state were decentralized and power was de-concentrated, then everyone would be sure to have a bite of the national cake by their efforts to join on time and follow the queue orderly! But as it stands, a mentality of spoils and grab all for your self where ever you find your self haunts public and private civil service personnel. Economic development projects in Cameroon dont mean the natural right of citizens to have an asphalt road, it’s now more of a discretionary reward by elites to hand-clapping regions for their motions of support!



Is Cameroon a Country in the WEST or the CENTRAL African Region?

7 Aug

Using geographical, political, economic and social reasons tell us if Cameroon is a country in the WEST or the CENTRAL African region?

1- Cameroon can be compared to Russia, which is in Europe and Asia.Or as Turkey in Europe and Asia.
2- We were taught in school that Mount Cameroon(Mount Fako or Chariot of the Gods) is the highest peak in West Africa! Not Central but West.

3- During slavery, the Scramble for and partition of Africa era, the Portuguese, Germans, French, Spanish and British defined Cameroon as being in West Africa. Germany convened the Berlin Conference in 1884-5 shortly after it had outmaneuvered British and French annexationists in declaring a proctectorate over “Kamerun” to confirm this with other imperialist powers. Prior to German annexation, the kings of the Cameroon coast had written letters to the British foreign office “asking” to be colonised but the prime minister at the time William Gladstone responded that the British were not interested in acquiring more colonies on the ‘West African coast’. This was at the same period the British annexed their Oil Rivers Protectorate now Southern Nigeria.
4- It had contemplated membership for the West African ECOWAS before going over to lead in the founding of UDEAC in Central Africa which was later transformed into the Central African Economic and Monetary Community known by its French acronym “CEMAC”. The country is also a member of the larger African Union regional bloc called the Economic Community of Central African States “ECCAS”.It uses the Central African Franc as currency not the West African Franc.
3- For most English speakers or Anglophone and Commonwealth countries it is a country in West Africa, but to French speakers and Francophone, it is in Central Africa. This is because parts of the territory were administered separately in west and central Africa along with British and French colonies. The League of Nations and later the United Nations considered the country from the 1920’s until the 1970’s as in West Africa.This confusion today still seen on mails to and from the country, NGO references and main stream media and news publications.
4- Cameroonian beauty pageants are eligible to and have contested for certain editions of Miss West Africa.
5- Wikipedia describes Cameroon as a country in West-Central Africa. The easternmost country in West Africa and the Westernmost in Central Africa. And in other international organisations it has been merged into what is now known as “Middle Africa”, since ‘Central Africa’ is the name of a country too.

7- In primary school Geography lessons, it was taught that Menchum Falls in North West region Cameroon had enough capacity to generate electricity in the whole of West Africa.

8- Cameroon is geographically in West Africa, but politically and economically integrated in Central(Middle) Africa. Hence it prides itself as “Africa in Miniature”.

(My conclusion)

Thought’s about Zimbabwe’s 2013 Election

7 Aug

Agreed, there are basic tenets of democracy that have universality in appeal and function. But now it seems to have become a de jure rule by the Western world led interpretation of what and how democracy is and works for other nations with a completely different cultural reality from them. What makes you think that what is good for the Dog is good for the Wolf?
In Zimbabwe for more than ten years now the western powers have bullied the die-hard Mugabe regime over it’s land redistribution scheme have held economic justice hostage to democratic values. In 2001 the US and the EU literally locked down access to the international monetary and economic system from Zimbabwe and twelve years down the line, the country has been through the thick and thin of human, political and economic crises. So I ask my self, how human are these humanitarians when they watch a buoyant stable economy slip into ruins?Zimbabwe is living in splendid isolation and not even the African Union peer club of gerontocrats has been able to flex a rescue muscle.
Does the western lobby really think Zimbabweans are stupid enough not to read the inscription on the forehead of their puppet in the house called Tsvangirai? Can deliver, Mugabe may be very old for active leadership, but we got to give him some vanilla ice cream for standing up this long. Most African presidents will charter the next jet plane to go beg the ‘masters’ for aid. For the West, Mugabe’s land reform is a pure violation of private property rights and ownership. But they deliberately ignore the facts around the legitimacy of the acquisition of these properties. 


 So because things didn’t work out well for a few European expatriates, millions of Zimbabweans have to pay the price? I don’t get the point with these embargoes and sanctions anymore! How does one ask a hungry and sick person to be democratic as a prerequisite to have food? Food might be a non-issue in the west as evidenced by the lakes and mountains disposed as garbage from homes, shops, restaurants and supermarkets but down there they don’t throw nothing edible. When strife affected Zimbabweans it was no news but when the going got tough and rough for European post-colonialists we saw the demonization of a nation.

I quote my doctoral friend:

“many Zimbabweans might be suffering unjustly. But that’s exactly what happens when economic sanctions are used as tools for extracting political concessions. In a realist international system where might makes right, where states are more egoistic and less altruistic, where states decide their trade, aid and investment partners, and where nonpolitically-motivated humanitarianism is unusual, expect international relations to remain predominantly amoral, and even vengeful – as is the case between the West and Mugabe. In the normative world, Zimbabweans shouldn’t have to pay for the pains of ‘a few European expatriates’. Disappointingly, the realist realm is anything but veritably just.”  C.A.M, London

Dear ‘international Community’ of the veto powers.Forget about Mugabe and give Zimbabweans a chance to conceive, shape and decide their own democracy.