BUEA, Cameroon– In his recently defended PhD thesis, Vitalis Munjah, now Dr Vitalis Munjah, says for Cameroon to improve on its governance, democratic process, and the implementation of good policies, she must be more open, and have the political will to embrace and effectively use the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM.
This, he said, will better the county’s wellbeing.
Comparing Cameroon to Rwanda, one of the countries that has fully embraced the APRM, through which its recommendations have been used by the Government to better serve the country’s development and governance needs, the scholar said Cameroon needs to replicate the Rwanda experience to reap the benefits.
In his research work, tilted “The African Peer Review Mechanism and the Strengthening of Political Institutions in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and Rwanda,” Dr Munjah proposed that Cameroon’s governance structures, like those of Rwanda, Ghana and Kenya, should to be subjected to a comprehensive governance review process, and propositions of the reviews implemented, for the country to be able to make meaningful progress in governance, and in the process, avert intra-state conflicts.
“For decades, leaders in post-colonial Africa turned a blind eye to bad governance, human rights abuses, corruption and coups d’état in obedience to a cardinal rule: sovereignty above all. By the mid-1990s, the doctrine of non-interference began to give way to the policy of non-indifference,” he said.
Dr Munja complained that “Post-colonial leadership in Africa neglected bad governance, human rights abuses, corruption and coups d’etat in compliance to a fundamental rule: sovereignty above all. Assenting that a state’s internal affairs were no one else’s concern, many leaders plundered for personal gain, destroyed constitutional checks and balances and trampled on the rights of citizens. Excessive executive power stifled debate, curtailed free speech, covered up misguided policies and allowed corruption to flourish and fester,” he stated.
Outlining the problems faced in Cameroon, which urgently need to be tackled, Dr Munjah stated that the lack of political will and commitment to the APRM is a serious challenge forestalling review process in Cameroon.
On the issue of non-interference in internal affairs of the State, Dr Munjah’s work proposed that Cameroon should create an awareness “to dispel the fear of interference in internal affairs of the country, and provide a clear emphasis that the mechanism affords African states the opportunity to compare policy experiences, exchange ideas on the best practices to adopt in order to improve their governance and achieve development objectives.”
He also argued in his work, that there is need to create a conducive environment, which will facilitate open dialogue and learning, in order for peer review to work well in Cameroon.
Dr Munjah proposed that the APRM process should be undertaken as a matter of urgency in Cameroon, in view of creating a dialogue forum that might provide solutions to the on-going Anglophone Crisis.