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The importance of a flexible energy policy in Cameroon by Eposi Ethel Ekeke, 21 July 2016


Without energy in the world today, the society as we know will crumble. The cutoff of power supply to a city for 24 hours shows how totally dependent we are on that particularly useful form of energy. Life and computers ceases to function, hospitals sinks, maintenance level and the lights go out.

Energy exists in many different forms, all of which measure the ability of an object or system to do some work. Examples of these are light energy, heat energy, mechanical energy, electrical energy, sound energy, gravitational energy, electrical energy, chemical energy, nuclear or atomic energy and so on. This article will focus on renewable energy, the forms that exist in Cameroon, how much has been exploited and proposed solutions for an energy policy.

Most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Sunlight, or solar energy, can be used directly for heating and lighting homes and other buildings, for generating electricity, and for hot water heating, solar cooling, and a variety of commercial and industrial uses.

Not all renewable energy resources come from the sun. Geothermal energy taps the Earth’s internal heat and the energy of the ocean’s tides come from the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun upon the Earth.
Cameroon, Africa in miniature is a country with a lot of potential: rich in natural resources and fertile soils and a vibrant age group, being the most populated country in the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) region, with fast growing population of about 23,924,407 inhabitants in 2016 . Unlike other African countries, Cameroon benefits from a relatively high social and political stability seen in the fact that she has not suffered from any major political conflict since independence except from the recent Boko Haram.

Concerning energy resources, Cameroon is endowed with abundance of renewable energy sources most of which is underutilized or unexploited. In Cameroon today, a great majority of the population still relies on conventional solid fuels such as charcoal for domestic activities. However, other sources of energy exist such as hydropower, coal, petroleum, biofuels and waste (most of which is not recycled). Those other energy sources are not exploited and most of Cameroon’s electricity is obtained gotten from three major hydroelectric power stations which are Edea, Lagdo and Song Loulou with ongoing hydroelectric projects like the Memve’ele, the Lom Pangar and Mekin hydroelectric power stations.

Second only to the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of the possession of hydro stations, electricity is still unevenly distributed in Cameroon with electricity been concentrated in the urban areas while some rural areas are not served. The access rate to electricity per households is around 40% for the whole country and less than 15% in rural areas.

Energy consumption in Cameroon is mostly done by households who use such energy for cooking, heating and other domestic activities. Also, energy is used by the commercial and public services including healthcare (hospitals and ministries), education, business and administration. Furthermore, industries and transport (cars, trains, and airplanes) consume a large proportion of energy in Cameroon. Despite the fact that Cameroon has other energy potentials like biomass and natural gas, little resources have been allocated to develop them, explaining the almost complete dependence on hydroelectricity (74 % of Eneo Cameroon generation is from hydro). Furthermore, since the agricultural sector still uses rudimentary tools, most of the energy consumed is basically through fuelling of tractors, manufacturing fertilizers and powering or heating processing crop.

In Cameroon, combustible (capable of burning) renewable remain the major source of energy.

Among the combustibles, wood remains the major energy source across the country. The second largest energy resources consumed in Cameroon are oil products such as kerosene which is mostly used in rural areas where there is no electricity and for cooking.

In its vision 2035 , the Cameroonian government has developed an objective to invest in the energy sector with its major target being to increase energy production in order to meet up with the increased demand caused by population growth and the current economic boom especially in the industrial sector. This is also aimed at attracting both foreign and national investors. Thus, the need for renewable energy.

In terms of Cameroon energy potentials, hydropower remains the major source of energy in Cameroon although its resources have not been completely exploited. Also, there is good solar potential which is not well developed due to limited commitment and dedication of government in taking important steps to boost the sector, save a few solar panels which have been installed in Yaounde used mostly for lighting, nothing else has been done. Furthermore, wind energy is almost completely neglected, there are only about two rapid wind turbines installed in Douala meanwhile the regions which have warm springs like Ngaoundere, the mount Cameroon area and the Muanenguba zone which can generate great amounts of wind energy have not been developed. Being a dominantly agricultural economy, Cameroon has a large and unutilized potential of biomass primarily from agriculture and forest. Also, palm oil produced by companies like PAMOL, CDC, SOCAPALM and SAFACAM have been used to generate biodiesel which is mainly used for agricultural purposes within the companies.

