Page 11 - Atouts Economiques Cameroun-2019-GB
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                 possible to connect the plant to the distribution network in the short-term. With regard to commu- nication infrastructures, economic operators already feel and appreciate the spin-off benefits of the East and West entrance roads of Douala, as well as the second bridge over the Wouri. The multiplier effects of these significant achievements will be amplified with the expected completion of the Kribi-Lolabe and Yaoundé-Douala motorways (phase I). Not to mention the road Mora- Dabanga-Kousseri currently under construction.
As a matter of fact, precious initial steps have been already taken towards a revival of growth and they only need to be capitalized. It is the best way to maintain and reinforce the resilience that has characterized Cameroonian economy in recent years in spite of numerous and multiface- ted shocks and disturbances, both internal and exogenous. Staying on course is likely to guaran- tee significant progress towards emergence by 2035 according to the guidelines prescribed by President Paul Biya.
One of the main levers that will help to contribute to making it is the pursuit of the fight against cor- ruption, the corrosive scourge that is plaguing the economy, hindering development, and increa- sing production costs. There is hope that the cru- sade, which has been under way for several years against white collar criminals and other predators of the public fortune, will continue even with greater firmness. This republican requirement is all the more indispensable as corruption contri- butes greatly to tarnishing the image of the coun- try. This erodes the trust of potential domestic and foreign investors. The promotion of greater judi- cial security is part of this considerable effort to strengthen good governance, which must be a national cause.
Other major projects of the seven-year period relate to the modernization of agriculture and a new impetus to the digital economy. The latter sector is gradually becoming a key driver of growth in that it is an invaluable provider of employment. A source of proven hope for the younger generations who are massively focused on innovation. The same dynamic needs to be put into more concrete terms in the agricultural sector, of which a significant part of the popula- tion lives. Sound and more proactive policies should enable Cameroon to produce more and better. An opportunity to be seized in order to reduce food imports, curb rural exodus and create thousands of jobs.
However, the fact stays that all these projects cannot achieve a beneficial outcome for the
entire nation unless they are driven in a cli- mate of peace and optimal security. It can be observed in this chapter that though the assaults of the Boko Haram sect are now contained or even neutralized, the security situation remains a concern in the North-West and South-West regions, with a negative impact on the rest of the country.
Therefore, a recent study by the Cameroon Inter- Employers’ Group (GICAM) reveals that the dis- ruption of economic activities in these two regions has resulted in the loss of about 7000 jobs to date, not mentioning a drop by 20% of the country's export earnings. In his inauguration speech on 6 November, President Paul Biya, a strong believer in the Republican dialogue, urged “war contractors” to lay down their arms. He sta- ted that the “frustrations and aspirations” of most of his fellow citizens in these two regions would find appropriate responses in speeding up the ongoing decentralization process.
We should point out that the laws that manage this important aspect of the nation’s life provide for two categories of decentralized local commu- nities (CTD): the municipalities and regions. While the former is a tangible and living reality, the implementation of regional councils is still awaited. Their advent should bring the adminis- tration closer to the people, for the benefit of the latter. In other words, their concerns, needs and expectations should be resolved more quickly, without the need to go back to the central level.
From the top of the rostrum of the National Assembly, President Paul Biya foreshadowed, in the short or long-term, the prospects of broade- ning the scope of responsibilities of local and regional authorities. In fact, public authorities have already initiated a significant reinforcement of support for regions, municipalities and unions of municipalities. In this wake, is the recent reor- ganization of the Special Support Fund for Local Authorities (FEICOM), now able to seek funding internationally to better ensure the equipment and economic structuring of different CTDs.
In short, better days are coming in the context of the speeding-up of the march towards emergence in Cameroon. A quest for modernity that requires the preservation of peace, national unity and ter- ritorial integrity of the country. As main anchorage point: an increased role for women and youth. Speaking of the latter in the inaugural speech of his new seven-year term, the Head of State assu- red he had understood their legitimate aspirations for fulfilment, to a greater participation in the deci- sion-making relating to the future of the country. And he hammered out that the Cameroon of tomorrow will be with them. A whole programme.

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