Outraged by the bad governance in Cameroon’s Public Administration, astonished by the behaviour of the bureaucrats, scowled by bad policies, struck by the pathology in the system, Prof. John Ndefru has published a book, titled “The Anatomy Of Public Administration” in which he proposes what he thinks might be the cure to the cankerworm in the Cameroon public Administration.
Asking rhetorical questions at the University of Buea, the Political Scientist condemned corruption, administrative bottlenecks and mismanagement in Public Administration, not only in Cameroon, but in Africa as a whole.
The University Don said he has diagnosed the problems that engulfed the system and prescribed what can be done to salvage the situation.
“The Anatomy of Public Administration” indicates the comprehensive, holistic-packaged, and meticulously-articulated design, covering a wide range of topics in Public Administration.
It is written in simple, lucid, coherent, illuminating educative and compelling Language. It is an invaluable companion that provides an in-depth systematic and indispensable platform in the teaching-learning process.
The book according to the UB Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Teaching, Prof. Nol Alembong, “is a timely venture”.
He said, “It will edify public administrators so that they can really know what is supposed to go on in their own domain of administration”.
As the Chairperson of the launching and also the representative of UB’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Alembong said the book is coming at a time when the Head of State has just created Regional Councils which he thinks will need the book for governance as well.
Talking to Reporters, the Chief Launcher of the Book, who is also the Chairman of Elections Cameroon, ELECAM, Dr. Enow Abrams Egbe, said the book “is a pathfinder to Cameroon’s public service.”
“This book is quite timely as it is coming at a moment of decentralization,” he furthers.
To the Chief Launcher, the book “is all about governance”.
He stressed that, “It is not only meant for students, but it is also meant for public users. All the population of Cameroon is advised to look at this book. I think all that we have been decrying has been put in a documentation form,” he said.
While acknowledging that the book is very mature and practical, The ELECAM Chairman said it was “a trailblazer for Cameroon of tomorrow,” adding that it will go a long to ameliorate certain aspects in his establishment too.
The Author of the book, Prof Ndefru, who said he needed to write the book, decried that the public administration in Cameroon and Africa “is a Lacuna”.
He questioned why public administrators behave the way they do, why a file will take five years from Buea to Yaounde, why people join a service and work for years without salaries.
“I try to explain why bureaucrats should be well trained and nurtured. The system is to too bureaucratic – a lot of bottlenecks, a lot of bureau-pathology. It is too pathologised.”
The book, he said, “is to train our bureaucrats to be efficient in public administration”
On the issue of policies, he said they are a lacuna and too polemic. He said, “we are only good at policy formulation and not policy implementation.”
For those reasons, he tried to expose policy actors into the efficiency of policymaking and implementation.
He also urged the central government to devolve powers to the local government questioning why there is good governance elsewhere, but in Africa, there is bad governance.
“We have a problem of leadership in Africa. Africa is blessed with abundant human and natural resources, but we are the poorest continent in the world, why?” he questioned.
“It is a travesty, a paradox. It is very ironical that with our excess human amateur resources, we are very poor.”
The professor said he is certain that if the knowledge is well utilised, there would be a change in the public administration.
Prof. John Ndefru is an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy Analysis at the University of Buea.
The book was reviewed by Prof. Paul Ntungwe Ndue and Dr. Napoleon Asoba.