Furthermore, some rural areas face deforestation due to the fact that wood cut for domestic purposes like cooking and heating is not been replaced and that has led to many challenges of energy affordability and environmental impact. Finally, Cameroon has potentials for geothermal energy which has not been tapped. There are hot water regions like the Ngaoundere region and the mount Cameroon region amongst others, but little or no feasibility studies have been carried out to identify their full potential.

In Cameroon, several attempts have been made at coming up with an energy policy as outlined below,

– A series of specific laws and decrees were enacted between 1998 and 2000 to set a new electricity regulatory framework, where competition principles and private involvement could be developed under the supervision of the Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency (ARSEL). They were as follows; Law n°98/022 of 24 December 1998 governing the electricity sector Decree n°99/125 of 15 June 1999 to set up the organization and functioning of the Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency, Decree n°99/193 of 8 September 1999 to set up the organization and functioning of the Rural Electrification Agency and Decree n°2000/464/PM of 30 June 2000 governing the activities of the electricity sector.

– Also, there is the Energy Sector Development Plan (PDSE 2030) which seeks to get the country out of under-development, through the implementation of the long-term Least Cost Development Plan and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).

– The new electricity law N° 2011/022 passed on the 14th of December 2011 also introduced additional stakeholders which stipulate the liberalisation of energy production. This law also introduced additional stakeholders that are yet to be operational: the EDF-Electricity Sector Development Fund, TSO- Transmission Service Operator, owned by the State.

– Furthermore, the Vision 2035 has significant plan concerning the development of renewable energy. The policy goals of the government are to ensure energy independence through increased production and delivery of electricity, of oil and gas (petroleum resources) and to ensure their contribution to economic development. In this vision the government aims at increasing its capacity to 4000 MW by 2020.

– Finally, there is also a plan known as the rural electrification plan which aims at developing access to electricity in rural areas. Targets electrification in 660 localities through the extension of the interconnected grids, the rehabilitation and construction of isolated diesel power plants and mini-hydro plants as well as the development of a regional grid.

Thus, in order for Cameroon to benefit from its great potential, an energy policy should be developed which is flexible enough to include the following:

First of all, the energy policy should promote independent electricity production. Currently, the production and distribution of electric energy in Cameroon is in the hands of one company which is Eneo. This company exercises monopoly over the market and so faces no competition from any other producer or distributor. For this reason, they are not motivated to deliver the best services and their prices are quite high. This explains the constant electricity issues which the country faces like frequent electricity outages and electricity bills which do not match consumption. Thus, it is recommended that the production and distribution of electricity should be liberalized and independent producers should be encouraged to enter the market as stipulated by Law No 2011/022 of 14th December 2011. This will lead to increased production and competition which will result in better services and lower prices.

Secondly, the energy policy should promote the development of renewable energies like solar thermal and photovoltaic, wind power, exploitable hydropower streams with power exceeding 5MW, biomass energy, geothermal energy and energies from marine origin. The state should therefore ensure the promotion and development of renewable energy as well as provide the conditions, procedures and mechanisms for research and development, local production of materials and project financing. This will go a long way to fill the void which exists in terms of demand of supply of energy in Cameroon.

Also, the financial market should be taken into consideration. The Cameroonian government should develop the Douala Stock Exchange, make sure that all energy producing companies are listed in this financial market and encourage private investors to invest in the energy sector through this stock exchange. This will ensure that energy producing companies have enough capital to invest in their activities which will further lead to an improvement in the services offered.

