By Boris Esono Nwenfor (Cameroon)
Cameroon according to the Denis and Lenora Foundation suffers from a severe lack of adequate leadership. This is seen in poor governance and a significant decline in Democratic norms, basic human rights and individual liberties.
In this light, Dr. Peter Sakwe Masumbe, attaché/senior public policy analyst at the Prime Minister’s Office, Yaounde says there is no rule of law without democracy and that, state capture has taken over the rule of law. He was speaking during day one of the emerging leaders in policy and public service at the Muna’s foundation in Yaounde organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation.
The training of the emerging leaders in policy and public service runs from March 4 to 6 and brings together participants from all 10 Regions of the country-20 young leaders in number.
To Dr. Masumbe, people will not be punished haphazardly if there is rule of law and that the rule of law is the basis of the society. “The presence of political parties in Cameroon is not the baseline of Democracy as they may be created to help the ruling party”. He however stated that Cameroon has one of the best Democracies in Africa on paper but the realities are however different. “There is democracy but it is seriously threatened from one party system, multiparty and now dominant party. The situation future of Democracy in Cameroon is very dark and we must learn from the tenet of democracy such as transparency, accountability for its advancement”. “Nobody is above the law but in Cameroon, the reverse is true”.
He concluded by calling on the emerging leaders to empower themselves and not to wait for their parents to empower them. “You must be visible in politics-either you come as a group and form a party or you join an existing party and see how you can advance democracy. Do not stay quite when you are there, share your opinions”.
The emerging leaders programme in policy and public service organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation is a unique leadership and career accelerator programme for Cameroonians below the age of 35 years. It is expected that at the end of the training, these 20 young leaders would gain the necessary skills to write good policy papers, understand the need to be actively involved in public service activities and create awareness on governance issues and the rule of law in the country.
Speaking on the theme: Transformational Leadership, Mr. Will Romine, US. Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer called on these young leaders to learn and apply what they will get at the seminar in the spirit of cooperation. He however cautioned them to stop complaining that something must be done by a group of persons or part of a particular region. Responding to a query, Mr. Romine said a true leader is not someone who tries to amass power but someone who look at issues and ways to solve them. “The seconds you stop participating is the seconds they say youths are not participating. Leadership does not only mean getting recognition from the government. You have to help those who need help by organizing activities for them” he stated.
The event culminated in a technical session chaired by Dr. Hague on public policy analysis and critical thinking. According to him, one should divide an issue (problem) and start addressing it one step at a time, instead of trying to do it all at a time.
Since its creation in 2012, the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation is committed to making significant contributions to the building of the Cameroonian society. The foundation aims to impact and ameliorate the lives of millions of people in the African continent.
As an independent think-tank focused on research, the foundation’s Nkafu Policy Institute is leading the way in providing in-depth, original and innovative policy recommendations on development issues in Central Africa region and in Cameroon in particular.
The foundation focuses on some eight fields such as Education, Entrepreneurship, Economic, Sustainable development, Science and Innovation, Health, Leadership and Public Policy.