Page 47 - Atouts Economiques Cameroun-2019-GB
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                 Cameroon has 330 municipalities
councils. Each municipality is headed by a governing body referred to as Municipal Council consisting of councilors elected whose numbers are set by law according to the municipal popu- lation and by an executive body which is the Mayor elected to the municipal council or the Government delegate appointed by the President of the Republic. Municipal councils have a term of five years. The last municipal elections were held on 22 July 2007. And voters were conve- ned to the polls on October 26, 2008 in the municipalities of Mogodé, Pette, Matomb, Bana, Bafang and Douala V for partial municipal elec- tions.
Law N0 74/23 of 5 December 1974 on the municipal system in Cameroon has originality. It creates a fund, called FEICOM designed to sup- port municipalities and municipal or inter-munici- pal investment works.
FEICOM, also known since the year 2007 as BANK OF MUNICIPALITIES, aims at providing the necessary financial support to the promotion of investment, serving as controller of the commu- nal management of cash advances and financial advice. It settles costs of training of municipal staff and municipal magistrates. Administered by a management committee, FEICOM is an essen- tial tool for rational communal action.
Due to its complexity, Cameroonian officials pro- pose two definitions of the concept of decentrali- zation.
“It is not self-reliance; neither is it a federation.” In contrast, it is “more a process than a reform. It is a development form that leans on local poten- tial.”
In short, through decentralization the aim is not a fragmentation of the State which is unitary in its form; but organizing opportunities given to grass- roots.
With the promulgation of three laws on decentra- lization on July 22, 2004, one of orientation of the decentralization, the two others fixing respec- tively the rules applicable to the municipalities.
The State will grant local authorities, who know better their territory and their needs, the means to do so. Skills will be transferred to them in various fields (economic, social, cultural, sports). They are not however given the power to make laws or regulations, or to take initiatives in the exclu- sive domain of the State.
Article 55 of the Cameroonian Constitution defines the two major decentralized authorities: regions and municipalities. Legal persons gover- ned by public law, the decentralized communi- ties enjoy administrative and financial autonomy for the management of regional and local inte- rests. They are freely administered by elected councils.
These councils are responsible for the promotion of the economic, social, health, educational, cul- tural and sports development of these communi- ties. The organization, functioning and the finan- cial system of the decentralized territorial collecti- vities are determined by the law.
With the enactment of three laws on decentrali- zation on 22 July 2004, including one on decen- tralization policy, and two others on setting res- pectively the rules applicable to municipalities and regions, Cameroon is resolutely committed to a development dynamic of local potential that involves multiple actors and with a positive impact in the medium and long term.
Decentralization brings, through a new vision of land use planning, a new breath and new territo- rial policies. But these developments are a source of complexity. Therefore, the Government of Cameroon opted to anticipate this complexity in the decentralization laws so that the Cameroon citizens may clearly know which services come

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