Furthermore, Transparency International‘s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ has ranked Cameroon alongside Nigeria, the 18th most corrupt country in Africa for 2015. Corruption is endemic in Cameroon and significantly increases the costs and risks of doing business. The legal and regulatory systems are non-transparent and difficult for foreign companies to navigate. Corruption risks are further exacerbated by a non-transparent revenue collecting system and opaque licensing processes for extractive industries. Companies report corruption is among the most problematic factor for doing business in Cameroon. Thus, the Cameroon government has to intensify its efforts to combat bribery and corruption through the Operation Sparrow Hawk and other corruption fighting bodies in order to make the business environment more conducive for both local and foreign investors.

By and large, it can be concluded that the Cameroon government should ensure energy independence; Diversification in supply, Promote and increase access rates in the use of cleaner forms of energy, Rational utilisation (energy efficiency & conservation); Attract investments via the liberalisation of economic activities, competitive rules and the involvement of private capital.

Eposi Ethel Ekeke is a diplomat at the Ministry of External Relations with a Masters in International Relations (option, Diplomacy), obtained from the International Relations Institute Cameroon (IRIC). She is finance, trade and international relations analyst with CACLiTA. She also holds a Post graduate diploma (Maitrise) in Management (University of Yaounde II, Soa) and a Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance (University of Buea).

Sources:

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/cameroon-population/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_Cameroon
http://www.wame2015.org/policy-and-regulation/576/
https://sites.google.com/site/njinkengconey/
http://www.inforse.org/europe/pdfs/Conf_COP17_3-Takam_ADEID_Cameroon_INFORSE.pdf
– Eneo Cameroon is short form for Energy of Cameroon and it is the only company in Cameroon charged with the production and distribution of elelctricity in Cameroon.
http://eneocameroon.cm/index.php/en/l-entreprise-a-propos-d-eneo-l-entreprise-en/l-entreprise-a-propos-d-eneo-en
– VISION 2035 has as main objective to make Cameroon an emerging country by 2035, with the specific objectives being to: eradicate poverty by reducing it to less than 10 per cent thanks to accelerated and job-generating growth, become a middle income country in order to increase the average income, become a newly industrialized country and become an emerging country.
– Biodiesel is a form of diesel fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. It is safe, biodegradable, and produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel.
http://rava.qsens.net/cr-d/nre-oversees-trip-reports/Oilpalm%20survey%20report%20%20Nicholas%20Ngepah%20.doc/at_download/file.
– Asan Vernyuy Wirba et al, Renewable energy potentials in Cameroon: Prospects and Challenges, Volume 76, April 2015, Pages 560-565
– Pierre-Olivier Pineau, Transparency in the Dark – An Assessment of the Cameroonian Electricity Sector Reform, August 12, 2004, at https://www.internationalrivers.org/files/attached-files/transparencyinthedark.pdf
http://www.reegle.info/policy-and-regulatory-overviews/CM
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/237129/Cameroon_Doing_Business_Guides_Pt.1.pdf
https://www.laurea.fi/en/document/Documents/Cameroon%20Country%20Report.pdf
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cameroon-overseas-business-risk/cameroon-overseas-business-risks#bribery-and-corruption

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2016 in renewable energy

 

Boosting renewable energy for a better business environment in Cameroon, by Sirri Caro Nfornah, 13 July 2016


Cameroon is a growing economy with rapidly increasing electricity demands, particularly in the industrial sector. The utility is currently grappling with a power deficit, and energy efficiency measures are becoming critical for meeting Cameroon’s electricity demand in short to medium term. Cameroon’s development objectives, under the programme Vision 2035, contemplates significant investments in the energy sector including renewable energy. The policy goals of the government are to ensure energy independence through increased production and distribution of electricity (through the development of Cameroon’s hydropower potential), of oil and gas and to contribute to economic development. According to Basil Atangana Kouna, Cameroon’s Minister of Water and Energy Resources, “Energy supply has been the main hurdle in Cameroon’s path towards economic growth.”

According to the Electricity Sector Regulation Agency (ARSEL), Cameroon has significant considerable hydroelectric resources, renewable energies and small hydrocarbons. Apart from oil, Cameroon has natural gas reserves currently estimated at about 186 billion m³ as well as has the second hydroelectric potential in Sub-Saharan Africa after the democratic Republic of Congo(19.7 GW fair technical potential for energy production of 115 TWh / year). In terms of solar energy, Cameroon has a rich and handy potential, especially in the country’s northern part.

The organization, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) in a 2012 Policy Database reported that, 70% to 80% of Cameroon’s power is derived from hydropower sources, with the remainder from conventional thermal sources. Cameroon’s first independent power producing agreement (IPP) will add 216 MW in power generation and trigger the development of Cameroon’s gas reserves, as yet unexploited. Also, Cameroon will further increase its generation capacity when the new Lom Pangar plant becomes fully operational. Moreover, the wind potential of Cameroon is significant and economically exploitable, mainly in the regions of western Cameroon and the Adamawa region. Cameroon thus stands to gain much from exploiting additional resources for electricity supply, and promoting a market-oriented energy policy.

Despite the country’s abundant resource potential and availability of conventional (oil and gas) and renewable (hydro and solar) resources, energy access rate is very low, standing at only 18% in 2013. According to the World Bank Investment Climate Assessment, limited access to reliable electricity is among the 5 top obstacles to doing business in Cameroon. It is estimated that the lack of reliable energy services is costing Cameroon close to 2% of the gross domestic product growth.

Although they are prescribed by the regulations in force, renewable energies are almost inexistent in Cameroon. Law N ° 2011/022 of 14 December 2011 governing the electricity sector in Part IV spells out general goals for promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, and for the use of renewables within the context of expanding rural electrification. The law also states that the State will ensure the promotion and development of renewable energy through establishing regulation for conditions and mechanisms for research, development, production of equipment and project financing. Also, in its title IV, Chapter I, Law n°98/022 of 24 December 1998 governing the electricity sector, the Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency (ARSEL) and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) are in charge of the promotion and the follow-up of the use of the primary sources of energy, in particular renewable sources.

According to REEEP in the same report quoted above, the key constraints facing the electricity sector relate to the narrow geographic space and relative obsolescence of the transmission and distribution networks. Consequently, there is significant unmet solvent demand. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the country’s three main transmission grids are completely isolated from one another and no exchange of available surpluses can be made between the grids.

Cameroon’s Ministry of Water Resources and Energy (MINEE) through ARSEL requested the formulation of a National Policy, Strategy and Action Plan for the development of Energy Efficiency Policy in the country which would be developed by 2030 yet it seems the formulation and implementation of the long-term Energy Sector Development Plan (PDSE 2030) is lagging.

Renewables are often identified as too costly, mainly due to high investment costs. The renewable sector unfortunately lacks competent human resources to plan, design, install, monitor and maintain energy systems — but demand for this expertise is growing. Addressing the human resource issue is a key point for attaining the objectives.

In order to meet the renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, effective leadership is also a key issue for the attainment of the targets within Cameroon. At national and regional levels, political authorities should be involved and support the action. There is also need for these leaders and actor to be corrupt free. This would lead to the generation of champions. It is also important to promote private investments in the electricity sector, in order for the population to benefit from a competitive service through innovation and efficient management of the available resources.

Moreover, politicians and government leadership of the country have to be aware of the opportunities that exist in the use of Renewable Energy as an alternative source of energy, and then put policies in place to advance the sector.

A renewable energy policy is being prepared, with policy goals to increase the share of renewables in power and heat generation, and to involve private capital in the delivery of energy but it has to be an articulate energy policy which is vital in leading the country towards effective utilisation of its resources. This policy will favour investments in the corporate and industrial sector to invest.

The need for scaling-up investments in small- to medium- sized renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Cameroon remains urgent. In spite of the country’s endowment of vast renewable energy resources, much of the population still suffers from limited access to affordable and reliable modern energy services.

The current state of affairs in the Cameroonian energy sector should be an eye-opener for the country to raise awareness and educate key stakeholders to create and develop an enabling environment for rapid renewable energy market development.

Mrs. Sirri Caro Nfornah is a diplomat by training currently at the Ministry of External Relations, Cameroon. She also doubles as the Public relations Officer for the Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action, (CACLiTA), Cameroon.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in corruption, renewable energy

 

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The claws of corruption tear into Cameroon’s Memve’ele hydroelectric project, by Chofor Che, 30 June 2016


The National Anti Corruption Agency of Cameroon with French acronym CONAC released its 2014 anti corruption report on Monday the 27 of June 2016. Reverend Dr. Dieudonne Masi Gam, President of CONAC revealed to the public that the state of Cameroon has lost over 17 billion frs cfa to corruption with respect to several major projects including the Memve’ele hydro electric project.

Cameroon Tribune dated the 28 of June 2016, reports that an alarm was raised by the affected population of the Memve’ele hydroelectric dam project in Nyabizan, a locality found in the South region of Cameroon of gross malpractices in the payment of compensation to victims. Several teams from CONAC were sent to the field in 2014 to investigate these malpractices. It was realised that over 1.7 billion frs cfa which was supposed to be given to victims who had lost buildings and crops because of this very important project was swindled. According to Cameroon Tribune and other local papers like Le Messager, many people who were not to benefit from such compensation falsely benefitted.

There were signs of joy and satisfaction on the faces at the locality of Nyabizan, host to the highly economic-driven Memve’ele Hydroelectric Power Project on June 15 2012 when the Head of State, President Paul Biya layed the foundation stone for the project to officially kick off. According to a report by Cameroon Tribune dated 18 June 2012, the population was indeed edified by this ceremony personally presided by the President of the Republic. For a state whose electricity supply merely reaches 900 kilowatts for an ever growing population coupled with an estimated demand of almost double that amount pending the realisation of many announced industries, it was but normal for Cameroonians from all over the country to have braved the thick Equatorial forest and poor state of road to be part of this important event.

“Without energy, there can be no real development. There can be no industry. Our agricultural and mineral raw materials cannot be processed. In short, there can be no modern economy.” These revelation from the President of the Republic captured in the above mentioned Cameroon Tribune report of 18 June 2012 gave a true picture of the chronic energy situation the country faces. The President acknowledged that the chronic power outages in the country have made the lives of a great portion of the population unbearable. “The often extended periods of load shedding have also disrupted work in government services, social services such as hospitals, and even security agencies”, he added that the chronic electricity crisis in Cameroon has not only led to material damage but also led to the loss of human lives. The Head of State promised Cameroonians that the construction of Memve’ele hydroelectric dam was just the beginning of good things to come. “In the coming months, construction works on the Lom Pangar and Mekin dams and power plants will be launched and further studies for the Warak and Menchum hydroelectric dams will be conducted, pending the completion of the Sanaga hydroelectric power project”, he added.

It is rather a shame that five years after, this long awaited hydroelectric project should be entangled in a claws of corruption. There is no gainsaying that Cameroon is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This is evidenced by Transparency International reports as well as reports from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Several authorities have been arrested because of corrupt malpractices especially with respect to water and energy projects but the situation continues to get worse. Part of the reason why Cameroon is still plagued by such scandals is that there are so many uncoordinated and inadequate legal and institutional safeguards in place to fight corruption. It is true that the country has several anti corruption units especially housed in ministerial departments, but in actual fact these anti corruption units are inefficient and poorly staffed. It is very disturbing that an anti corruption agency such as CONAC should produce its 2014 report in 2016. The production of a report of such magnitude should be twice a year. Besides findings of other corruption agency in the country remain a secret to the Cameroon population and the international community. There is no need for the creation of several ineffective anti corruption agencies which are heavily funded by tax payers monies while the country continues to be ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

The country has to thus revisit its anti corruption strategy especially with respect to hydroelectric projects such as the Memve’ele hydroelectric project. Government officials commissioned to undergo such compensations need to be well trained. There is equally a need for mixed commissions which include anti corruption experts, members of the companies carrying of the projects, representatives of the populations like Mayors and Parliamentarians and Senators. Such measures may go a long way to curb corruption.

Chofor Che is Chair/Co founder of the Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action, Cameroon. He is also an Atlas Leadership Academy graduate, analyst with AfricanLiberty.org and LibreAfrique.org

 

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Opportunités, défis et perspectives de développement du transport aérien au Cameroun, par M. Atangana Ondobo Guy Martin, Expert en Politique Publique, Intégration Régional et transport aérien et analyst avec CACLiTA, 30 Juin 2016


Le 23 Avril 2016, le CENTRE DE L’AFRIQUE CENTRALE POUR LA PENSEE ET L’ACTION LIBERTARIENNE (CACLITA) a tenu une séminaire au Monasterere des Benedictins, Mont Febe, Yaoundé, Cameroun. Dans la seconde partie de notre séminaire sur le thème « La refonte du climat des affaires au Cameroun » nous avons eu un exposé sur Opportunités, défis et perspectives de développement du transport aérien au Cameroun, par M. Atangana Ondobo Guy Martin, Expert en Politique Publique, Intégration Régional et transport aérien et analyst avec CACLiTA. Ce thème qui a pour objectifs d’expliquer le fonctionnement du marché aérien, détermine les forces et faiblesses du système aérien, les contraintes, les défis présents et futurs, se déclinait en deux grandes parties :

• Opportunités d’investissements et de développement aérien au Cameroun ;
• Les défis majeurs.

Dans le cadre des opportunités, il s’est agit de parcourir :

1emt : Le cadre réglementaire et institutionnel : Ce cadre qui s’est avéré fiable et sujet à des audits, se décline en :
 Normes nationales, internationales et communautaires (avec des institutions de régulations, de gestion et d’assistance au sol et en l’air, comme ADC et ASECNA), œuvrant pour la bonne navigation et à éviter les collisions et le décrochage. Néanmoins, ce cadre est complexe géographiquement et matériellement ;
 Un potentiel de marché ;
 Une demande et une offre ; des règles et des stratégies.

2emt : Le marché de transport aérien au Cameroun : qui a acteurs répartis dans l’offre et la demande.L’offre=Compagnies aériennes; Demande=passagers (domestiques et internationales). Les statistiques présentées à cet effet relèvent une hausse entre 2011 et 2012 venant du mauvais état de nos routes.

3emt : le fonctionnement du marché : qui met en exergue 3 règles principales à respecter, à savoir :
 L’égalité des chances : accorder un libre accès au marché aérien, avec exception faite au niveau des vols intérieurs, qui sont l’apanage des compagnies aériennes nationales, sauf en absence de celles-ci ; Dans ce cas, on aura « le cabotage » ; Néanmoins, certains pays ont jusque là des mesures protectionnistes ;
 L’équité : à l’effet d’éviter les distorsions ;
 La réciprocité : il s’agit ici de l’asymétrie dans le traitement pour aboutir à des clauses bilatérales. Par ailleurs, il ya des options stratégiques offertes depuis la libéralisation à savoir : la fusion dans l’acquisition, les alliances dans le cadre de la mutualisation, pour développer les compagnies, le code sharing (deux compagnies opèrent sur un même N° de vol).
Concernant les défis et les perspectives :
Pour les défis :
 Les contraintes de sûreté et de sécurité : qui soulignent des obligations de sûreté et de sécurité aérienne. Elles prennent en compte d’une part l’homme, le matériel, le risque aviaire et d’autre part : la formation du personnel, les fautes à titre d’exemple. Dans le but de réduire le risque aérien ;
 La libéralisation : c’est l’allègement étatique. Exemple : les tarifs, les fréquences, les capacités.
Pour les perspectives :
 Le cadre multilatéral ou bilatéral, qui regorge les enjeux de sécurité juridique pour les opérateurs ;
 Le ciel ouvert régional ou global.
En outre, le transport aérien s’avère rentable à moyen terme. Néanmoins, il apparaît comme un service public mais aussi comme une activité commerciale. Le Cameroun est une locomotive de la Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (CEEAC), et a un bon risque de sécurité.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Aspects socio-économiques de développement au Cameroun: les opinions de Me ETOUA, avocat au barreau du Cameroun et analyst avec CACLiTA, 30 juin 2016


Le 23 Avril 2016, le CENTRE DE L’AFRIQUE CENTRALE POUR LA PENSEE ET L’ACTION LIBERTARIENNE (CACLITA) a tenu une séminaire au Monasterere des Benedictins, Mont Febe, Yaoundé, Cameroun. Dans la seconde partie de notre séminaire sur le thème « La refonte du climat des affaires au Cameroun » nous avons eu un exposé sur Aspects socio-économiques de développement au Cameroun par Me ETOUA, avocat au barreau du Cameroun et analyst avec CACLiTA. Après les civilités d’usage, l’exposant a tenu a situé cette présentation, qui dès son entame trouve sa justification dans un contexte marqué par le lancement de grands travaux dans le Cameroun. Grands travaux qui nécessitent entre autres, de grands financements, et la flexibilité quant à l’accès à la justice pour les investisseurs et les commerçants.
Il s’est donc agit de passer en revue deux grands aspects :
• L’aspect juridique
• L’aspect économique

 Concernant l’aspect juridique, il été relevé qu’il faut :
 Une lisibilité sur l’action législative au Cameroun dans l’optique d’une harmonisation ;
 Mettre sur pied un principe de codification des lois Camerounaises, pour éviter l’asymétrie d’information et permettre à la population de mieux connaître les lois ;
 La ratification des traités, pour avoir la « Constatation » ;
 La mise en œuvre des traités internationaux, nous conduisant à l’internationalisation des lois (à l’effet de les mettre en application en interne), et publier les traités ratifiés. Avec en exemple le cas de certains textes OHADA, qui prévoient les violations, mais pas les peines y afférentes ;
 L’accès à la justice pour les investisseurs. Car un investisseurs ne peut pas saisir une autorité compétente en cas de problème ;
 Avoir l’autorité indépendante de régulation.

 Dans le cadre des aspects économiques, il a été souligné que nos dirigeants sont à féliciter en ce sens qu’ils ont été stratégiques dans des négociations surtout en ce qui concerne les APEs. Néanmoins, l’aide extérieure au développement est à décliner, car elle regorge toujours des contraintes nocives à nos économies.

Il faut par ailleurs, avoir un regard accru sur :
Les accords de libre échange et les partenaires au développement. Avec pour épée de Damoclès les grands intérêts. Car lorsque l’intérêt est important, cela heurte la liberté véritable de décision et de choix.

CACLiTA

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Any hopes for progress on the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreements with Cameroon? Chofor Che, 24 April 2016


Opponents of free trade in Cameroon are of the view that the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are against the national interest, and such agreements will only create unemployment. They add that the national economy is not ready for EPAs.

Most states in Asia like Indonesia that were not completely ready for free trade and that were not even at the current level of development of African economies have seen some progress in economic development because of free trade and economic partnerships. If we take India for example, they even opted for a unilateral opening to economic partnerships with states in the West without reciprocity from the other.
What matters in trade openness is not having the same economic advatage as partners, but to improve its gain relative to the initial situation. By design and default, other states especially European states are far more advanced than Cameroon in terms of resources and it makes sense, as long as they respect the rules of fair free trade.

According to an inteview accorded in late 2015 to Louis Paul Motaze the Minister of the Economy and Regional Planning, EPAS will permit Cameroon import at lower prices equipment which so far are too costly to import, the more competitive the country gets. According to Motaze, another advatage of Cameroon adhering to EPAs is that this will help open her markets. Cameroon has goods and services to sell to Europeans and the European Union is offering Cameroon a chance to open its market with no quota imposed. Considering this, the major problem Cameroon now faces is production which might be insufficient despite markets being opened to the country. Free trade will reduce the costs of local exporters and thus enhance their competitiveness. With free trade, Cameroon will have cheaper imports, thus export cheaper, so more market share in the global market.

The American firm Frontier Strategy Group published, during the month of February 2015, its ranking of the resilience of countries to external shocks. According to Frontier Strategy Group, Cameroon occupies the 21st position in Sub Saharan Africa. The country is above all number one in the CEMAC zone (a six member community comprising Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Central Africa) in this ranking ahead of Gabon (24th). Some other strengths include vast agricultural land apart from oil production. The country is blessed with vast hectres of forests.

Critics often advance the argument that doing business with partners who have an added advantage over Cameroon will not be beneficial to the Cameroonian economy. This assertion can remain true if only Cameroonian public and private actors called upon to carry out transactions under the EPAs remain dormant rather than become more comeptitive with thier European partners.

Taking advantage of free trade, does not always necessary mean we must have an absolute comparative advantage over other states with whom we are doing business with. The country can make progress as these transactions are being carried out. South Korea had a comparative advantage in rice, but thanks to its openness to free trade has managed to build its comparative advantage in high value technology products. This is a scenario Cameroon has to copy. Cameroon produces cash crops like cocoa and rubber. At the same time Cameroon has raw materials like iron ore, uranium which can give the country added advantage if well exploited and utilised.

Cameroon is the 114th most competitive economy in the world, out of 140 countries assessed by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The country moves up two places compared to last year, but still comes behind Gabon (103rd), first Central African nation in this ranking 2015-2016. However, the WEF emphasizes, that Cameroon is 10 places ahead of Nigeria (124th), the leading economy on the continent. This equally makes Cameroon ready for EPAs with Europe.

There are several ways Cameroon can meet the challenge of competitiveness, not just by possessing a great natural resource base or a large workforce. By investing in human capital, industralisation and innovation, Cameroon can develop comparative economic advantage which will allow the country to sell on the international market at competitive prices. The country can also exploit the economies of scale related to regional integration, for example to bring out competitive companies.

The argument that EPAs will destroy jobs and local industries, is a façade to protect businesses and industries which have always enjoyed healthy profits thanks to state protectionism. And there is no morality to this especially as poor consumers continue to pay to maintain artificial industries in place. The state cannot continue to subsidize businesses and economic operations with taxpayers money whereas there is an opportunity to take advantage of the EPAs.

All the same issues like corruption needs to be addressed for Cameroon to adequately benefit from EPAs with Europe. The American think-tank Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal recently published the 2016 ranking of the economic freedom index in the world, which measures economic freedom in countries since 1995, using criteria such as protection of property rights, the size of the state, budgetary and monetary policy and the fight against corruption. Out of a ranking of 178, Cameroon is positioned 29th in Africa and 130th in the world. When you have too many regulations (lack of economic freedom), companies face additional burdens and costs of transactions, undermining their competitiveness in the end. Corruption too, is a symptom of too much government intervention, so less freedom of choice for households and businesses. Therefore, with corruption, businesses pay bribes, additional expenses instead of investing them. The result is low competitiveness.

In conclusion, for Cameroon to benefit from the EPAs, the government should properly negotiate contracts with the EU. It is also germane for Europe to respect the principle of free trade by stopping subsidies to producers thus encouraging protectionism disguised as non-tariff barriers especially with respect to sanitary and phytosanitary standards, as well as environmental standards.

This article is originally published in the French language at Libreafrique.org

 

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via ‘It was a direct path to heaven’: How Boko Haram trains abducted women and girls to be suicide bombers — National Post – Top Stories

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

 
 
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